According to this week’s ZBA docket, TU Ventures has a plan to build five buildings on five vacant lots on the 1900 block of N 7th St., between Berks and Norris. We’ve covered plenty of development of student housing in the neighborhoods surrounding Temple University, and just this week told you about Paseo Verde, a mixed-use project with market-rate and affordable housing immediately next to the Regional Rail tracks.
We’ve seen relatively few student housing projects east of 9th Street, but this project will go up farther east than any we can remember to this point. The block clearly has room to improve, and five new buildings at 1921, 23, 25, 33, and 35 will fill in a small chunk of the currently vacant land here.
Make no mistake, there’s still plenty of vacant land on the west side of the block as well.
What’s unclear about this project is the number of units that will be included in each new building. The zoning applications don’t specify a number of units, and the developers can build duplexes by right. But if they were planning on building only duplexes, why go to zoning? Once the new zoning code comes into effect in August, the developers will be permitted to build quadplexes by right. Kind of surprising that the developer is in such a rush, but who can say why anybody does anything these days?
We’ll be interested to check back in on this block in a year to see whether the buildings get built, and if they do, whether students are willing to move in. Should be interesting…