We’ve mentioned before that the neighborhoods surrounding Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia are some of our favorites in the city. The intricate Victorian rowhomes and the tree-covered streets make these neighborhoods feel like nowhere else in Philly. The trolley runs down Baltimore Avenue straight through 30th Street Station and the Market Frankford Line is a short walk north. We’re not the only ones who have realized the value of this area. Home prices and rents have skyrocketed over the last 10+ years, pushing long-term residents out of their homes.
One development company is trying to help curtail this major issue. Spak Group, who aims to be an equitable development company, has built a portfolio of 100+ units under management while paying its workers a $15+ / hour minimum wage, installing solar panels on many of their projects, and using small businesses as its building trade partners.
Spak’s newest project aims to be “Philadelphia’s First True Inclusionary Housing Project.” 5050 Baltimore Avenue, which sits right between Dock Street Brewery and Greensgrow West, will include 12 apartments and 2 retail spaces within a 14,000 square foot building on the formerly vacant, CMX-2, corner lot. 25% of the residential units will be affordable, with 1-bedroom apartments starting at $795 per month. Market rents will start at $1,095 per month. The project will include 30+ solar panels and will use high-efficiency electric-based systems. Spak was able to pursue this inclusionary project without taking any grants or using any tax incentives.
The renderings for the project look high-end. Spak’s management team has a background in historic preservation, and it is obvious that they are trying to make this project blend into the neighborhood rather than stand out. Foundation work is already underway and the project has a scheduled completion date of August 2020. We look forward to this corner being activated and to seeing how the building turns out. How do you feel about this project?
Kyle is a Philadelphia real estate agent on the Agent PHL team at Compass, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients find homes, investment properties, and development opportunities.
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