As Drexel University and the Penn continue to expand, as well as USciences and the University City Science Center, the neighborhood housing equation continues to change. We’ve covered numerous examples in the past of new construction and renovation pushing northward, into West Powelton and Mantua, with some blocks gaining tons of new structures in a very short period of time.

Take, for example, the 4000 block of Baring Street in West Powelton, which burst into our development consciousness in the last couple of years like an awakening.  More than 30 new units have been created along this block since 2011, and most recently, we were not at all surprised to find that two triplexes and one duplex are under construction between 4042-52 Baring St. at  the southeast intersection of Budd & Baring, across the street from the Elwyn Adult Program center.

Two of the buildings

Another down the street

4042 Baring St., a triplex designed by Harman Deutsch, is being built by 4042 Baring Land Trust. They acquired the lot for $72.5K at the beginning of this year. 4050 and 4052 Baring are being developed by 4050 Baring LLC, with a triplex on the corner and duplex next door. Of the three vacant lots remaining in between these two projects, two are privately owned and the third, 4048 Baring, was purchased by developers back in April. If we were of the betting breed, we’d wager that all three will be developed in the next year or two. 

And that’s not all that’s going up on this street! On the north side, at the intersection of Wiota & Baring, a series of duplexes and a couple of six-unit properties are in different stages of construction. If you’re counting, that’s almost another thirty units coming to this block in time for the coming school year. That’s just crazy.

More student housing rising across the street

And still more rising on Wiota

With plans for new Drexel buildings like a 24-story dorm at 34th & Lancaster, and the Dana and David Dornsife Center at 35th & Spring Garden, among others, and two new Science Center buildings, one at 36th and one at 37th & Market, all of this construction makes a lot of sense. We do wonder, of course, where in West Powelton or Mantua developers will start to look next.

–Lou Mancinelli