Another Student Housing Building Under Construction in Mantua

Now that all of University City’s biggest institutions, including Drexel, the Science Center, and Penn are building new towers, pockets in nearby neighborhoods where development has been quiet for years are now seeing improvement, like rapid development near 40th & Baring (though if you look at the architecture over there, improvement might not really be the right word).

When you come over the Spring Garden Bridge there are three new projects now under construction on Spring Garden before you hit 35th Street. From Spring Garden Street, the bulk of traffic heads south. But last week, on the lookout for new projects, we decided to head north.

Quadplex under construction

It wasn’t long before we spotted 516 N. 34th St., a new corner quadplex under construction at 34th & Brandywine. The property was purchased in June 2012 for $80K. Surely, it will be home to more student housing, like the five triplexes recently built up the street.

Up the street, five triplexes are occupied

These two projects mark private investment north of Spring Garden Street in an area that’s seen little to none of that until very recently. But with development surrounding Baltimore Avenue continuing to stretch west with new businesses opening every couple of months, and with Lancaster Ave. strengthening around 38th Street, it seems like more developers are starting to realize the development potential in Mantua. And while there are still many blocks in this neighborhood that still look really rough, that could change as more vacant land is developed and more homes are rehabbed. Hopefully, the students and the long-time residents will be able to coexist happily together.

–Lou Mancinelli