We recently brought to your attention a 31 unit mixed-use building in Norris Square. We mentioned that the energy from Fishtown, Olde Kensington, and East Kensington is trickling into this neighborhood that sits west of the Market-Frankford line tracks.
If you happen to find yourself in Norris Square, you will be sure to notice the hulking, historically-designated, 10-story structure at 2000-2034 N. 2nd St. This building was originally built in 1922 as the home of the Gotham Silk Hosiery Co. Since 1968, the Charles Schober Company, a wicker furniture wholesaler, has occupied the space.
The parcel includes the large warehouse building as well as two empty lots to the north and south of the building. A garage stood on the southern lot, but was recently demolished.
The property sold to developers at the end of 2018 for $5.6 million. The project team has received approval to pursue a 142-unit development. The existing structure will be converted into 78 residential units plus ground-floor retail. Two four-story buildings will be built on the empty lots and will house an additional 52 dwelling units. Along Norris St., the development team plans to construct 12 townhouses. 77 parking spaces will also be included.
The project has received a $1.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant. RACP grants are meant to match existing investments in projects that the Pennsylvania governor’s office believes have the potential to positively impact their surrounding areas. The parcel also falls within a federal opportunity zone, which will give investors long-term tax benefits.
The first phase of the $28 million project will be the conversion of the existing 10-story structure. The rehabbed building will be called Gotham Tower. E-Built, the developer behind the project, plans to offer 10% of these units as affordable housing. Interior demolition has already begun, and earth is being moved on the southern lot. It looks like they may be removing old infrastructure from the ground. Often times, former industrial parcels will hold oil tanks and other hazardous items that need to be remediated. We expect work to continue as multiple permits have been pulled on the property.
We are extremely excited to see this project get underway. It will be truly transformational for the neighborhood. The additional residents and retail will bring even more energy to Norris Square, and we expect it to attract the attention of even more developers. If you haven’t taken notice of Norris Square yet, you are running out of time. Property here is only getting more expensive.