Site prep activity is starting to make headway at an 11-townhouse development at 244-58 North 2nd Street in Old City. Each of these homes is expected to rise four stories tall. The homes will include roof decks, cellars, and parking for two cars, the latest in a recent influx of mansions added around Center City.
No renderings are available for the project, although inferences as to their appearance can be made. On other properties surrounding the development parcels, a number of new townhomes have been constructed in recent years, with some taking on stately designs, while others take a more modern route. Whatever the case, the large size of the homes and expected high sales prices will likely mean that these new houses will be tastefully done, with exteriors that benefit the surrounding area.
The new homes will be replacing a property that is much unlike its historic surroundings. While the property once held more notable structures, they, as many others, were razed many years ago during the rise of the automobile. A gas station was put in their place, although that business also eventually fell through, eventually making the property become only an auto-repair shop, with no more pumps. A small one-floor building stood at the center of the property, and was surrounding by surface parking, forming a massive hole in a largely intact neighborhood.
This structure has been demolished in more recent times, and it seems as though efforts are being made to start getting the project off of the ground. Upon YIMBY’s site visit, excavation equipment was active, beginning to dig out a portion of the site to the south, while the asphalt from the former surface lot still remains to the north.
Due to blockades surrounding the entirety of the project, the development proves somewhat difficult to observe. Despite this, the excavation equipment can still be seen from 2nd Street, and is even more visible from Vine Street to the north.
Overall, the change of use at this location is definitely a positive, adding 11 more homes, although the project could likely have been build denser. Given the transit-accessible and walkable nature of Old City, a much larger mixed-use building, with retail on the ground floor and condos/apartments above, likely would have proven more beneficial to the neighborhood and its housing supply. However, with this sector of the neighborhood being somewhat on the quieter side, and with proven townhome developments already completed, it likely made more sense for developers to opt towards the less dense luxury row house direction.
YIMBY will continue to monitor progress on the development moving forward.