As plans for one large-scale development at 43rd & Baltimore in West Philly finish winding their way through the community process, Phase II of another is concluding several blocks away. By June 1st, the northern wing of the Orens Brothers redevelopment of the previously derelict squatter's paradise Croydon Hall at 49th & Locust, a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, will come online, with the remaining 74 units scheduled to be completed by August.
The 27-unit northern wing is the second section of the building to be reopened during the past six months. The southern wing opened back in the fall. According to Scott Orens, all but a few of the units in the northern wing have been pre-leased, while all but one of the units in the southern wing are now occupied. Units run from $850-$1,000, for one-bedroom, and $1100-1600 for two- and three-bedrooms.
“We're moving forward with a lot of different phases at once to get the project done and take advantage of the market,” Orens said.
That timeline follows close to the one Orens Brothers shared with us in December 2012, when minor cleanup work to prepare for the renovations had just started. Orens Brothers acquired the building in August 2011 for $1.75M. Before that, the attractive collection of buildings sat abandoned for 15 years. They became a home to drug use and squatting.
Meanwhile, the Orens Brothers will soon also be busy on another project in the neighborhood. An Inquirer report recently announced they were under contract to purchase the now closed Alexander Wilson School at 46th & Woodland, where they will renovate the school building to create a mixed-use project. Orens confirmed the group was now busy with preconstruction work there. That must mean the Orens Brothers feel the Croydon was a success, and West Philly has a valuable market right now. But you probably already knew that.