A three-story, 15-unit apartment building is proposed at 2022 North 22nd Street in North Philadelphia West. The development will replace a vacant lot on the west side of the block between West Norris and West Diamond streets. Designed by Kore Design, the building will span 13,696 square feet and feature several roof decks, a green roof, and full sprinkling. Permits list Kumas Homes as the contractor and a construction cost of $550,000.
The building will rise from a T-shaped footprint that widens toward the rear and measure 55.5 feet wide and 88.5 feet deep. Two light wells will run part of the way along either side frontage, with one holding several balconies. More balconies will overlook an 11.5-foot-deep rear yard. Permits for the project were filed last December, at a time when developers rushed to secure permits before the end-of-year expiration of full ten-year tax abatements.
The development at 2022 North 22nd Street will fill of numerous vacant lots that span an area that saw particularly severe devastation during the postwar period of depopulation and demolitions, which continue to this day. A number of three-story prewar rowhouses still line the block, yet over a half of the street frontage at the block and across the street consists of vacant grass lots, which, thankfully, were trimmed and enclosed with low double-plank fences in the late 2000s.
Over the past two decades, Temple University, with its burgeoning demand for student housing and tens of thousands of employment opportunities for the surrounding community, has acted as a catalyst behind a construction boom that helped revitalize much of North Central Philadelphia. However, the project at 2022 North 22nd Street is situated within a 15-plus-minute walk of Temple, in an area that has long been considered just outside of the university’s orbit. As such, unlike the blocks closer to the uni, the surrounding area has barely seen any new construction in recent years. With this in mind, the proposed development, whether meant for university students or not, is a pleasant surprise that will hopefully signal further revitalization for the long-distressed neighborhood.