Another apartment development @ 48th & Brown Streets in West Philadelphia

Last year I wrote an article here about a large new apartment development on the north side of Brown Street, at 48th Street, in West Philadelphia.  That development is known as the West Village Apartments and is currently under construction in the largely rebuilt Mill Creek neighborhood.  At the time, and for years really, I predicted that the small abandoned warehouse across the street would be renovated into apartments or condos someday to match the West Village development.  Well, I’m happy to announce that that day is finally coming.  Indeed, the warehouse there on the south side of Brown Street is about to be renovated into apartments very soon.

The developers for the project are the same developers of West Village, B & T Home Builders, who already own the warehouse and property.  B & T Home Builders was formed in 2000 by Moshe Barazani and Hillel Tsarfati.  The warehouse is a small, two-storey building on the corner that appears to be rather blighted today.  It used to house the Universal Dental Co., but has been vacant for decades.  The developers plan to renovate the building into 34 rental apartment units, ranging in size from 600 to 1,100 square feet.  About a third of the units will be below ground. The building will have parking on a vacant lot next to the back of the building along Folsom Street.  The parking lot is behind several small rowhomes on Brown Street, and the residents of those homes are upset about the loss of parking and drainage, because the paving of the whole lot could cause water to runoff into the backs of their homes.  Those neighbors opposed the project at a September 19 zoning meeting, so the case was held until the developers have a detailed drainage plan.  The developers are, also, planning to provide some parking to those neighbors and put bright lighting on the back of the building along Folsom Street, and on the fence of the parking lot, also along Folsom Street.

This new development will complement the existing West Village development, which was the first large market rate development in Mill Creek in decades.  The new construction has finished the first phase, and the renovation of the Universal Dental warehouse will help increase demand to compel the completion of the next phases, along the north side of the 4800 block of Brown Street.  The neighborhood, also, has some other sites that would be perfect for new development, including a currently vacant, but modern, apartment complex at 49th & Aspen Streets.  Also, the neighborhood is experiencing several nearby developments, including the Children’s Hospital’s Karabots medical clinic, at 48th & Market Streets, and the Lucien E. Blackwell Community Center, at 47th & Brown Streets, next to the expansive Blackwell Homes.  Also, the old Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building on 46th Street is slated to be renovated into the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police, and some related buildings at 48th & Market will be renovated into city offices.

This whole neighborhood in the middle of West Philadelphia is changing and developing rapidly.  Let’s not forget the new West Philadelphia High School and the shopping center near 52nd & Lancaster, that has businesses such as Lowe’s; Shoprite; Monster Pets; and Planet Fitness.  If you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in this rapidly developing area of the city, then feel free to send me an email at or check out my Facebook realtor page, Gabriel G. Philly Realtor, or my twitter page, @GabrielGPhilaRE.  You can, also, look at my Long & Foster agent portal, here, or our Long & Foster Philly Center City office, here.  Also, you can check out West Village Apartments with this link to their website, and view the pictures that I took of the site and the neighborhood, below.

Universal Dental warehouse, seen from the southeast corner of 48th & Brown Streets

Universal Dental warehouse, from the northeast corner of 48th & Brown Streets

Brown Street facade

Broken window exposes high ceiling

48th Street facade

Back of Universal Dental warehouse on Folsom Street

Future, and current, parking lot next to Universal Dental warehouse and alley leading to Brown Street

First phase of existing West Village Apartments development, on the north side of Brown Street

Looking east, from the Universal Dental warehouse, shows a park across the street and the Center City skyline in the background

Blackwell Homes, just east of 4800 Brown Street

Mill Creek Farm community garden @ 49th & Brown Streets

Another community garden @ 49th & Aspen Streets with the Universal Dental warehouse in the background

Vacant apartment complex, @ 49th & Aspen Streets, could be future renovation

Children’s Hospital’s Karabots medical clinic, @ 48th & Market


About gabrielcgottlieb

I am a real estate agent at Long & Foster Real Estate Center City and someone who likes to write about development and urban planning in the City of Philadelphia. Contact me at if you are interested in buying or selling a home or investment property in Philadelphia.
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6 Responses to Another apartment development @ 48th & Brown Streets in West Philadelphia

  1. Bernadine Hawes says:

    mis-captioned picture – it’s of the new Youth Study Center at 48th/Haverford Ave and not the Lucien Blackwell Community Center which has yet to be built at 47th/Brown I enjoy your blog – great resource for me as an economic developer

    Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2012 20:01:29 +0000 To:

  2. childof46. says:

    Those comments of our childhood place “mill creek” was disrespectful and mean

  3. edward Murray says:

    Thanks for the recap of information. Who owns the vacant apt complex at 49th and Aspen?

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