Construction appears to be substantially complete at a 15-townhouse development at 1100 Diamond Street next to the Temple University campus in North Philadelphia. Each home offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the project and each is expected to sell for around $250,000 as workforce housing.
The development replaces a parking lot, formerly known as the Diamond Street parking lot, just that was situated just to the east of the Tyler School of Art building at the university, which houses its art and architecture programs. Although underbuilt for such a centrally-located, transit-accessible site (the Susquehanna-Dauphin Station on the Broad Street Line and the Temple University regional rail station are both situated within a five-minute walk), the development, nevertheless, makes for a great improvement for the lot, which long served as a peripheral, pedestrian-unfriendly feature that separated the campus from the neighborhood. The new project not only integrates the campus with the residential district in a seamless manner, but also provides workforce housing that adds programmatic diversity to the student housing-oriented real estate market that has dominated new development in the area for at least the past twenty years.
The design, comprised of red brick and black metal panels, is rather plain yet attractive, and further reinforces the development’s transitional role from the urban planning sense. The buildings’ scale and materiality matches that of the surrounding rowhouse-dominated neighborhood, while the crisp Postmodern design and flat, ornament-free surfaces recall the style of the Tyler School of Art building across the street, which opened its doors to students ten years ago in 2012.