The RSA-5 zoned lot at 3rd and Christian in Queen Village has sat vacant for as long as we can remember. The lot was once much bigger. However, developers built 20 townhomes on the southern portion of the parcel in 2011. In 2015, we saw the owners consolidate 9 deeded lots into 2 lots. The tiny Salter St. was also officially stricken from the grid at this time. We thought development was on the horizon, but we were wrong. The lot has continued to sit undeveloped. The wooden fence erected around the property in 2012 has begun to weather.
In late 2018, developers released plans to build a 40 unit building with 11 interior parking spots and 14 bicycle spaces. A zoning variance is required for this project as only single family homes are allowed to be built on the RSA-5 lot by-right. Neighbors strongly opposed the project and its lack of parking. As a result of the community’s pushback, the development team has changed their proposal to include only 33 residential units and has increased the parking count to 20 spots. The ZBA decision has been continued on two occasions since the original plans were released. The project will appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment again on May 8th. Hopefully, we will get a decision this time around.
We think that an apartment building is appropriate in this location and we definitely prefer it to a vacant lot. Rents in the neighborhood continue to rise, and more units on the market would help slow this upward movement. If townhomes are built on the lot, they will provide housing for a small group of families and purchase prices will likely approach the seven-figure mark. On the other hand, an apartment building would allow many new residents to enjoy the neighborhood. There are not many large developable lots left in Queen Village. We think this is a good opportunity to add residential density to the neighborhood before it is not possible anymore. What would you like to see built on this lot?
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