Off-campus student housing has exploded in West Philly over the last several years, with new apartment buildings appearing on blocks that developers heretofore considered to be too far west, north, or south. Those same developers have taken an interest in Woodland Avenue and surrounding blocks, specifically targeting University of the Sciences students. This past school year, a 16 unit building arrived on the 4600 block of Woodland Avenue, and a sign on the building clearly expresses the tenants the owners are looking to attract.

New apartment building on the 4600 block

Across the street, we spied a construction site at 4614-18 Woodland Ave., and we naturally assumed that more student housing was on the way. A couple of years ago, the owners of the property demolished a vacant one-story building.

In the past

Construction activity at 4614 Woodland Ave.

The project has been in the works for quite some time, and the permits are actually pretty confusing. But if we look at the UCD State of University City from 2014/2015, we see that the plan for this property actually calls for a three story commercial building, not student housing. Per the report, the ground floor will be a retail / restaurant space, and the two upper floors will house office space. An extensive green roof system is also part of the plan. We should mention, the permits clearly state that the project has no tenants signed up as of yet.

Project rendering from State of University City 2014/2015

This plan has been on the drawing board for awhile, so we can't be sure that the rendering reflects what's actually coming to the site. We can hope though, and we can similarly hope that a sweet restaurant opens on the first floor. Already, this area has a few interesting food options like Four Worlds, Guacamole Mex Grill, and Lil Pop Shop, but there's no large anchor restaurant unless you count Gold Star Chicken and Pizza. And we do not.

Down the street, Guacamole and Lil Pop Shop

Has anyone heard anything recently about this project and potential tenants? Isn't it refreshing to see new construction in West Philly, for a change, that isn't student housing?