Minor cleanup work has started inside the former Croydon Apartments located at 49th and Locust, according to Matt Barrabee of Orens Brothers. Orens Brothers is the developer poised to renovate the long vacant building once known as a squatter’s paradise into 127 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.

The building

Rendering from February

Readers have noted in our comments section that work began inside the building. A crossing guard posted across the street from the site said workers had been in and out since early fall. When we reported on the development before Valentine’s Day last winter, Barrabee said construction could begin within 90 days. He also said tenants might occupy apartments by September 2013.

Strong new chain

“It took longer to get financing than expected,” said Barrabee this week. He could not confirm whether enough funding had yet been acquired. “Nothing major’s gonna happen, you know, until at least next year.” He also said Orens Brothers is in the process of finalizing designs.

When in 2013 that might be remains uncertain. Barrabee said he is somewhat out of the loop on this project as he has been more focused on Orens Brothers’ modular student housing development, Diamond Green, located at 10th and Diamond Streets around Temple’s campus.

We spotted a man in a yellow hat working on the one of the upper floors at the Croydon the last week of November, stopped to try snap a photo, waited for a bit or him to reappear in the window but failed to capture him with the lens. Still, signs indicate the development is proceeding, albeit slowly. As for Apple Lofts, another planned West Philly residential renovation of an old building, the same cannot be said.

No worker, but at least you see his water bottle