The pocket of parcels northeast of the Spring Garden El Station has been dominated by parking lots for years. We always found this as a weird use of space so close to the train line. Thankfully, a 30 unit mixed-use building was recently constructed at 117 Spring Garden St., extinguishing one of the parking lots and weaving this area back into the pedestrianized city grid.
Another mixed-use building is moving forward at 614 N. Front St. on a 3,554 square foot, CMX-2 zoned parcel. This 6-story, 25 residential unit mixed-use project recently received new construction permits. The building will include ground-floor retail, 9 bike spaces, and 9 car parking spots.
The new structure will be replacing an unspectacular two-story brick building that has already met the wrecking ball. Although we have a soft spot for old buildings, this demolition does not upset us as residential density is needed in this area. People want to live near public transit, and this location is under two blocks from the Spring Garden Station.
However, we are upset with what transpired across the street at 625 N. Front St. In 2018, we saw an early 20th century substation destroyed here. The magnificent building was in terrific shape with new windows adorning the brick facade. The developers that obliterated this building planned on building a Wawa gas station and a 320 car garage on the parcel. Thankfully, the project was opposed by neighbors and has not gained steam since. We hope it is dead in the water as it would really put a fork in the plan to pedestrianize Spring Garden Street’s connection to the Delaware River.
We are excited to see 25 more residential units added so close to the El. These apartments, being a short train ride to City Hall, should be attractive to commuters working in Center City. We also appreciate the addition of retail on this stretch of Front St. and hope that a business opens here that will cater to the new residents and people walking by. What business would you like to see open here? Do you think this is an appealing place to live?
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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