About a week ago, we found ourselves on the corner of 16th & Montgomery, and noted that a mural (with a lousy message for kids) appeared to be on the outs, as it was surrounded by a construction fence. Just to the north, we spotted a collection of still-under-construction multi-unit homes that we simply assumed were part of a different project. The home upon which the mural was painted seemed like a convenient marker of sorts, separating what was almost definitely a big student housing development from what would likely soon be another student housing development. As recently as a couple of years ago, the mural home sat on an island, surrounded by a sea of vacant land.

In 2011

Recent shot

Doing a little digging, we came to realize that the homes to the north of the old house and the homes to come on its southern side are actually part of one development from Maze Group Development. When finished, the project will include 39 apartment units and 22 parking spaces over twelve addresses. It will also feature a management office on the corner. As you might guess, the seven buildings currently under construction will be ready for students next month, with a three bedroom unit listed for rent at $1875/mo. We’re guessing the southern lots will be built on during the school year, to be ready for either the second semester or more likely next September.

Rendering of the project

Closer look at the buildings under construction

These lots were, until last year, owned by the Redevelopment Authority and PHA. From what we can gather looking at public record, it appears as though the builders purchased these lots for almost $900K altogether, in separate deals with the two city agencies. Call us selfish, but we’d like to know if they could share some tricks with us on exactly how they were so successful…

With a location so close to Temple’s campus, student housing makes more sense here than in most places we can think of. The one person we confess we feel pretty bad for is the resident of 1810 N. 16th St., who will soon be surrounded on both sides by students, many of whom will probably take full advantage of their first time away from home. For an interesting look from her perspective, check out this City Paper story from a year ago.