Permits have been issued for the construction of a three-story, six-unit residential building at 1424 Parrish Street in Francisville, North Philadelphia. The structure will span a footprint of 1,360 square feet and will contain 3,771 square feet of floor space, which grants an average of 629 square feet per apartment. The building will feature a roof deck. The site is owned by Rubin Realty LLC, which also recently filed permits for a three-story, four-unit building less around the corner at 830 Burns Street, which will rise on the opposite end of the same vacant lot. Both projects also feature the same architect (Alexander Fiskman) and general contractor (Modern Solution LLC). Construction is expected to cost $180,000.
The building will rise on the south side of the block between North 15th Street and narrow, alley-like North Burns Street, which has witnessed a construction boom over the past six years, where the block-long thoroughfare saw an extraordinary transformation from a building-free landscape into an urban stretch lined almost entirely with low- and mid-rise buildings on one side. Development at North Burns Street is covered in greater detail in the 830 Burns Street article.
Over the past few years, the surrounding blocks have witnessed one of the greatest comeback stories on he entire Philadelphia cityscape. Once a dense, bustling neighborhood, Francisville was ravaged by depopulation and demolitions in the postwar period. As recently as fifteen years ago, the blocks surrounding the intersection of Parrish Street and North 15th Street were a veritable wasteland of vacant lots, punctuated by sporadic remaining buildings. Area improvements began to trickle in around 2008-2009, which include maintenance and of vacant lots and a large mural at 1516 North Parrish Street.
A construction boom took off in earnest in the second half of the 2010s, Today, the surrounding area is on the way to surpassing even the density of its heyday, and most blocks are packed with new residential buildings that rise up to five stories. A number of prewar properties have been renovated, as well.
Despite a steadily growing volume of new construction, the neighborhood retains room for further growth, albeit the number of construction-ready sites is diminishing. In order to capitalize on the high demand and the neighborhood’s five-minute proximity to both Center City to the south and Temple University to the north (via the nearby Fairmount Station of the Broad Street SEPTA line), the city ought to upzone the area for taller and denser construction, invest in local streetscape improvements and green space, and encourage ground-level retail outside of the primary commercial corridors at Broad Street and Ridge Avenue.