How does modern construction mesh with local historic architecture? One corner of East Falls is finding out now…
Update 3-8-17: NakedPhilly.com recapped new construction at Redeemer. We also hear at least one of the townhouses may be under contract already…
UPDATE 2-25-17: Recently-released MLS listings reveal asking prices from $599,900 to $649,000 for these 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath modern townhomes on Penn Street. (Thanks, Heather Petrone-Shook for this scoop we all wanted to know.)
Other details include great room entrances, walk-in closets, upper floor laundry, and eat-in kitchens. One side of both end homes feature large windows that create a “glass house” feel. Roof decks are engineered for jacuzzis, of course.
Construction actually appears to be slightly bigger than agreed-upon by the community: faces were supposed to be flush with existing homes, but instead it looks like they jut out about a foot and a half…? Could they be taller, too…? Hmmmm…
We’re following some neighborhood rumblings, frankly, should be interesting to see how this shakes out. Meanwhile, renderings, floorplans, etc:
(Original post Feb 2, 2017)
But no. Gary’s architects at How! Properties explained that they’re building into a slope so the first floor will be underground on that side.
Or something like that. Structural sleight of hand. We’ll hardly notice.
OK, now all five have been framed out. What do we think, Fallsers?
I know, I know… they’re not done yet. But why should that stop us from weighing in? It’s only natural to want to dish on changes in your neighborhood. We’ll go first:
Wow. Those look biiiiiiiig.
Well, duh, right? I’m sure they’ll be fine — even nice! No matter what you think about the style that evolves, East Falls has weathered far worse, architecturally. Still, perhaps it’s a good time to look back on how we got here. So that moving forward, we’ll know what to expect as building continues throughout East Falls.
A quick recap: Redeemer Church “closed” (long story) and the property was vacant since 2009, then in 2016 it was purchased by How! Properties (who specializes in renovating historic buildings into residences). Although the church is over 100 years old, it has no formal “historical” designation to protect it, so Gary was a good choice to preserve this property from other developers who’d likely demo it entirely.
Gary’s plan for Redeemer included 9 rental units in the old church building. He’d have created more apartments in the old school building that used to occupy Redeemer’s “backyard” on Penn Street, but the neighborhood wanted townhomes.
So Gary teamed with another local developer (Glenn Falso/Main Street Development) who tore down the (unremarkable) school and is now putting up the construction in these photos. FYI: this developer’s already built a lot of similar stuff in Roxborough — we’ll be adding to some pics to this post soon for comparison, stay tuned…
Meanwhile, heads up: Gary’s also moving ahead with a 136-unit apartment building where the old “Japanese Banquet Hall” used to be on Kelly — despite a nose-bop by Philly’s Civic Design Review (who thought his plans could connect better to the river & neighborhood).
Still, quite a few amenities for residents: a rooftop sundeck, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, bocce courts — plus a public parking lot that everyone can use. Gary’s working with East Falls Development Corporation, who hope to have variances approved by early Spring.
As always, we’ll keep you posted with zoning meeting recaps. Thanks for your interest in neighborhood development, btw. Please chime in on this post in the comments below (or email us and we can chat privately).