In University City, the academic institutions after which the area is named are continuing to stretch out in all directions. Just last week, for example, Drexel University reported that they had acquired, for a mere $8.9M, a triangular parcel at 32nd & Market that currently houses a Firestone auto repair shop.
While the Firestone will continue to operate for up to three more years, still undetermined future plans for the site may include student housing, retail, academic space, or a mixed-use development, according to a press release. The 26,675 sq ft parcel is located right in the jugular of the Drexel campus, and only a few paces from 30th Street Station. It’s also situated in a location central to Drexel’s strategic and master plans, which call for the development of a superblock along Market Street that will serve as a gateway…
Weeks ago, we wondered whether a former factory at 8th & Jefferson could represent an opportunity for future redevelopment. Though the site is only a half a dozen blocks away from Temple University, and just a couple of blocks south of the still-under-construction Paseo Verde project, it still has significant limitations in terms of its development potential. For one, it’s right next to elevated Septa tracks. Additionally, hundreds of PHA homes are located immediately to the east of the property. Still, redevelopment could certainly come to this location at some point in the future.
The old factory
Around the corner from this blighted building, we recently spotted a much smaller scale project in the works which could be a sign of things to come. In the last several months, 746 W. Master St. was demolished. Don’t mourn…
A couple of days ago, we showed you some renderings of a new retail building at 15th & Walnut, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Today, we have another project to bring to your attention from the same architects, this time with a much larger footprint and on the other end of town.
At the corner of 33rd & Walnut, Hill College House stands as a relic to a long-outdated use. Originally built as a women’s dorm, the small windows and drawbridge-like entrance likely did more to assuage parental worries than keep men out of the building after it opened in the 1950s. The building was designed by Eero Saarinen, the guy who designed the Saint Louis Arch, which apparently gets better ventilation than some of the rooms at Hill House. Now a coed dorm, Hill…
A few years ago, 17th & Page, just a couple of blocks from Temple‘s Main Campus, was pretty bleak. Sure, a few units were built near here back in 2008, but vacant land ruled the intersection for the most part.
Northeast corner in 2009
Northwest corner in 2009
The southern points of this intersection were (and remain) vacant as well. But the last year or so has brought some significant changes to the northern corners of the intersection, with more change coming.
Temple Reserve LLC, a medium-sized developer, purchased 2017 N. 17th St. back in 2009, and finally built a triplex on the site last year. From the looks of it, the property is currently occupied. And now it’s getting some company.
Already occupied on the northeast corner
If you’ve ever walked, driven, or biked around the northern end of Temple‘s campus, perhaps you’ve marveled at the beautiful and surprisingly intact architecture of Diamond Street. In an area that’s seen more than its share of vacancy and blight in recent decades, many of the Victorian townhouses on Diamond Street have remained more or less in one piece, and many have been respectfully renovated and rehabbed in recent years.
Homes on the 1700 block
According to the Preservation Alliance, the Diamond Street Historic District runs from Carlyle to Van Pelt Street, containing hundreds of homes constructed between 1875 and 1900. These homes were built due to both an increase in the City’s population during those years as well as the addition of two streetcar lines that ran up to Susquehanna, making commuting to Center City much more practical…
About a year ago, we checked in on the 1800 block of N 17th St., noting a series of new duplexes featuring shiny bay windows. A few months later, we checked back in on the same block, and told you about some more new construction on the block, this time with some colorful bays.
Today, we’ve learned about three new quadplexes coming to this block, but across the street. ZMA One LLC pulled permits for three new buildings at 1816-20 N 17th St. back in January, and it looks like things are getting underway.
Once construction progresses some, and we have a sense of what the bay windows will look like, we’ll be sure to pass along the information.