It wasn’t all that long ago that we were covering student housing projects in the area surrounding Temple University on an almost weekly basis. Our coverage has fallen off in the last couple years, not because we’re giving the area less attention, but instead because the pace of development has slowed considerably. To a certain extent, this is reassuring. We were worried, for a stretch, that the unabated construction of student housing near Temple would eventually result in a glut of apartments, sinking prices and grinding development to a halt. Instead, it seems that things changed a little more organically. As so many of the reasonably priced, well located properties have already been developed, there’s just not as much available to developers are there once was. Hence, the reduction in construction and coverage. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on in this neck of the woods. In fact, near 19th & Berks, there are three different projects in the pipeline.

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Building that was once a pickle factory, maybe

There’s a warehouse at 1841 N. 19th St. with a zoning notice slapped to the front, a pretty good indication that redevelopment is on the horizon. Pickle Factory LLC is the owner of the property, having bought it for $350K earlier this year. We know nothing of the history of the building, but the name of the ownership group would seem to indicate that the building was once a pickle factory. Or maybe the owners just love pickles. Or maybe they are pickles.

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Pickle Rick LLC

These brine-loving developers are planning to (surprise of surprises) preserve the existing building and build a two-story addition. When they’re done, and assuming the ZBA gives the thumbs up, the project will have 18 apartments, 8 car parking spots, and 27 bike parking spots. It should be really interesting to see how the architects integrate the addition with the existing building, but it’s certainly a chance to do something cool. As long as red cladding isn’t involved, we’re all about it.

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Looking north on 19th Street, toward Berks

Up the block, we can share news of two more projects on the way, but they’re a little less exciting. There’s vacant land at both the southeast and southwest corner of 19th & Berks, but not for long.

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Project already approved on the SE corner
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Project proposed on the SW corner

On the southeast corner, developers have already gotten approval to build an eight-unit building which will surely be built with students in mind. On the southwest corner, other developers are also looking to build an eight-unit building, but still need to get in front of the ZBA. Ho hum.

Assuming all three of these projects come to fruition, there will soon be 34 new units that get added to this block. Fortunately, given the slower pace of development of late in the area, we believe they’ll be absorbed pretty easily. The owners of the projects are surely hoping that’s the case.