Despite the fact that it sits just a block and a half from Girard Avenue, the 1700 block of Ingersoll Street was a very desolate place just a half a dozen years ago. Back then, the block was completely vacant, with the exception of three buildings. And we don’t believe any of the buildings were occupied, at least given what they looked like in Google Street View.
Things have changed on this block, and in a major way. On the south side of the street, developers built a row of ten new construction homes. A bit of a surprise, those homes were a for sale product, and ended up trading in 2019 in the high $300K range, with a few sales ticking over $400K. On the north side of the street is another sizable project which produced six new duplexes. Those units are rentals, which is more in line with what we’d expect in this part of town, given the proximity to Temple University. Three more homes are currently under construction on the north side, with those developers perhaps enthused by what happened across the street.
Certainly, the changes on this block in such a short period of time are nothing short of astounding. But… this isn’t why we’re drawing your attention to this block today. Instead, we’d like you to look at 1704 Ingersoll St., which covers the width of six typical lots on the block. Developers went to the ZBA back in 2015 to get a variance for a nine-unit building here with five parking spots. And it appears that they started working on said project in 2018, around the time that so many other projects were under construction on the block. But while those other projects were build and sold or rented, this one seems to have gotten stuck. All that ever happened was a pair of stair towers.
And so, these two stair towers stand sentry, awaiting the rest of their project to be built. The owners of the property listed it for sale last year, seeking $650K, but the listing ultimately expired. For raw land for someone looking to build for-sale townhomes here, that price isn’t far off, but it would still require demolishing the stair towers and starting all over in terms of permitting. That being the case, we still think that the original project will eventually move forward, perhaps with the current owners or maybe by someone else.
If and when that happens, it won’t be the end of development for this little street. Several other vacant lots are privately owned by developers, so you have to figure that they will follow suit in the near future. At this point, the stalled project at 1704 Ingersoll St. might be the biggest question mark on this block, and we can envision a scenario in which all the other properties get developered first. Or maybe things will start up again at 1704 Ingersoll St. the day that the construction moratorium ends- can’t wait to find out!