Northern Liberties Housing Rises Up in Wake of Warehouse Fire

26 townhomes replace a warehouse destroyed by fire in 2012. More is on the way.

front street townhouses

Photo: Sandy Smith

Even in cold, snowy weather, we can find construction workers digging away on projects across the city. We managed to catch a backhoe in action yesterday at a new townhouse development at 1118-30 N. Front St. in Northern Liberties.

This project, the first of two slated to go on the site, will add 26 three-story townhouses to the housing mix in the neighborhood.  The lot is the site of a vacant warehouse that caught fire in the summer of 2012. The building, which was owned by a subsidiary of Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments, was razed in the wake of the fire.

The lot changed hands the following summer in a nominal transaction that transferred ownership to another limited partnership for $2, according to public records.

Most of the 26 homes on the site will front on Hope Street, which runs up the lot’s west side. Six will face an interior pedestrian pathway off Front Street.

Although work is well along on the homes, with exteriors almost complete, there are no sale listings for these properties, which suggests that they will be rentals managed by the developer. A second structure planned for the site, a mixed-use project that will combine a street-level leasing and management office with apartments above, received conditional approval from the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association on Jan. 27, with recommendations for minor alterations to its design.