Permits Issued For 20-30 West Allens Lane in Mount Airy, Northwest Philadelphia

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

Permits have been issued for the construction of a four-story, 76-unit multi-family building located at 20-30 West Allens Lane in Mount AiryNorthwest Philadelphia. Designed by CANNOdesign, the building will span 76,724 square feet and feature a green roof as well as 26 parking spaces at ground level. Tester Construction is listed as the contractor.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

The new building will feature an attractive exterior, matching design styles found throughout the neighborhood. The entire front-facing facade will see extensive use of Wissahickon Schist veneer (a stone found on other more historic buildings nearby). Windows will be arranged in a symmetrical gridded pattern, with windows on the edges of the building being slightly wider than those nearest to the center. Black window trim and plenty of lush landscaping surrounding the building are some of many higher-end finishes which will set this design apart from other projects.

20-30 West Allens Lane. Credit: Google.

20-30 West Allens Lane. Credit: Google.

The building is replacing a mechanic shop. The structure occupies a rather sprawling lot, with a surface parking lot fronting Allens Lane, with the low-slung and bland looking structure sitting more to the rear of the site. The site is situated just off of Germantown Avenue, Northwest Philadelphia’s main thoroughfare, and as such, thus building certainly is not the greatest use of the space.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

The new building, meanwhile, makes much more sense at this location. The added 76 units will provide density along a major commercial corridor which is well-served by transit, helping support businesses and providing more transit riders. The building’s design is certainly unique compared to other projects, and if executed properly, could become a leading role model for later new developments in Mount Airy and beyond.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

20-30 west Allens Lane. Credit: Canno Design.

For a more in-depth look at this project and its design, check out YIMBY’s previous article, which was published in October 2022 when renderings were first unveiled for the building. YIMBY will continue to monitor progress made on the development moving forward.

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28 Comments on "Permits Issued For 20-30 West Allens Lane in Mount Airy, Northwest Philadelphia"

  1. Susan Mandeville | March 10, 2023 at 9:14 am | Reply

    Isn’t it a bit overwhelming?? I feel sorry for the cute little house next door.

  2. Lawrie Foster | March 10, 2023 at 9:38 am | Reply

    There is way too much building going on in Mt. Airy. This
    area is quickly losing the charm and feeling of quiet and
    openess it once had. All for the greed of outside developers.

    • The same is going on in Chestnut Hill who is managing to keep some of it in check. Much like center city you have a bunch of lame people who like sterile homogenized development.

    • Craig M Oliner | March 10, 2023 at 10:13 pm | Reply

      The recently permitted apartment house discussed above is located in West Mount Airy. According to the American Community Survey, West Mount Airy lost 5.8% of its population between 2016 and 2021, the latest data available.

      • That’s right. We’re not even talking about growth. Projects such as this one are a first step in stabilizing a community’s population. Providing a diversity of housing stock can really help.

    • Cool and Very Smart Guy | March 13, 2023 at 5:06 pm | Reply

      Hi Lawrie,

      Could you please point out the charm and feeling of the existing Maclens Collision Repair?

      Thanks a bunch

  3. Georgette Bartell | March 10, 2023 at 9:44 am | Reply

    The schist isn’t enough to help it blend in. The box shape is uninteresting and since this area was never industrial, not apropos as a factory transitioned into a loft.

    • This will be a much better visual fit than the existing junk car lot/auto body shop. It is right near a major intersection w/ Germantown Ave which has plenty of boxy schist buildings. It is also directly across from some existing brick multi-family that give the building a lot more context. It also isn’t much taller than the SFH next door.

  4. As a near-neighbor for 15 years, it’s great to see more development in Mt. Airy! The design is a bit uninspired, but more density is desperately needed to bring our business corridor back to life. Too bad they decided to include parking — but at least the number of spaces isn’t too high. We need more pedestrians and more use of our two Septa train lines a short walk from this location (and less car dependency).

    • Craig M Oliner | March 11, 2023 at 10:20 am | Reply

      Agree x 2.

      • Susan Mandeville | March 11, 2023 at 11:08 am | Reply

        If you want people to depend on public transportation then said public transportation will have to do better than make us wait an hour and a half if we miss “the” train!!

        • Craig M Oliner | March 11, 2023 at 11:37 am | Reply

          Agree. My wife takes regional rail to and from work and faces the same obstacles. She’s very good about timing her travels.

        • A big part of how regional rail will be able to support more frequency is more ridership! The Chestnut Hill East and West have lost ridership we need more population density to support it! This is a great location for that density, near the Allen Lane Train station and 23, replacing an ugly building and big parking lot with housing!

  5. LOL The NIMBYS in the comment are giving me life!! Would the developers think of all the innocent parking lots and auto-oriented design? You really can’t make this up lol.

  6. Another building for transients who’ll spend a year or two and move on. These developers have no taste, no culture, no ethics. So do their minions who don’t even live in the areas effected who need to stay in their mom’s basement.

    • I bet you’re your own biggest fan.

    • Born in Mt Airy | March 29, 2023 at 8:34 am | Reply

      Oh horrors! All those transient seminary students that will want to live across from campus! I bet those people who want to be ministers really hate community… How will the neighborhood ever recover from the loss of this precious junk car lot!

  7. Craig M Oliner | March 10, 2023 at 1:08 pm | Reply

    Love this contextual development and the use of Wissahickon Schist. High density, low parking:unit ratio, ready access to Regional Rail, elegant and large windows, high quality materiel, landscaping, an irregularly shaped building, stone lintels, green roof, cornice, street trees, sidewalk bike racks (which will get considerable use), and replacement of highly visible surface parking and an auto repair shop make this an asset for Chestnut Hill.

    Fewer autocentric businesses and parking spots inhibit the owning and use of an automobile, creating more pedestrians, bikers and transit users. Go green.

    • Craig M Oliner | March 10, 2023 at 1:11 pm | Reply

      …make this an asset for Mount Airy.

    • Susan Mandeville | March 12, 2023 at 9:54 am | Reply

      Every building going up and I’ve seen a lot..look at Ridge Ave. in Roxborough is providing “bike spots” instead of auto spots. Do you think for a moment that people will sell their cars and buy bikes to ride in 25-degree weather on the streets of Phila.???

      • Craig M Oliner | March 12, 2023 at 7:13 pm | Reply

        Global warming may eliminate 25-degree weather, lol.

        Seriously, Philadelphia is blessed with multiple types of public trans, including bus, trolley, regional rail and subway. Those who need a car might elect to live in area with more parking. Providing plentiful off-street parking attracts those with an automobile. It’s called induced demand. Providing limited off-street parking attracts those without a car.

      • Born in Mt Airy | March 29, 2023 at 8:40 am | Reply

        Yes! I am one of those crazy people who rides my bike all year. I have been riding, walking and taking transit here year round my entire life. This is a great location for car free living.

  8. There’s a WAWA with no gas station as they earn lots of coin selling food, snacks and coffees to sate all tastes!

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