We were waaay up in North Philadelphia today, snapping some photos for another post (that you should totally look for tomorrow), and spotted a couple of new construction homes as we were weaving our way back down toward Center City. Back in 2009, 2106-08 N. 17th St. (just above Diamond) were a pair of vacant lots with a pile of garbage out front.
Back in September, however, BenTon Student Housing purchased the lots, probably from another developer. BenTon, as the name suggests, deals in rentals to students that go to Temple. Looking at their website, they seem to mostly do rentals of rehabbed homes, so it’s a little surprising to see this sort of construction effort on their part.
The plan for what appears to be BenTon’s first foray into new construction is a pair of duplexes, adding yet more inventory to the bulging student housing scene near Temple. As these units are a little further north than the majority of new (and old) student rentals, there’s much more of a mix on the block than you might see near other student apartments. For example, the corner property which has retained a cornice and a somewhat butchered corner bay was purchased by Project HOME last year after years of ownership by PHA. Hopefully, the transient students and the permanent neighborhood residents will be able to share a block peaceably. A minimal number of late night keggers will probably help that cause tremendously