The new West Village Apartments are being rented out while they are being completed at 800 N. 48th Street in Mill Creek. Currently, City Wide Realty, the owner of the property, is helping would-be tenants who are short on roommates find them with a roommate placement service.
West Village Apartments advertises itself as a gated community with private parking. A four-bedroom unit in the building goes for a pricey $2,200. The project itself is being completed by B & T Home Builders.
Those same builders own the old vacant warehouse across the street at 4800 Brown St. On Sept. 25, 2012, the Zoning Board of Adjustment granted B&T Home Builders a permit to build a one-story addition on the warehouse and convert it into an apartment complex with 34 rental apartment units, ranging in size from 600 to 1,100 square feet.
The warehouse has been abandoned for over a decade, if not longer, and used to house the Universal Dental Company. One-third of those units will be underground and 34 parking spaces will be provided on a vacant lot next to the back of the building along Folsom Street. The parking lot is behind several small row homes on Brown Street. That caused a stir last year, but the plan was approved anyway.
We don’t know what B&T Home Builders, which was formed in 2000 by Moshe Barazani and Hillel Tsarfati, is waiting for. Perhaps after construction is complete at the West Village Apartments, construction will begin on the warehouse, which is a blighting influence on the pristine West Village Apartments and certainly detracts potential tenants. But as of now, there are no signs of construction. A permit for a dumpster at the site lapsed in July.
Both sites are across the street from the Mill Creek Playground and several blocks away from the famed Lucien Blackwell Homes, which is one of the more amazing stories of transformation in West Philadelphia. In 2000, one of the homes on nearby Lex Street was the site of one of the worst mass murders in Philadelphia history, in which seven people were executed over a drug turf dispute.
Photos by the author except as noted