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What's Happening in:  Lower Moyamensing 

Here’s updated renderings of the plans for Artisan Lofts, the old brush factory at 12th and Jackson

The proposal to redevelop the former brush factory at 12th and Jackson streets would include 164 rental apartments, 62 parking spaces and – certainly a first for South Philly – a 24-hour doorman.


View from Jackson and Iseminger. Renderings come courtesy of the LoMo Civic, via a nice slideshow on their website.

Developer Tony Rufo presented the plans this week to the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association’s zoning committee. He plans to build two additions in the center of the property, meaning that five buildings will form the complex. Apartments would be about 480 square feet to 900 or 1,000 square feet.


The reception was mostly positive from the 80 or so people who attended the meeting, said Todd Schwartz, the zoning and planning chair. A handful of attendees objected to the number of parking spots, but the developer and Schwartz noted that the proposed ratio includes more parking than the city’s new zoning rules mandate.

Other amenities would include a fitness center, dedicated sports for car share and interior parking for bikes, motorcycles and scooters

brush-factory-slide11 brush-factory-slide10 brush-factory-slide08 brush-factory-slide06

One person complained that glass and other objects have fallen from the dilapidated building under their ownership and that no phone calls were returned about it, according to a source who attended the meeting. “And while Tony Jr. kind of shrugged his shoulders and agreed, he said they can’t do anything to the skin of the building until they know they have zoning for it and can move forward,” the source said.

Schwartz said more community meetings will be held in early 2014, which are to be announced. Our source told us that the lawyer expected the first zoning hearing to be in March and that the project would have to go through the city’s Civic Design Review process. Construction would start 10 to 12 months from now.

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7 Responses to Here’s updated renderings of the plans for Artisan Lofts, the old brush factory at 12th and Jackson

  1. Philly Ray December 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Would be nice if they spelled “Iseminger” correctly.

    • Adam December 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      Beat me to it!

  2. ryan December 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Seems so very, very dense.. unsettling dense… Really seems like they’re trying to cash cow this one… How about less in the middle, and some more greenery/open space ala Piazza?

    • Lee December 23, 2013 at 10:28 am #


      It is pretty dense, but I would argue this is where we want our density – in close proximity to commercial corridors (passyunk ave, snyder, broad) and transit stops (snyder). I certainly wouldn’t advocate tearing down intact, occupied rowhouses for higher density housing porjects, but in this case the building is extant.

      As far as cost, no matter what you do with this building conversion is going to be very expensive. I would posit that the developer has come to this number of units to make the project financially viable. Rarely are retrofit projects cash-cows and are typically pretty risky.

      While we suffer from a lack of open space in South Philly, but i don’t think this is the opportunity to try to get more. Further, if the developer WERE to include publically-accessible open space on this site, the housing density/height would likely need to be even higher to cover the costs of the “unoccupied” space.

  3. SaCo December 26, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    The redevelopment of this vacant block of factory buildings is essential to ensuring future vibrancy of this neighborhood. This space cannot continue to be vacant for much longer. It is a huge eyesore and its redevelopment into an attractive ammenity can only help the neighborhood. Once/if the project is complete I do not think it will really affect street parking all that much. What is essential to this project is to develop it in a way that incorporates smart design and attractive streetscapes.

  4. Angelo January 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    That huge build up they propose to do in the center of the structure is going to block out the sun from the houses of owners living on the south side of Snyder Avenue… Why do we need a huge hulking structure?

    And all the parking on Iseminger St. is going to disappear I’m sure… Yeah the new residents will have places to put their cars… But the people who have been parking their car up Iseminger street for the past idunno.. century..? ..are going to find it even harder to find a spot to park later in the day and at night…

    • Angelo January 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Because you know after this project is finished.. Their gonna bring in the parking authority or some evil towing company… to keep cars off the block…

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