On a mild day over the weekend, we took a stroll around the West Powelton area of West Philly, a neighborhood which has been seeing tremendous construction of aesthetically questionable but undoubtedly useful student housing in recent years. During our walk, we happened upon an old abandoned apartment building-turned-church at 437 N. 40th St. which we covered a little over two years ago. At that time, we hoped for a renovation here after seeing that the building had come under new ownership.
As you can see, it appears as though nothing has happened at this property since we last covered it. The windows remain boarded up and the metal trim remains tarnished. But there is more here than meets the eye. We recently discovered that this property received a zoning variance back in May to install an attached stairwell tower, roof deck, and bike parking, along with a few other things to make this building workable as a 19 unit apartment building. But this doesn't mean we're completely in the clear for this building. As far as we can tell, no construction permits have actually been pulled since that variance was approved. But, it gives us a lot of hope that we could finally see redevelopment here in the year to come. And considering the rate of other construction activity in this area, it makes a whole lot of sense.