Micro Hotel + Retail Planned at Site of Fishtown Fire

Rendering of the hotel proposed for 1144-46 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown
Rendering of the hotel proposed for 1144-46 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown

In October of 2018, a fire ripped through a beautiful old house on the 1100 block of Frankford Ave. in Fishtown. The fire ended up destroying the house as well as its twin next door. The damage from the fire and water resulted in both homes getting demolished in the summer. We were very sad to see these two beauties get obliterated, and expected something bigger to rise in their places.

The two houses that stood at 1144-46 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown before the fire
The two houses that stood at 1144-46 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown before the fire

This section of Frankford Avenue is in the heart of the Fishtown retail corridor. Most of the famous bars, restaurants, and shops you hear about in Fishtown are within a few blocks of here. A contemporary art museum is planned across the street. We knew there was no way the owners would pursue two single family houses on the 3,200 square foot, CMX-2.5 parcel.

The vacant lot at 1144-46 Frankford Ave. after the fire
The vacant lot at 1144-46 Frankford Ave. after the fire

Although no permits have been pulled yet, it looks like ownership is planning to build a 5-story, 12-unit hotel with a 2,495 square foot commercial space on the ground floor. The sign on the fence that surrounds the property advertises 12 residential units. However, the listing for the commercial spaces states that the “prime commercial space is on the ground floor of the brand new Frankford Collective building which will feature 12 boutique hotel rooms above.”

Even with a green roof, we believe that this project would need a variance for the amount of units planned. It will definitely need a variance if the owners want to rent the residential units out on short-term hotel leases. Hotels, or “visitor accommodations,” are not allowed by-right on CMX-2.5 properties. The owners could get this variance while the building is under construction.

We hope this project moves forward with 12 or more residential units + retail and no parking. There is extreme demand to live so close to all of the amenities in Fishtown and within two blocks of the Girard El Station. We support the owner’s plan of making these units into short-term rental units. Fishtown needs to attract more visitors and daytime activity if it wants to continue to grow as a neighborhood. On top of all of the restaurants and shops nearby, the planned art museum should be a huge draw for tourists and visitors.

How do you feel about this project?

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