I dream about this idea a lot. Where could Center City’s newest neighborhood come from? Where is that neighborhood that is not too far, but could offer a really groovy mix of luxury Center City condominiums and townhouses?
I think the most overlooked and potential new neighborhood for such a development is between Callowhill Street and Spring Garden Street. It’s the area from 2nd Street to say 6th Street, between Old City and Northern Liberties.
Take a drive around that neighborhood, and what you will find is a mix of commercial spaces, a few warehouse buildings, and a lot of open surface parking lots. If this area were developed, it would bridge the gap between Old City and Northern Liberties, and Chinatown, for that matter. Certainly, the highest and best use of a half acre of land can’t be for a one-story, semi-retail, tin can type production facility, can it?
I say hell no! Someone should go in, buy up as many of those “tin can production facilities” as possible, and start building. He or she could capture the Old City spill over buyer, and certainly draw folks closer to the Center City area (for those considering Fishtown or Northern Liberties). With easy access to I-95 and the expressway, it might be a great idea. And God knows that if you want to jump over to the other side of town (Rittenhouse Square area), the quickest way is down Callowhill Street.
I think this area might be the perfect place for a few new, green Philadelphia condominium buildings to land. Start one of the buildings as a nonsmoking building. Certainly the wealth of higher-end Center City condominium and luxury loft living has dispersed over the years throughout downtown Philadelphia, so why not here?
If I were a big developer, I would forget the plans for waterfront condos, and start building in the area I will call…Mark Wade Land. Kidding….how about, New Village. Or Newville. Or the Green Lands? If you get a minute, drive up to the area, and I think you’ll be amazed at the possibilities. Amazed that no one has yet gone in to grab some of this area as residential.
Philadelphia is certainly on the grow, and Center City condominium / loft developers are in no short supply. This fairly large strip of land dividing two growing residential neighborhoods (Old City and Northern Liberties) is potentially there for the taking. Now someone, please take it!
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Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106