It’s been more than fifteen years since we called West Philadelphia home, but for whatever reason we went to Lei’s Auto & Collision Center at 4200 Ludlow St. a couple times in recent memory to get the Nakedphillymobile inspected. We were in the area the other day, not because we were looking for any auto work, and when we passed by this address we realized that Lei’s days of fixing and inspecting cars has come to a close. The entire building is surrounded by a construction fence, and it’s clear to that this isn’t simply a case of a fixit job for the auto shop.

Fence around the building
Looking west on Ludlow

We took a look at City records for the property and discovered a totally unsurprising demolition permit, pulled a few months ago. We also spied a zoning permit which provided some more insight into the plan for this property. That permit suggests a plan for a new apartment building with 96 apartments and 23 underground parking spaces. Thanks to the permissive CMX-4 zoning designation for the property, this project is proceeding as a matter of right.

Looking south, toward Chestnut

We don’t know this for sure, but we have to think that this project will target a student population. And that makes sense, given the numerous student housing projects we’ve seen in this general area over the last however many years. If anything, this seems more intuitive than some of the buildings we’ve seen pop up further away from Penn, as this address is just a couple blocks away from the edge of campus.

It feels like there was a bit of a lull in student housing construction in this part of town, and we were wondering whether things might actually be slowing down on that front. But we were fools, it seems, to think such a thing. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve told you about several new projects, including a 42-unit building on the 4300 block of Market and a total of 165 units over two buildings on the 4400 block of Chestnut. And oh yeah, there’s the 130-unit building coming on the 4100 block of Chestnut. Between these projects and the project described above, that’s roughly 450 units coming in the next couple years just northwest of Penn. Lull shmull, that’s a ton of units!