For over a decade, the southwest corner of 46th & Sansom has prominently featured a large vacant lot. True, it's not quite as depressing as some other lots nearby, but it's still a huge chunk of land that seems to be crying out for development. With student housing stretching its way in all directions from Penn and Drexel, and exciting new projects like the relocation of the Philadelphia Police HQ to the Provident building a block away, the location certainly represents an opportunity. So it comes as no shock that holes appeared in the ground here somewhat recently, in anticipation of some new buildings.
According to public record, the properties pictured above are owned by Sansom Street Development LP. They acquired most of the parcel back in 2004 through an act of the Redevelopment Authority, but they didn't get the property on the corner until 2013. According to some old PRA minutes, the original plan for these lots was to build homes to sell. Somewhere along the line, the plan changed to involve the construction of rental units. Though we can't find the permits online, the PRA minutes indicate that the developer will soon be constructing six buildings, each with 4 two-bedroom apartments. These units will be rented at market rate.
It's certainly encouraging that this lot is finally being developed, with plans coming through after nearly a decade. Hopefully, this will both inspire renovation efforts at two buildings nearby that could use some TLC, and encourage the PRA to sell off additional vacant lots it owns nearby. And let's cross our fingers it doesn't take another decade for it to happen.