With the hulking former umbrella factory sitting blighted and vacant for many years at the corner of 5th & Master, the vacant lots at 1431-33 N. 5th St. probably weren't of much interest to developers. And we can appreciate why people would have balked at the idea of investing money in property in the shadow of a ten story building that seemed like it would never get redeveloped. A year ago though, we provided a ray of sunshine when we told you that Core Realty had purchased the former umbrella factory, making it likely that renovation would soon be in the cards. And we'd argue that it was no coincidence that developers purchased the vacant lots on 5th Street just a couple months later. As you might guess, the lots are no longer sitting vacant.
At first glance, we guessed that this was a simple two home development, but we were (as happens from time to time) off base. Instead, the developers are building a seven unit building with two car parking in the rear. The units are being offered as condos, with two of them already under agreement. Two more units are listed, with a 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit listed at $325K and a 2 bedroom, 1 bath unit listed at $215K. The listing even has a rendering of the building, which shows that the new structure will blend in relatively well with its surroundings and will mostly maintain the existing cornice line.
Of course, the building's southern views will still be blocked by the massive building immediately to the south. But as you may recall, we told you a couple weeks ago that renovation efforts are finally moving forward at the former umbrella factory and the plans call for 181 apartments when all is said and done. That project should take a little longer than the 7-unit construction, but it will radically change the character of the block and the surrounding area in a positive way.
We'd wager that additional projects will continue to crop up in this immediate area, spurred by the umbrella factory project. Of course, the flurry of activity now happening on the 1200 block of N. 5th Street doesn't hurt either.