6th & Susquehanna is a bit of an odd location to see development these days. It’s a little too far north and east for Temple student housing. And it’s a little too far north and west for South Kensington / Norris Square market rate development. And yet, when we were passing by this intersection the other day, we spied a row of new homes under construction on the 2100 block of Fairhill Street. We were able to see the backs of these homes quite clearly, due to the enormous vacant lot on the southeast corner.

View at 6th & Susquehanna
APM signs on the fence

This vacant lot is owned by Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc (APM), an organization which has been advocating for and delivering services to the Latino community since 1971. Several decades ago, APM decided to get into the housing game, and has built hundreds of affordable housing units, both for rent and for sale, over those years. As you can see from the signage on the fencing surrounding the property, APM has some kind of mixed-use project in this pipeline for this property. Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact details of what’s coming, since we don’t see any permits just yet. Whatever it looks like, figure on an affordable rental project- but we don’t imagine that’s what’s happening next door on Fairhill Street.

IMG_7809 2
View on Fairhill
Closer look

This block isn’t one of the prettiest in town, with a mix of vacant land and prominently featuring the back of an old cinema-turned-church. Nevertheless, developers are now building seven homes on this block, all of which we expect will be listed for sale at market rates. We’ll be interested to see what price points the developers are able to get for these homes, given that they’re on the skinny side and located on the 2100 block of Fairhill. Some rehabs on the block recently traded in the mid-$200K range, but we would have to think that the developers are shooting for much higher prices for the new construction. If they’re able to get decent prices, by which we mean the mid to high $300K range, it could be a sign of things to come for other properties in this part of town. After all, there’s no shortage of vacant land around these parts, at least right now.