South Kensington has been seeing so much new development in recent years and the neighborhood is changing rapidly. The gateway into South Kensington from Northern Liberties is along Germantown Avenue and American Street, just north of Girard Avenue and Northern Liberties. These streets are starting to see large new apartment and commercial developments which are recreating the once blighted, formerly industrial area. American Street is being reimagined with new sidewalks and a planted median down the middle. One industrial holdout was at a property at 1307 Germantown Avenue, the site of a meat processing plant, which extends to American Street. That property has been bought by developer Streamline to be redeveloped into the kind of mixed-use residential and commercial development that the rest of the gateway into South Kensington is experiencing. This new development is being designed by Harman Deutsch Ohler Architects.
This new development will have three different buildings. The largest building will be a six-story apartment building along American Street. This building will have 120 rental units, with 40 studio apartments, 60 one-bedroom units, and 20 two-bedroom units. The first floor will have a large retail space of almost 9,500 square feet. That building will have 45 underground parking spaces and 80 bicycle parking spaces. Along Germantown Avenue will be 26 duplex buildings, with a total of 52 units in four-story buildings. Each duplex structure will have a one-bedroom unit and a three-bedroom unit. Two smaller apartment buildings will be on the south side of the property along Germantown Avenue. These two buildings will each have nine apartment units and nine surface parking spaces along the drive aisle. Each of these two buildings will have six two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units. The lower units will have rear yards and the upper units will have access to roof decks. A landscaped pathway and courtyard will be between the duplexes and the larger apartment building and will lead to a landscaped plaza on the American Street side. The exterior of the American Street apartment building will have dark brick and metal panels, some in an angular pattern. The duplexes will have red brick facades with wood trim and lighter metal panels, including on an angled roof line, and upper floor balconies. The smaller apartment buildings will have red brick facades, light color panels, recessed ground floor planters, recessed balconies, and angular window bays.
South Kensington should continue to see this kind of development. Dozens of similar developments with apartments and commercial space are being built throughout the neighborhood. Just to the south of this new development at 1307 Germantown Avenue is Liberty Square, a large apartment complex with several buildings, and across Germantown Avenue is another multi-building apartment complex known as Dwell on 2nd. Several more developments are planned up Germantown Avenue and American Street, and on numbered streets like Second, Third, and Fifth Streets. Industrial uses are becoming less frequent for Kensington properties except for creative workshops. Residential use with some commercial and creative uses included is becoming very normal for South Kensington nowadays.
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