Development has continued to push north up Frankford Ave. from Girard Avenue. Until about 5 years ago, there were only a handful of restaurants and retailers along the Frankford Avenue corridor north of Master St. Now, there are new shops opening regularly. The 2000 block has transformed into boutique row. Tired Hands Brewery has laid its urban roots down on the 2100 block with an outdoor beer garden and a full service restaurant, St. Oner’s. The retail establishments continue into Kensington up to Lehigh Avenue. As this area has attracted more residents, the amenity base has grown as well.
In December of 2018, developers purchased 2201-2209 Fankford Ave. The CMX-2 parcels consisted of two stately brick buildings and some vacant lots. Unfortunately, the brick twins were demolished about a year ago, laying the framework for development at the site. The new owners consolidated the lots in November of 2019, giving us further evidence that a project was in the pipeline.
Zoning documents from the end of 2019 indicate that a 4-story, 53 foot tall building with 25 residential units and ground floor retail will be built on the corner of Frankford and Susquehanna. The commercial space will include a 5,000 square foot fresh food market, which gives the development team an extra 15 feet of building height by-right. No construction permits have been pulled to date for the project to our knowledge. However, permits for temporary construction electric service were pulled in February. So, this thing may have already broken ground if not for the Covid-19 construction ban. Hopefully, with work being allowed to move forward now, dirt will start moving at the site soon.
The two old buildings were some of our favorites in the neighborhood. Every time we walked by the corner, we dreamt of their restoration. The classic retail frontages and the intricate masonry could have could have provided a glimpse into Frankford Avenue’s time as part of the King’s Highway for generations to come. However, we are excited to see this new project rise. This section of Fishtown needs continued residential density to support the establishment of a more complete commercial corridor. We wonder how the future fresh food market tenant will compete with Riverwards Produce, which is just a couple of blocks away, and the other fresh food market that is proposed at 1864 Frankford Ave. We don’t think you’ll hear the neighbors complaining about additional places to buy groceries.
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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