Overbrook is a neighborhood in the very north of West Philadelphia, where the Fresh Prince was born and raised. It runs between Fairmount Park and City Avenue and is a middle class neighborhood of rowhomes and midrise apartment buildings. Some of the apartment buildings have students from St. Joseph’s University and some buildings have mostly long time residents. A new midrise apartment building is planned for 2079 North 63rd Street, on the site of a couple small former businesses between Overbrook Avenue and Sherwood Avenue. This new building is designed by Continuum Architecture. It is being called The Elm, a name similar to classic apartment buildings in West Philadelphia.
The Elm will be five stories tall, similar to neighboring apartment buildings in Overbrook. It will have 111 units, including eighteen studio apartments about 326 square feet in size, thirteen one-bedroom units about 486 square feet in size, 29 two-bedroom apartments about 730 square feet in size, 31 three-bedroom units about 964 square feet in size, and 20 four-bedroom apartments about 1,194 square feet in size. The first floor will have four retail spaces on 63rd Street, with 6,129 square feet of commercial space. A central courtyard starting in front will lead to the residential lobby, with some landscaping, outdoor seating, and arches and columns at the entrance to the building. A two-story red brick building in the back of the site will remain and be used for amenities attached to the new building, including a community room and a business center on the first floor and a fitness center on the second floor. The facade will be traditional, with red brick, limestone trim, and some fibre cement on the rear of the building. Two thirds of the roof will be covered by a green roof. The building will have 43 parking spaces on part of the first floor.
Overbrook is a neighborhood of steady real estate values and a diverse population, and has easy access to Center City and Manayunk. It provides a mix of housing types, with homes for families and apartments for single adults and students. New development, including retail on important streets like 63rd Street, adds new population and vitality to a long established neighborhood on the edge of the city and the suburbs.