Why Port Richmond is Philly's Next Great Neighborhood
I can't go a few days without hearing about a new development project, bar or restaurant popping up in the wonderful neighborhood of Port Richmond. Maybe Port Richmond isn't destined to be in the shadow of Fishtown forever -- which is, in no better terms, the popular kid in School right now.
Port Richmond provides easy access to i-95, easy access to shopping centers, easy access to the Betsy Ross Bridge. It has green space, public transportation and affordable homes (for now). If you're looking for a completely renovated three bedroom home under 300K... you'll find it in Port Richmond. And if you're looking for affordable New Construction, well -- you'll find that too.
There's reason to believe that Port Richmond is no longer happy standing in the shadow of Fishtown. If you're paying attention to development behind the scenes, it looks like Port Richmond is ready to compete with every other hot neighborhood in Philadelphia. Here's five big things to look forward to in Port Richmond over the next year:
1. The Lunar Inn
Richmond Street has been in need of some love for awhile now. It has the potential to be a great commercial corridor, but many of its commercial buildings are vacant or unkempt, which is a real tragedy. Developers are starting to buy these buildings up, however, so it's plausible to assume Richmond Street, though smaller, will fall in line with Frankford and Passyunk Avenue's. Every great neighborhood has a great commercial corridor -- so it's nearly impossible for developers not to see the potential here in Port Richmond. Enter: The Lunar Inn -- a brand new bar/restaurant/bottle shop set to open at 3124 Richmond Street in the very near future. They're hard at work on the interior, and documenting it all on their Instagram account: @thelunarinn
2. 2201 E Somerset Street
There's a mega development coming to Port Richmond? Yes. One of a few, actually. Developers are planning a massive project here, one that will make up an entire city block from Trenton Avenue to Tulip Street. And by massive, I mean 89 homes for sale, 60 apartments for rent, artist studios and retail space. There will be off street parking too. This thing is like a neighborhood within a neighborhood. The project still needs to get approved, but some argue anything is better than the vacant industrial building that's there now. And, yes, that scrapyard across the street was the site of a major fire over the summer. The scrapyard isn't a huge selling point, but it might not be all bad to have hundreds of new residents nearby to keep them honest. Check out the renderings here, they look pretty amazing.
3. Charles Carroll School
I personally love an adaptive reuse project. I have a thing for the mix of original and new. Charles Carroll High School closed in 2013 and has since sat vacant in lower Port Richmond. High Top Real Estate & Development purchased the school from the Philadelphia School District last year and, here we are. It looks like they'll be keeping the facade of the school -- and renovating the interior for residential apartments. The school will be surrounded by 17 single family homes with parking. They'll be breaking ground any day now. Stay tuned.
4. Nemi Mexican Restaurant
YESSSS! This space has eluded me for months now. Thoughts like, "What will it be?", "When will it be?", and "I hope it's something yummy." have popped into my head every time I've passed this place. They've been working on the corner of Ann & Thompson Street for awhile now, and finally we have a name for the brand new bar and restaurant coming to this Port Richmond Corner: Nemi Mexican Restaurant. The space has been vacant for awhile now, and they've given the facade a really good looking makeover. The restaurant will have a full bar, and if you love Bait & Switch a few blocks away like I do... I bet we'll love Nemi, too. Here's the link to their Facebook.
5. Cambria & Trenton Ave.
There's a smaller project in the works on the west side of Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond. It's not a huge project, but it's still huge for a section of the neighborhood that's been all but forgotten over the past few years. Look out for 4 Single Family New Construction Homes on the 2200 block of Cambria Street this Spring by a reputable builder. They're in framing now.
So, now you know.... there are definitely big things happening in Port Richmond. I'd venture to guess this is just the tip of the iceberg for 19134.