If you’ve ever ventured on Amber St. between Allegheny Ave. and Westmoreland St., you have likely seen two hulking old warehouses connected by a catwalk. These structures, along with some other nearby buildings, make up a massive artist studio and office complex called The Loom. The buildings, which were originally part of the Masland Carpet Mills, are filled with local creative people and companies. Things were manufactured within the walls of these structures back in the 1800’s, and people are still creating within them today. If you’re looking for a unique place to locate your business, definitely check out The Loom.
Just past The Loom on the corner of Amber and Westmoreland sits a stunning low-rise warehouse with intricate architectural details, a ghost sign, and some amazing doors. This warehouse at 2101 E Westmoreland St. was once the home of the Scholler Brothers, which manufactured soaps for the textile industry. We imagine they sold their product to the carpet mill across the street back in the day.
It pains us to report that this beautiful building may meet the wrecking ball in the not too distant future. The owners are proposing to demolish most existing structures on the site. The permits state that “building 1” will be saved. From the preliminary rendering, we believe that “building 1” is the tall building on the northern side of the site along Amber St., but have not confirmed that.
The plans call for 11 residential units within building 1 and 48 units within a new construction structure (a total of 59 residential units). 18 parking spots and 20 bike spaces are also included in the proposal.
This project was supposed to present to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on April 8th for a variance as the parcels are zoned ICMX, which does not allow residential use by-right. As you may know, all ZBA meetings through at least June 19th have been postponed because of Covid-19. We’re not sure when the postponed meetings will be rescheduled. Due to the multi-month backlog of hearings, we imagine it could be quite some time before this project is able to present to the board.
Although we like to see the residential density and development in this section of the city, it would hurt our heart to see a beautiful piece of Philadelphia’s history get demolished. We must admit that the building does not seem to be in good shape. Aerial imagery shows that most of the roof is missing. We can’t imagine what affects water penetration and other natural forces have had on the integrity of the structure. We would have loved to have seen an overbuild project here, but the owners may have explored that option and determined that the building was unsalvageable.
How do you feel about this project? Would you be sad to see this building get demolished?
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