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Penn’s Garden Development News: Find Out What’s Being Built on Your Block


Several weeks ago, the Land Bank released a request for proposal (RFP) for eight vacant properties in Francisville, specifically near 19th and Brown Streets. This is the Land Bank’s first viable attempt at regulating redevelopment in the city. Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council President Darrell Clarke have lauded the Bank’s RFP release, claiming it will help to sustain economic diversity among the residents of the community.

Land Bank Lot

Land Bank Lot/Patrick Clark

Two homes at the intersection of 16th and Brown Streets have recently been demolished. According to the posted permits, the developers who purchased the properties earlier this year are planning to construct a single building on the parcel. A new triplex stands at 1517 Brown Street as well. Two of the units are currently under negotiation; the third is still on the market, priced at approximately $325,000. Three more buildings are still to be constructed next door at 1511 – 1515 Brown Street. Down the block, by Ridge Avenue, permits indicate that a mixed-use building will soon grace the neighborhood as well.

Joy Chinese Food at 723 North 19th Street has been put on the market for $160,000. The former eatery is situated across from Francisville Playground. It is unclear what is to become of the property.  

Joy Chinese Food

Joy Chinese Food/Patrick Clark

MJL Properties purchased a vacant triangular lot at 1644 Francis Street several years ago. On-site construction, however, has only recently begun. Morrissey Design handled the preliminary architectural details. Condominiums will supposedly constitute the four-story building.

1644 Francis St

1644 Francis St/Patrick Clark


MMPartners, a real estate agency, has purchased a vacant six-story warehouse at 3101 Glenwood Avenue. The developers have purchased the property — named the Pyramid Electric Building — for $1.4 million and plan to construct a 50-unit apartment building with a ground-floor office and commercial space. Iron Stone Development purchased the property from Westrum in 2013 with a plan similar to that of MMPartners. But for reasons unknown, nothing ever came to fruition.

Pyramid Electric Building

Pyramid Electric Building/Patrick Clark

Last summer, Westrum, a developmental construction company, completed a project on the 3100 block of West Thompson Street consisting of 64 rental units. The project has been dubbed 31 Brewerytown. A 50-unit extension of the complex was completed soon after at the intersection of 31st and Thompson Streets. Unit prices range, depending upon the size and included amenities, from $1,325 to $1,925. The complex is architecturally dissimilar from the Brewerytown Square homes across the street.

3100 Thompson St

3100 Thompson St./Patrick Clark

Spring Garden

Two years ago, HOW Properties purchased what used to be Saint Francis Xavier’s convent at 2322 Green Street with plans to construct an 18-unit apartment building. They also planned to construct several more edifices nearby with an additional 30 apartment units. The developers, whose initial proposal met some resistance due to lack of parking availability, opted instead to build 10 new (and very large) homes: three on Pennsylvania Avenue and seven on Green Street. The Historical Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) needed to approve the developer’s’ proposal. The project moved ahead smoothly. At least two of the homes on Green Street, each of which is priced at approximately $1.75 million, are currently under negotiation. One of the homes on Pennsylvania Avenue has been put on the market for $1.9 million.

MJL Properties is also behind the 10-unit condo project at 1502 – 1504 Green Street. Two new four-story buildings are being constructed in place of what used to be a large wall.

1502-1504 Green St.

1502-1504 Green St./Patrick Clark

North Central

There will be a new Student Health and Wellness Center on Temple University’s main campus at the intersection of 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue. The building will serve many purposes (i.e. academic, athletic and recreational). A track will run around and above the two-and-one-half story building. Moody Nolan, an architectural firm, designed the structure. The target date of completion is late 2017.


Developers are planning to renovate the Art Deco showroom at 1501 – 1505 Fairmount Avenue. They will convert three of the property’s lots into one, divide the ground floor into two commercial spaces and add several stories to the structure. It will include 20 apartment units and seven bike spaces. The building, designed by Samuel Baylinson in 1929, was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places last year.

1501-1505 Fairmount Ave

1501-1505 Fairmount Ave./Patrick Clark

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