A long vacant lot at 4050 Haverford Ave. is finally on its way toward redevelopment thanks to the efforts of the People's Emergency Center. You may recall, we've covered the efforts of PEC in West Philly several times in the past, most recently when we told you about their Bigham Place project on Powelton Avenue. That project, in case you don't recall, created eleven affordable rental units for formerly homeless women and their children and provides ongoing services for residents. PEC is going bigger with their project on Haverford Avenue, which has been dubbed 4050 Apartments and broke ground last month, according to West Philly Local. This project, once complete, will have twenty affordable units and a shared workshop and exhibition space for residents.
It's great that this project will rise on formerly City-owned parcel that's been vacant for so many years, and we're especially pleased to learn that the project will involve affordable rental units for artists, a seemingly oft-forgotten community when it comes to housing in Philadelphia. As is almost always the case with affordable housing construction though, we're a little concerned about the cost, which is coming in at $296/foot if you consider the $7.2M price tag and the planned 24,350 sqft building.
Around the corner from this project, we see the expected surfeit of student housing. You can see in the photo above, three buildings are (slowly) under construction immediately to the south. According to the posted permits, those buildings will be triplexes with ground floor commercial, but we can't imagine those "commercial spaces" will actually get any use as such. Three more triplexes were built just to the south of those buildings about five years ago. Across the street are a few duplexes built around the same time.
So let's hear it for a little housing diversity on Haverford Avenue, a real change of pace from what we're generally seeing these days in West Philly. And if things go as planned, the 4050 Apartments will hopefully synergize with nearby Lancaster Avenue and create a new artist hub in the area, stoking the flames of creativity in the neighborhood.