West Philly along Baltimore Avenue is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The former street car suburb was annexed by the city in 1854. The neighborhood boasts beautiful Victorian architecture and streets lined with mature trees. It is a truly magical part of Philadelphia.
Over the last couple of decades, development and students have crept westward from University City. Blocks have become sprinkled with new modern boxes between the enchanting Victorian buildings that have stood for over a century. New businesses have flocked to the neighborhood to support all of the new residents. Baltimore Ave. between 40th St. and 53rd St. has some of the coolest shops, cafes, and restaurants in the city. Farmers’ markets and flea markets are commonplace.
Malcolm X Park stands on the western edge of gentrification in this neighborhood. It is a huge, beautiful park surrounded by architectural gems. Just to the northeast of the park, a flag lot is situated in the middle of a residential block. The oddly-shaped CMX-2 parcel is surrounded by RSA-3 lots. A large old garage stands on the lot behind the townhouses with a drive aisle stretching out to 51st St.
Developers have secured permits to build 30 residential units and 3 commercial spaces on the flag lot. On one hand, we appreciate the density this development will bring. However, we do feel for the people living in the houses surrounding the flag lot. Instead of a nice open space behind their homes, they are going to have a large apartment building to look at. We have not seen any renderings for the project, but it looks like the architect for the project is Interface Studio Architects. This company has produced some pretty interesting and unique buildings in the past. We hope that they have designed something here that will not detract from the neighboring properties. We also wonder how high the structure will rise and if you will be able to see it from the street. How do you feel about this development? Would you want it in your backyard?
Kyle is a commercial real estate agent at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients buy and sell multifamily investment properties, development opportunities, and industrial sites.
Email Kyle@RittenhouseRealty.com if you are looking to buy or sell a property