We were in the neighborhood the other week and spotted a zoning notice on the extremely vacant 1600 block of Master Street. Peering in for a closer look, it became clear that new student housing, seemingly everywhere in this area, would not be on the agenda for this location.
Eastern side of the lot
In the middle, see the zoning notice?
The western end of the lot. It's huge!
Looking at public record, it appears that the City of Philadelphia has owned this lot since the 1980s. Somehow this did not come as a shock to us. Doing a little more digging, we discovered a story from Flying Kite Media, outlining the plan for this parcel.
Apparently, affordable housing developer Community Ventures, now winding down a couple of projects in Point Breeze, will be constructing ten new single-family homes on this vacant lot. These homes will be available for purchase for around $140K, but only for people who already live in the neighborhood (is this legal?). The notable feature of this project, tabbed Ingersoll Homes and designed by KSK Architects, is the addition of a public green space as part of the development.
From what we understand, the Ingersoll Homes park will be open to the public, and not just restricted to residents of the development. Flying Kite indicates that the Parks and Recreation department are on board, as is district councilman Darrell Clarke. We imagine that new and old residents alike will appreciate the new green space, and that everyone will be happy to see this long-blighted lot filled in with construction. Considering the size of the lot, we think there might be additional plans for this site, but we haven’t heard anything concrete at this time.