We were trekking through Mantua the other day and were cheered when we noticed some significant progress at a long vacant property where 33rd Street hits Mantua Avenue. We brought this triangular 13K sqft parcel to your attention about a year and a half ago, noting that it had been sitting vacant for as long as we could remember and feeling no sense of shock that the property was City-owned. As is often the case when we write about vacant land, we told you about this property because we expected that redevelopment was on the horizon. And indeed, if you visit this corner today, perhaps on your way to or from the zoo, you’ll see that something is cooking here.

View of the project from the east
Closer look
Rear view

As we told you previously, the City sold the entire parcel to an entity called Westview Development Partners, and the developers are taking a phased approach to developing the property. The first phase includes four duplexes, and in a bit of an unusual approach for Mantua, the units will be offered as condos. Per the project website and the sign at the site, these units will be listed in the mid-$200K range, which is certainly a more affordable price point than would be possible for a full-sized new construction home.

Just north, looking up the 34th Street bridge

As we’ve shown you over the years, Mantua has seen an uptick in development after years of disinvestment, as student housing construction has edged further and further north. This parcel isn’t even that far into the neighborhood, as it’s a mere two blocks from the zoo and a half dozen blocks from the Spring Garden Bridge. Nevertheless, the redevelopment of this sizable and long vacant parcel should spur additional interest in surrounding blocks, which haven’t seen much development to date. It’s also important to note that the owners of this project have room to build some more units adjacent to the duplexes now under construction, so this parcel should continue to draw attention in the coming years. We’ll be curious to see if the price points in phase one continue to rise through construction, and we’ll be even more interested to see how much people will pay for condos here in future phases. More to the point, we wonder what “affordability” will look like when the project is finished at some point in the future.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the developers had initially promised a lower price point for these units. That was the case for a different project from the same developer, not this development.