Back in 2015, Powelton Village neighbors were up in arms when they heard that a development company was planning to knock down a full block’s worth of mixed-use brick buildings on the 3600 block of Lancaster Ave. in order to construct a residential-only project. The neighbors gathered together and got the whole row of buildings designated historic. We were extremely happy to see these beautiful buildings saved. The developer, on the other hand, had to switch up their plans.
After a bunch of back-and-forth, the developers and community agreed on a plan that would preserve the facades of the whole block, would keep the full corner buildings, would allow partial demolition of the backs of the interior buildings, and would keep the ground level activated with retail. After this agreement, the parcel sold in April of 2018 for $13.9 million to a subsidiary of CA Ventures.
New construction and addition permits were pulled in July of 2018 and work has been moving along ever since. The project will include 126 residential units and 5 retail spaces. The addition has risen off the back of the row of brick buildings. The new construction building has replaced a surface parking lot that formerly sat at 36th and Warren St. The project is being called The Link University City.
We have seen use permits pulled for two of the retail spaces. One use permit was for a restaurant or bar. The other was for the sale of groceries. We have not heard any rumors of who the operators of these businesses are, but look forward to finding out.
This area is in the midst of huge changes. We’ve told you about the $1 billion uCity Square master development that is replacing the old University City High School with 6.5 million square feet of residential, retail, office, and lab space. That site is right across the street from this project and we recently covered the 463-unit mixed-use subproject at uCity Square that is in the works. An additional 589 residential units and multiple new retail spaces are going to make this stretch of Lancaster Ave. much more activated and full of energy. How do you feel about the density that is coming to University City? What other types of retail businesses would you like to see open here?
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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