17 Units Rising in Fishtown

17 unit building rising at 1421-23 E. Columbia Ave. in Fishtown
17 unit building rising at 1421-23 E. Columbia Ave. in Fishtown

Just a few blocks from the Berks El Station and steps off of the flourishing Frankford Avenue commercial corridor in Fishtown, a new 5-story multi-family building is rising near Columbia Ave and Memphis St.

Many will remember this parcel was originally supposed to be the location of the Fishtown City Fitness. About 7 years ago, developers presented plans to turn a low-rise warehouse at 1421-33 E Columbia Ave into the City Fitness Fishtown location.

Proposed location of Fishtown City Fitness circa 2013
Proposed location of Fishtown City Fitness circa 2013
1421 E Columbia Ave Philadelphia in 2011
View of the site in 2011

This plan was connected to the proposal to convert the large warehouse behind the low-rise structure into a residential building. Short story: the neighbors had parking concerns, part of the low-rise warehouse was demolished to make room for 5 high-end homes, the large warehouse on Memphis Street was turned into The Chesterman, a 57-unit residential building, and City Fitness planted roots at Frankford and Belgrade. A small slice of the 1-story warehouse on Columbia remained standing until recently.

Plans started brewing for a multi-family structure at the site of the remaining section of the warehouse at 1421-32 E Columbia Ave. around 2017. The plans changed slightly over the years to the present iteration, which entails 17 residential units, 5 car parking spots, 7 bicycle spaces, and a roof deck on the 4,441 square foot IRMX lot.

Demolition of the existing structure commenced about 10 months ago and now construction is in full force with the new structure currently nearing the height of The Chesterman.

Rendering of The Columbia
Rendering of The Columbia

The rendering depicts a clean, modern building with large windows. We imagine these aesthetics will be carried throughout the interior of the building, which is being called The Columbia.

The location of this project is unbeatable. Philly Style Bagels and Steap and Grind coffee shop are both on the block. Steven Starr is opening a Mexican restaurant right across Frankford Avenue (we covered that project in its infancy in April of 2019). There are countless other nearby restaurants and attractions to walk to within Fishtown and in Kensington and Northern Liberties. Or, take a short ride on the El into Center City or West Philly.

We’re big fans of this project and look forward to the residential density it is bringing to Fishtown. We imagine the retailers in the neighborhood are happy about it too. How do you feel about this project?

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