After sitting vacant for more than a decade, a portion of Manayunk's Venice Island is expected to soon be occupied by 63 luxury townhouses, with base prices up to nearly $900,000.

On Tuesday, a partnership between Greg Hill's D3 Real Estate Development, of Philadelphia, and Maryland-based Concordia Group purchased 1 Leverington Ave. in Manayunk for an undisclosed price. The Resmark Cos., a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, is also partnering on the project, named the Locks.

The developers in November told the Inquirer about plans to bring 70 townhouses to the 4.5-acre site, bedraggled since Carmella's Restaurant closed there in 2004. The shuttered restaurant became an eyesore in the 6,000-resident Philadelphia neighborhood.

At the time, Dan Neducsin, the developer credited with reviving Manayunk in the 1990s, remained the owner. Now, with the deal completed, the plans have been adjusted to include slightly fewer townhouses, though each will be larger. Three floor plans will be available: a 2,230-square-foot townhouse starting at $574,900, a 3,080-square-foot townhouse starting at $664,900, and a 3,630-square-foot townhouse starting at $895,900. All options will be five-stories tall, with a garage and roof deck. The two more expensive options will include an elevator, or an option to install one.

A portion of Venice Island between Leverington Avenue and Green Lane has sat vacant for more than a decade. Now, 63 luxury townhouses are expected to be completed in the next two years.
Varenhorst
A portion of Venice Island between Leverington Avenue and Green Lane has sat vacant for more than a decade. Now, 63 luxury townhouses are expected to be completed in the next two years.

The project, which is expected to be completed in two years, signals an increased confidence in Manayunk, historically a manufacturing village. For decades, it had been defined by its rolling hills, slanted streets, and quaint rowhouses but saw a resurgence when it became a destination for college graduates in the mid-1990s. Now, Hill believes demand exists for luxury homes, too.

"We think it's a great submarket of sorts outside of Center City, and it enjoys a great Main Street vibe with lots of shops and restaurants," Hill said Friday. "Manayunk in general seems to be enjoying an influx of higher-end homes."

Six contracts already have been signed. Buyers' ages have ranged from 30 to 60, said Alex Johns, senior vice president of investments at Resmark's Land and Housing division.

The project was, in part, made possible by a bill introduced in November by Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and signed by Mayor Kenney that changed the site's zoning to allow for residential development. To make the project work, the developers also needed to raise the grade of the site to avoid flooding from the Schuylkill and the Manayunk Canal.

The sale was not yet recorded with the city. When the site was last purchased in 2014, documents show, the land was valued at $1.23 million.

The site of 1 Leverington Ave., where 63 townhouses are proposed. The site has been vacant for more than a decade.
GENEVA HEFFERNAN / Staff Photographer
The site of 1 Leverington Ave., where 63 townhouses are proposed. The site has been vacant for more than a decade.