South Kensington has been seeing some of the most new development in Philadelphia recently. Most of the new development planned, or under construction, is large apartment buildings, but there are some new townhouses being built in these new developments. The new construction has largely been on the blocks just north of Girard Avenue, such as the Soko Lofts or Liberty Square apartment complexes, but now a large residential and retail development is planned for further up, at 5th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. The new development is being developed by Riverwards Group and designed by KJO Architects. It is currently a conspicuous vacant lot.
This new development will have 41 townhouses and sixteen rental apartments in several small buildings along Cecil B. Moore Avenue. The apartment buildings will be four-story mixed-use buildings, with retail spaces at the corners of 5th Street and Randolph Street. Each will have a live/work unit for creative tenants. The building at Randolph and Cecil B. Moore will have a sloping roof line. In between the apartment buildings is a drive aisle leading to 26 parking spaces, mostly in the townhouses along 5th Street and Randolph Street. There will, also, be 32 bicycle parking spaces. The facades will be very modern, with alcove-style bay windows and balconies. The facades will use masonry, brick, and concrete. The townhouse facades will be setback in some spots, allowing for some green space in front. There will be pedestrian pathways behind the homes and buildings.
1620 North 5th Street is a large development which will help spread the redevelopment of South Kensington further north and encourage more redevelopment up there. Other nearby developments include 1413 Germantown Avenue, which will include apartments and creative space, and the renovation of the former Stetson Hat Factory into apartments. The combination of these developments will signal a rebirth for this long depressed part of Kensington.
By, Gabriel Gottlieb