Laurel Court going up in Northern Liberties

A rendering from Atrium Design Group shows the inner courtyard of Laurel Court. Also, shadow people. A rendering from Atrium Design Group shows the inner courtyard of Laurel Court. Also, shadow people, and possibly O.J. Simpson’s friend’s white Ford Bronco.

After a year of delays from zoning and permit snags, the ground was just broken for Laurel Court townhomes in Northern Liberties. For architect/developer Shimi Zakin of Atrium Design Group, some things are worth the wait.

“I’m happy to know we’re holding the right design for the area. We saw a good thing going on in Northern Liberties,” says Zakin, who’s building the homes on a lot that previously housed an old warehouse.

Laurel Court will consist of six townhomes surrounding a courtyard. Two homes will be four stories, with 4,000 square feet and the option of including an elevator, according to Zakin. The rest are designed with three stories, five bedrooms and 5 ½ baths. The homes will also feature ample windows, providing what Zakin says will be nearly 360-degree views.

Atrium has a varied portfolio, including the distinct styling of the Dr. Denim stores on South Street and at the Gallery, and the residential projects at 2213 Amber St. and 1215 Sansom St.

“We had to bring up the level of design for [Laurel Court],” says Zakin. “We were looking to reinvent ourselves and establish a different type of development for the area. There are better-quality houses going up [in Northern Liberties] and I’m happy to see that. We keep the quality high without being cookie cutter designs.”

So who will be buying five-bedroom homes on 2nd and Laurel priced from $775,000 to $975,000? Zakin envisions attracting both young professionals with children — with the close proximity to Liberty Lands Park as a draw for families — and empty nesters “moving back from the suburbs.”

The neighborhood
Zakin has been a NoLibs resident for three years, and he’s seen the area grow rapidly in popularity as the once-“fringe” neighborhoods took on identities of their own. “We pay a lot of attention to this area,” he says. “It’s one of the greatest up and coming areas — well, it already came up. I’m happy to be a part of it.”

In addition to Liberty Lands Park and its community garden, Laurel Court is close to the shops and restaurants in the Piazza, One Shot Cafe and hometown apparel shop Philly Phaithful.

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