As new residential development has pushed out in all directions from Temple University, the low hanging fruit was grabbed and devoured years ago. As such, new projects have slowed down, thanks to fewer intuitive development opportunities, combined with high prices for desirable parcels. This has resulted in projects with unexpected addresses, and we’d say that the plan for the vacant lot at 2132-38 N. 10th St. very much fits that description.

Current view

This property has a few strikes against it. It’s got an unusual triangular shape, due to the fact that the regional rail tracks run alongside its western edge. As for those train tracks, on the one hand they offer a real benefit, with the Temple University Regional Rail station just a couple blocks away to the south, providing access to downtown Philadelphia and various northern and western suburbs. On the other hand, it’s not exactly a dream come true to have a building that kisses railroad tracks, due in part to the noise. With Temple’s campus on the other side of said tracks, there’s also a real physical barrier between the property and every point to the west. On the plus side, the football practice field is right on the other side of those tracks.

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Aerial view

Developers were able to purchase this property last year for $300K, likely due to all of the stuff we just said, and also because the parcel is zoned for industrial use. Any kind of commercial or residential development at this location would require a zoning variance, and those aren’t so easy to come by in this part of town. Somehow though, the developers were able to get a variance to build a six-story building with 35 apartments and 14 parking spots. We gotta think the parking was a key component to getting the variance, along with the general uselessness of the property for most any other purpose. Designblendz has done the architecture for the project, and we are looking forward to seeing it go up.

Project rendering

This building will dovetail nicely with another apartment building, coming soon nearby at 10th & Diamond. With these two projects coming soon in this small pocket, we have to wonder about the old industrial building located nearby, at the southwest corner of 10th & Susquehanna.

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Cool building to the north

To be clear, we don’t know anything about a project coming to this property and as far as we know, it will continue to house a metal manufacturing business for years into the future. That being said, it’s a nearly 15K sqft property and a developer just got a variance to build apartments next door. So we have to think that the owners of this parcel are getting calls pretty regularly. And such calls tend to result in real estate transactions, eventually. We just hope that when that transaction finally, inevitably, occurs, whoever buys the building finds a way to keep what’s already there. That building definitely has some character, and it would be a shame indeed to see it disappear.