We’re not much into zombie movies, but it sure feels like a bunch of projects are coming back from the dead these days. One such project is Village Square on Haverford, a mixed-use project that we last checked on back in 2018. This project near 37th & Haverford in Mantua was originally slated for a mass of surface parking anchored by a grocery store. The City used eminent domain to take nearly all of the properties on these blocks in West Philly.

A look at James Dupree's colorful studio back in 2018

After pushback from resident and artist James Dupree, whose colorful studio/home was saved after a prolonged fight against the city, the plans for what’s called Village Square on Haverford were updated back in 2019 to decrease parking, increase the residential mass, and keep Dupree’s studio as a centerpiece of the site. Since those plans were released, Dupree decided to sell his studio in 2021, and that studio was demolished soon after the sale. As you can see now, the site is completely vacant and awaiting its next step.

An aerial of the updated site plan, which fits in much better with the existing neighborhood
Looking at the corner of 37th & Haverford
View of the future phases from 36th & Haverford

We are thrilled to report that thanks to a trip to the Zoning Board of Adjustments, we have some updates on what’s planned. Lomax Real Estate Companies is leading the charge here, working with architects WRT to design a handsome complex, though we’re still in the dark about what will fill the space of the former art studio. This trip to the ZBA was due to a proposed increase in height to accommodate a full second floor (instead of a mezzanine level) for a medical center, which will sit above the grocery store, the operator of which has also changed since the original plans from 2019. The ZBA approved the change, so we are hopeful that we will see things start soon on the 72-unit building that will be the first phase of the 162-unit project. Let’s check out some renderings to get a better idea of what’s in store.

We are thrilled to see this project moving forward after so long. This will be a great development for the area, bringing grocery and medical services while also providing affordable housing – both for-sale and for-rent. We didn’t hear any construction timelines, but given that zoning approval is now in hand, we’d expect to start seeing work on site at some point in the near future.