6-Story, 34-Unit, Mixed-Use Building Rising in Fishtown

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1133 E. Columbia Ave. under construction

We’ve covered a ton of projects in Fishtown recently. Most of them have been centered around Frankford Avenue, the neighborhood’s main commercial corridor. However, Fishtown has more than one street lined with retail spaces. Girard Avenue has seen many new restaurants, retailers, and new construction buildings sprout up over the last several years. All of this is happening despite the avenue’s extreme width which includes 4+ lanes of automobile traffic and trolley tracks. It is extremely difficult for pedestrians to cross Girard Avenue, and the trolley has not been running for years as a result of the reconstruction of I-95. Even with all of these negative externalities, East Girard continues to chug along and improve.

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The parking lot at 1133 E. Columbia Ave. before construction began

Today, we bring you 1133 E. Columbia Ave., a 10,982 square foot Industrial Residential Mixed-Use (IRMX) zoned parcel just south of Girard Ave. on the river side of Fishtown. Developers purchased the property in 2015 for $695,000 when it was being used as a surface parking lot. Today, this seems like an incredible price for such a large, generously-zoned piece of land that now sits within a qualified opportunity zone.

In 2016, the owners pulled use permits to erect a 6-story building with 34 residential units, artist studios on the ground floor, 10 car parking spots, and 10 bicycle spaces. New construction permits were pulled for the project in October of 2017. The parking will be accessed via Earl St., as this property runs street to street. Residents without cars will be less than a half-mile walk to the Girard El Station. No variances were needed for the project because of the IRMX zoning classification.

Construction really got underway in mid-2018. Today, the building is topped out and it looks like the interior fit out is underway. We look forward to the the additional residents that this building will bring as they will help fuel Girard Avenue businesses. It will also be great to have more space available in the neighborhood for artists to rent. How do you feel about this project? Do you welcome the height and density that the project is bringing to the Girard Avenue corridor?

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