A little over a year ago, we traveled out to Walnut Hill in West Philadelphia to tell you about a derelict apartment building getting a makeover at 51st & Walnut. The building was vacant for a pretty long time and had garnered a whole lot of damage from graffiti, the weather, etc, and we were pretty happy that its fortunes were finally turning around.
Upon returning to the site this past week, we were pleased to see the work seems to be complete. The stucco front facade and other renovation materials actually work fairly well with this building, though we would have liked it even more if they could have restored the bay windows by approximating the original materials. Yeah, we would have loved to have seen it restored to its original Victorian glory, but we were not the ones doing the redevelopment design work.
Furthermore, when we found the rental listings online, we were pleasantly surprised to see that these units are going for prices that are right in line with what already exists in the nearby neighborhood, despite the fact that the condition of each unit is brand new. For example, a one bedroom, 1000 square foot unit is currently listed for $950 a month. A two bedroom of a similar size is listed for $1,050. Check out the links if you want to see some interior pics.
While perusing other properties in the neighborhood, we walked by 4930 Walnut St., a vacant twin dating back to the 1920s. An orange poster on the front of the building let us know that something was up.
The orange poster is actually a zoning notice from the summer, when the property owner applied to turn the single-family home into a triplex. It looks like the applicant was attempting to do this but then withdrew the application in November. We're not at all sure what this means. It's possible that the owner, frustrated by various obstacles to redevelopment as multi-family (perhaps lacking RCO support), withdrew and will do a rehab as an existing single-family building. It's also possible that they might try to sell it. Either way, it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer before this one makes its return to the land of the living.