A little over a year ago, we told you about a new building under construction at 17 S. 44th St., on the southeast corner of 44th & Ludlow. The building was notable in part because its construction was covering up the views of a mural on the northern wall of 21 S. 44th St. which pays tribute to the local Ethiopian community.

In the past

But perhaps even more noticeable, we expressed that the building would ultimately rise up to five stories, and would tower over all the other buildings in the vicinity. As we told you before, the height of the building was permitted by right because the property is zoned CMX-4, a zoning designation that doesn't seem to fit with the surrounding neighborhood and would likely get remapped if such a thing happened in this part of town. With a relatively small 15'x78' footprint, we'd have never expected a developer to build such a tall building, but here we are:

The new building

From the back, on Ludlow Street

The building, with architecture evoking some towns at the Jersey shore, contains five apartment units, ostensibly targeting students. Three are now available for rent, with prices ranging from $1,495/mo for a 2 bedroom unit to $1,795/mo for the 3 bedroom unit. According to the listing, the building is LEED Platinum certified, which means low utility bills (and more beer money!).

We'd guess that people will be split on the architecture of this building, but we find ourselves appreciating it more than expected. While a handful of projects in West Philadelphia have successfully blended in with the surrounding neighborhood, the vast majority of new construction projects are bland and disappointing, to be kind. This building makes no effort whatsoever to blend in with the neighborhood, but we still find it oddly compelling. Maybe it's all the windows, or maybe we're just pining for summer as the weather turns cooler and the days get shorter.

Disclosure: OCF Realty, owner of Naked Philly, manages this property.