Trenton Avenue is a wide street constructed of Belgian blocks that runs through Fishtown and Olde Richmond. The avenue once held the elevated tracks of the Trenton Railroad. Up until about 10 years ago, the stretch of the road between Norris and Dauphin was mostly made up of vacant lots and large industrial properties. Oh, how times have changed. This whole sections has now filled in with residential structures with some industrial buildings remaining.
Back before the building at 2045 Trenton Ave. traded hands a few years ago, we were able to tour the inside of the building while the old owner was having a clean out sale. Not only did we score some cool stuff, but we also learned that the old owner’s father manufactured Cavacraft toy airplanes in the building. Subsequently, his son ran a screen printing company at the location. Before all of that, our research tells us that the warehouse was home to the Herbert Hosiery Mill and then a chair manufacturer. It is these cool pieces of Philadelphia history that we hate to see destroyed.
Thankfully, this building was saved by the new owners who had residential conversion in mind when they purchased the property. As the parcel is zoned Industrial Commercial Mixed-Use (ICMX) and does not allow residential uses by-right, the new owners pursued a variance after purchasing the property. The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) granted their request to construct a 4-story structure on the front of the property and to build out 12 residential units total within the old and new buildings. A small, low-rise, non-original addition fronting Trenton Avenue was demolished to make way for a modern structure.
The new addition has topped out and construction on the project is in its final stages. We’re happy that the development team constructed a brick facade on the addition that blends into the historically industrial block. With this being one of the tallest buildings in the immediate area, the new residents will have some of the best views of Fishtown, Kensington, and the Philadelphia skyline. A lot of the original details on the interior of the back building have also been preserved and will be incorporated into the residential units. From brick walls to wooden beams and the original factory lift; there will be a ton of character in these units.
How do you feel about this project? Do you think that a residential use is more appropriate for this property than an industrial use at this point in Fishtown? Do you appreciate the fact that the development team saved the original building?
Kyle is a Philadelphia real estate agent on the Agent PHL team at Compass, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients find homes, investment properties, and development opportunities.
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