The property at 150 West Berks Street, just a couple short blocks west of the Market/Frankford El station, has been slated for redevelopment for some time now. The property is currently a vacant lot on the south side of Berks Street, between Mascher and North Hancock Streets. A few years ago, a plan to redevelop the site with townhomes and a couple small apartment buildings had received approval from city agencies. That project was never built and the property is now being developed with a much larger plan. The current developers of this property is Urban Conversions and the new development plan was designed by Cecil Baker and Partners.
This big new building will have 152 rental units. The units will be a mix of studios, one-bedroom units, and two-bedroom units, including two bi-level units with entry on North Hancock Street. The building will be seven stories tall, much taller than the original plan. The first floor will have 7,300 square feet of retail space on Berks Street. The residential entrance will have a two story atrium lobby and a small outdoor space on Berks Street. The building will have a courtyard in-between each wing opening to the rowhomes behind the building, amenity roof decks at the south end of each wing, a fitness center, and a co-working suite. The building will have a modern facade, with brick piers (with surface lighting at night), some metal panel siding, large windows, and protruding window bays at the corners with balconies. There will be 42 parking spaces in back and 71 bicycle parking spaces.
South Kensington continues to see the most development of any neighborhood in the city, if not the country. Across the street from this development is a long-awaited renovation of a medium-sized industrial building from the nineteenth century, and literally, a couple thousand new rental apartment units are being built within several blocks of this development, too. The redesign and expansion of this development from the earlier plan is another strong indicator of South Kensington’s popularity and growth.
By Gabriel Gottlieb
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