110 Units + Commercial Proposed in Kensington on American Street

1801-59 N American rendering
1801-59 N. American St. rendering with pedestrian walkway on left

North American Street from Girard Avenue to Berks St. and beyond has seen countless projects proposed and constructed over the last several years. This momentum has been fueled by the corridor’s prime, transit accessible location and the TIGER grant that transformed American St. from a wide industrial road to a more pedestrian friendly thoroughfare with bike lanes and green infrastructure.

We’ve written about and posted on our social media outlets about countless projects on or surrounding N. American St. in Kensington. We’ll add another to the list. Right next to the 179-unit mixed used project we covered in August, developers are proposing a 5-story building with 110 residential units, 2 commercial spaces, 39 bicycle spaces, and 60 car parking spots on a portion of the 157,204 square foot ICMX zoned parcel at 1801-59 N. American St.

1801-59 N American aerial view
Aerial View of 1801-59 N. American St. development site
1801-59 N. American St. Site Plan
1801-59 N. American St. Site Plan

1801-59 N. American St. sits on the northeast corner of American and Berks St. One of our favorite stores in the city is located at this address. If you love architecture and old things in general, stop into Provenance. They sell salvaged architectural items, antique furniture and fixtures, old growth lumber, and tons of other unique items. Whether you’re looking for a classic doorknob, a stained glass window, or even the gigantic old King of Jeans sign, Provenance has you covered. If you’re a fan of Provenance, have no fear. This new development will not be impacting Provenance’s building.

The proposed development is located on the southern end of the parcel, which is currently a pistol-shaped strip of vacant land that runs street-to-street from American St. to 2nd St.

1801-59 N. American St. rendering
1801-59 N. American St. rendering with drive aisle on right

An 11,061 square foot commercial space will be located on the ground floor of the new development fronting American St. while a 2,513 square foot commercial space will front 2nd St. A pedestrian walkway will be located on the north side of the development and will connect American and 2nd Streets. A dog run is planned along the pedestrian walkway.

The building, designed by Harman Deutsch Ohler Architecture, will be wrapped in brick, composite metal, and metal panels. A drive aisle will be located on the southern side of the site along American St. The building will be topped by a green roof with a rooftop terrace above the first floor.

1801-59 N. American St. rendering
1801-59 N. American St. rendering from 2nd St.

As residential use is not allowed by-right on ICMX properties, this project will need a zoning variance. The ZBA hearing is currently scheduled for March 10th.

Overall, we think this is a nice project bringing good residential density just blocks away from the Berks El Station. We’re happy to see the developers incorporate a large commercial space on American Street and excited to see the storefront located on 2nd St., which should connect the building to all of the action happening at the corner of 2nd and Cecil B. Moore.

How do you feel about this project? What kind of businesses would you like to see open in these storefronts if the project is approved?

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