30-Unit Adaptive Reuse Project Underway in Kensington

173 w berks st adaptive reuse project
Adaptive reuse underway at 173 W. Berks St. – looking northwest from Mutter and Berks

Back in September of 2019, we told that a plan to convert the former headquarters of the Peter Woll & Sons Feather Company at 173 W. Berks St. into 30 residential units was going before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for a variance. The project needed a variance as property is zoned medium industrial (I-2) which does not allow residential use by-right.

The ZBA ended up granting the project team the variance. The plan includes 30 bicycle stalls within the building. Commercial building permits were issued for the project in September of 2020.

173 W. Berks St. Rendering
173 W. Berks St. Rendering
173 w berks st adaptive reuse project
Adaptive reuse underway at 173 W. Berks St. – Berks side of building

Work is now underway on the site. New windows with black trim are beginning to be installed, giving us a glimpse of how the exterior of the masonry structure will look when the project is completed. There are also plans to open up arched doorways along Berks St. and Mutter St. Another large original doorway on the Berks St. side of the building that is currently bricked over will also be opened up with fixed ornamental doors added to the opening. The balconies on the southeast corner of the warehouse will be reused with some of the residential units having access to them.

Overall, we think this project is fantastic. We’re very happy to see a beautiful old industrial building refreshed and reused. As we’ve told you many times before, the West Berks Street corridor is seeing a massive amount of development. Before you know it, the area surrounding the El station will have its own commercial scene and development will stretch all the way from Front Street to Broad Street along Berks.

Although this project does not include a commercial component, the additional residents that it will attract to the neighborhood will help fuel some of the new retail operators that will be opening in the coming months and years as other nearby development are completed. If you’re interested in leasing a retail space in the neighborhood, reach out.

How do you feel about this project? Would you have ever thought there would be so much development happening on West Berks Street?

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