The area of Kensington just north of Northern Liberties has been exploding over the last several years. There are multiple dense projects surrounding this stretch of Germantown Ave. and North American St. This makes a ton of sense to us as this area is a short walk to the Girard El Station and a ton of amenities in Northern Liberties and Fishtown.
The Crane Arts Center has held down the intersection of American St. and Master St. for more than a decade, sparking energy into an area that had long been an under-appreciated industrial section of the city. ReAnimator Coffee opened a cafe and roasting facility on Master St. in 2014. Word on the street is that they are expanding this location to offer dinner and drink service in the near future. Another old warehouse was recently renovated across the street from ReAnimator, bringing 50 residential units and retail to the neighborhood. Hundreds of other units are under construction nearby.
Just behind the 50 unit conversion is 1413-27 Germantown Ave. New owners purchased the parcels for $3.1 million total in 2017. The developers presented plans to the Civic Design Review (CDR) in 2017 for two mid-rise, mixed-use buildings containing a total of 120 residential units. Each 6-story structure will rise 60 feet and hold an industrial space on the first floor. These spaces are intended to be used by artisans and makers. The building at 1413 Germantown Ave. will house 50 dwelling units and 15 parking spaces while 1427 Germantown Ave. will hold 70 apartments and 21 parking spaces. Despite community opposition, the developers did not need to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) as the property is generously zoned Industrial Residential Mixed-Use (IRMX), which allows dense mixed-use developments by right.
Construction at the site is well underway. The southern tower at 1413 Germantown has already topped out and there is a sign on the building advertising that leasing is in progress. 1427 Germantown is just beginning to rise. The white facade materials are a change from what was originally presented to the CDR, but we think they look nice. Hopefully, the materials and color stand the test of time and do not stain. We imagine that the northern structure will be the same color, but are not sure of this detail.
We are excited for the density that this project is bringing to Olde Kensington. This area is going to be unrecognizable in a few years as other projects nearby come to completion. All of the new residents and eyes on the street will add energy and safety to the neighborhood. We are also interested to see how the ground floor industrial space is utilized. As the Crane Arts Center becomes harder to find space in, artists will need somewhere to go. This will help some of them stay put in the area. How do you feel about this project?
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