This spring we brought you news of a string of three rehabs along the 5100 block of Chester Avenue. As of late, 5020 Chester Ave., the middle three of those homes, was completed and a few homes down at 5030 Chester Ave., demo work has begun.

Progress on the three

This winter, we initially wondered whether this block in the Kingsessing neighborhood might attract a developer with its proximity to the Baltimore Ave. commercial corridor and the 13 trolley running outside its front doors right into University and Center City. While the renovations seem to be getting on, perhaps now is the time for the two homes across the street that intersect with Divinity & Chester to be transformed from worn to welcoming. 5130 Chester was last acquired for $32K in December, 2012, by the same individual who purchased 5120 two months earlier in October for $38K.

Looking west on the block

Looking east

While it may seem off the development grid to some, this block has its charms. There’s Farm 51 right on the corner across the street from the Kingsessing Rec Center, which features fields, courts, its own small farming area and a library. It’s close to public transit and the Media/Elywn Regional Rail Line stops at 49th & Chester. And with the recent spur of plans for new restaurants and a garden center at 50th & Baltimore, a short walk away 51st & Chester looks even more solid. One wonders whether the arrival of Farm 51, marking an early rehab on the block, sparked the beginning of its slow rebuilding.

–Lou Mancinelli