After stopping by a mysterious property at 8th & Girard the other day, we couldn’t help but make our way further down 8th St. to 900-18 N. 8th St. to see what we could see. Happily, what we saw was exactly what we had hoped, as construction is now full steam ahead on The Darien, a two-building project that we last visited in March on a development excursion across the city. Back then, things were just getting started on this project from Post Brothers and CosciaMoos Architecture, but both buildings are now well out of the ground.

Walking south on 8th St., construction is in full view
A rendering looking west on Poplar shows off the buildings
A closer look at the contemporary design next to the viaduct

Originally slated to be an even taller pair of buildings, this tandem of five-story buildings is still adding a huge injection of density on what used to be empty surface lots. 212 units and 69 parking spaces will join the fold here, along with two retail spaces, adding an energy that has long been absent from this area until recently. In addition to the exciting construction progress to date, we also noticed an updated rendering on site; while extremely similar in feel and scale to the previous renderings, this one offers a slightly different take on the color scheme.

Looking at the progress from 8th & Poplar, with The Poplar in the background
Western building is topped out and getting windows, while the eastern building is awaiting framing
A rendering posted on site shows off a slightly updated color scheme

It probably goes without saying, but this is a massive boost to this area. The train tracks immediately to the west didn’t exactly pose a welcoming walkway, but the newly activated street presence should make this area much more appealing to those on foot. Additionally, the new residents here will have access to the amenities of The Poplar, just next door. This project – also from Post Brothers – features a wide variety of luxuries in the former Quaker building, so we’d imagine that will be quite the carrot for those thinking about new digs in the Poplar neighborhood. And who knows, maybe one day there will be a shiny new regional rail station close by, providing even more connectivity for the many, many new folks who will be joining the area in the coming years.

An aerial photo of The Poplar next door