East Kensington continues to see one of the largest building booms in the United States, with literally dozens of large new midrise apartment buildings under construction or seriously planned in the neighborhood. Many of these buildings are being built on the neighborhood’s major streets, including American Street, Germantown Avenue, York Street, Front Street, and Berks Street. However, some of them are being built on some of the thinner streets of East Kensington, including Hagert Street, Boston Street, and Emerald Street. A large new apartment building is being planned now at a property surrounded by these streets on three sides. The site of this new building is at 2000-20 East Hagert Street, but it is being called Emerald Lofts. It will replace an auto repair shop, which had replaced the former Foster Dye Works, originally built in the 1890s.
This new apartment building is being developed by M+B YBL|LLC and is being designed by T + Associates. It will be six stories tall with a setback at the fifth floor on the Boston Street side. This apartment building will have 108 rental units, all one and two bedroom units, ranging from 650 square feet to 930 square feet. There will be thirteen artist studios at the street level, accessible from Emerald Street. The building will have a courtyard in the middle and a green roof and roof deck on top. The facade will have large factory-style windows and red brick on floors two through five, gray brick at the base, and white stucco panels at the top floor. There will be 19 underground parking spaces and 38 bicycle parking spaces.
As East Kensington develops, demand increases and more large apartment buildings like this one will be built, continuing to transform the neighborhood. Just next door, another similar-sized apartment building is being built, as are several others on Hagert, Emerald, and Boston Streets. The new buildings don’t just bring new loft-style apartments, but often more retail and creative space to East Kensington, making East Kensington a place where creative workers can truly live, work, and shop.