If you’ve walked down Frankford Avenue during the pandemic, you’ve probably noticed construction fencing up at 1351-59 Frankford Ave. This is the oddly-shaped lot just north of La Colombe that Green Drop, a mobile Warby Parker popup, and Zipcar have operated out of over the last several years.
Back in 2015, a plan emerged for the property that entailed 33 residential units over ground floor retail. Then, just before the pandemic hit, permits were pulled for the construction of an office building on the site. The project entailed a 5-story structure with ground floor retail, office uses on floors 2 through 5, fourteen car parking spots, and 36 bicycle spaces.
The office project would have been great at this location and would have sparked some much needed daytime foot traffic on Frankford Avenue. However, an office building is not the safest bet for the development team in these trying times with so many people working from home and avoiding indoor gatherings.
The development team has pivoted again back to a residential mixed-use project with slight changes from the original plans from 2015. The newest iteration of the project is a 5-story, 33-unit building with ground floor commercial space, a green roof, and 14 parking spots. Additionally, 3 single family homes will be built on the property. We imagine these homes along with the drive aisle will be located on Crease St. behind the new building. However, we have not seen site plans, so we cannot confirm that.
While an office building would have been a big risk in this environment, we are seeing no slow down in residential interest within Fishtown. Whether it be rentals, or for sale homes, units that are priced correctly are flying off the market. With demolition and construction permits pulled and the site already fenced off, this project could finally break ground soon. The project is going to fill in a dead space along the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor and should compliment the 50-unit mixed-use building that is under construction and now topped out across the street.
How do you feel about this pivot back to residential from offices. What type of business would you like to see open in the retail space?
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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