Another Project in the Works on the 1000 Block of Fairmount

The 1000 block of Fairmount Avenue doesn't exactly jump off the page as an attractive location for development. Railroad tracks run a block and a half to the east, and a few warehouses sit between 10th Street and the tracks. And the north side of the block is the southern side of the Richard Allen Homes, a PHA development that runs all the way to Girard Avenue. The south side of the block is dominated by vacant land, with a mere four residential buildings in the middle of the block breaking up the chain of vacancy.

Richard Allen Homes at 10th & Fairmount

Despite these facts on the ground, Carmel Developments built a residential building on this block a few years ago. The project, which they called Fairmount Abode, included half a dozen condo units and underground parking and sold out relatively quickly. One of the units went on the market for the second time about a year ago, trading at $300K. This was a $70K premium over what was paid in 2013, a good indication that this block isn't immune to the positive momentum we're seeing in other neighborhoods around Center City. 

Fairmount Abode is on the right

Despite the success of the Fairmount Abode project, we haven't had a reason to come back to this block since it was finished. Until today, that is. A reader gave us the heads up about a new hole in the ground, so we naturally went to check it out.

Hole in the ground

The construction is happening at 1002-04 Fairmount Ave., which were (as you might guess) previously sitting vacant. According to public record, the developers have owned the lots since 2008, and we couldn't tell you what inspired them to finally move forward to redevelop these lots. The permits indicate that they're planning something unexpected, a pair of two-story single-family homes. We wonder why they're going with two-story homes, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they're using modular construction? That wouldn't seem to matter, though- we confess we're confused on this one.

Given the amount of vacant land on this block, you might think that it's mostly owned by City agencies, but you'd be incorrect. The corners of 10th & Fairmount and 11th & Fairmount are owned by the City, but private developers own just about every other parcel on the block. Assuming this new project succeeds, those other developers could be encouraged to build on some of the other lots on the block. It would certainly be an unexpected but welcome turn to see a few more projects appear on the 1000 block of Fairmount in the next couple years.