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One of Northern Liberties' few remaining vacant lots may become apartments

Abandoned lots in Northern Liberties are hard to come by, especially on bustling 2nd St, which is home to both The Piazza and Liberties Walk at Schmidt's. Inexplicably, a parcel at 2nd and Brown Sts. has been left behind, and is currently a vacant lot. However, this could soon change, as a developer is looking to build 10 apartments and commercial space on the site. 

In fact, developer and real estate agent Chris Richetti has been in front of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association to discuss his plans to convert the vacant lot. Richetti hopes to construct a six-story apartment complex with 10 apartments, 10 parking spaces, and ground floor commercial. His plans are supported by the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA), according to Larry Freedman, the zoning chair for NLNA. "We support it and hope he [Richetti] finds a nice commercial tenant," says Freedman. 

Freedman says the proposed development of the 2nd and Brown lot is just the latest news in a frantic month for Northern Liberties. He highlights this point by saying his zoning committee is reviewing as many agenda items as it was during the area's economic boom in the early-2000s. This is despite a dip in activity during the recession. "There was a minor lull during the economic crunch, but it didn't last long here, and things are seriously popping again," says Freedman. 

There is still a lot of work that needs to go into Richetti's plan. Freedman says that a final design needs to be formulated for the development, which will likely be presented when the realtor meets with NLNA's urban design committee. Also, Richetti has yet to go in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). 

Writer: Andy Sharpe
Source: Larry Freedman, Northern Liberties Neighbors Association
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