About two weeks ago, we came across an event invitation which advertised the grand opening of a project we had covered in May of last year, when the site was but a hole in the ground. Just from looking at it, you might think that the new building at 4050 Haverford Ave. another student housing project, but it was actually conceived by People's Emergency Center as an affordable housing option for low income artists in the area. While anyone can technically live in these apartments, priority will go to verifiable artists who meet the income targets for the project, between 20 and 60% of area median income. The new building sticks out in this rowhome neighborhood, but considering the purpose of this development, we think that's a great attribute.

The building

On Preston Street, perhaps an entrance to shared studio space

Street frontage

If you take a harder look at the above shot of Preston Street, you'll see construction fencing for two other unrelated projects, undoubtedly but probably not exclusively aimed at college students. 522 N. Preston St., was formerly a dilapidated two story twin house while 528 N. Preston St. was once a single story garage/industrial building. Both of these buildings were demolished within the past few years.

528 N. Preston back in 2013

528 N. Preston St., back of Budd Street project

522 N. Preston St. today

Our details for 528 N. Preston St. are a little hazy because we can't find any current permits online for this property, and neglected to take pictures of the posting at the site. After poking through the zoning archive, we're pretty sure that this will be the second phase of the project you see above on Budd Street and will entail three buildings, each with three units and "ground-floor retail space" that will eventually become residential. At 526 N. Preston St., things are more straightforward and we know to expect a 4 story, 4 unit building which will probably look a lot like the other new construction in the area.

Coming from any of the more built-out sections of Philadelphia, this area is absolutely astounding in terms of the amount of construction that is happening. Luckily, People's Emergency Center has a strong presence and should continue to be something of a guiding hand to ensure that the neighborhood maintains housing diversity.