Permits Issued for 50 Unit Mixed-Use Building in Fishtown

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Bearing & Drive Solutions building at 1324 Frankford Ave.

The blocks of Frankford Avenue just north of Girard Ave. in Fishtown have seen a ton of development over the last decade. Industrial warehouses and other old buildings have been transformed into beautiful retail establishments such as Fette Sau, La Colombe, Kensington Quarters, and Cheu Noodle Bar. New construction condo buildings have been completed or are currently under construction on this strip such as the 24 unit mixed-use building that is rising at 1502-08 Frankford Ave. There are also a bunch of other projects in the pipeline. We have told you about the long-planned Fishtown Hotel next to Frankford Hall, and an office building replacing a parking lot at 1351-59 Frankford Ave.

It is evident that industrial uses are dwindling in Fishtown while high-end residential projects and commercial establishments thrive. We will soon have another example of this trend as the long-term home of a bearings and drives company makes way for a large mixed-use building.

Permits were issued last week for the demolition of the warehouse at 1324 Frankford Ave. and the construction of a 45 foot tall building with 50 dwelling units, ground-floor commercial space, and 17 bicycle spaces on the 17,992 square foot CMX-2 zoned lot. The 4-story structure can be built by-right with height and residential density bonuses obtained for the inclusion of a green roof and for affordable housing considerations. We are not sure if affordable housing units will be included in the project, or if the bonus will be attained through a contribution to the housing fund.

Developer Ori Feibush is leading the project. His team acquired the property in March of 2019 for $4 million. Feibush recently released preliminary renderings of the project and stated that he would be opening a real estate office in part of the retail space.

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Rendering of 1324 Frankford Ave.

We give this project a thumbs up. It will be eliminating two curb cuts along a thriving commercial corridor. The development will be adding storefronts to a nearly half-block stretch that feels dead at night. An additional 50 residential units should also help quell rising rents in the neighborhood and support local businesses. The retail storefronts and more eyes on the street should make the corridor feel safer.

The facade of the building seems to be inspired by the industrial warehouses of Fishtown’s past. We appreciate the development team’s effort in designing a project that fits into the neighborhood and hope that they end up using quality materials. We are usually sad to see old buildings get demolished. However, this garage does not seem to have a ton of architectural significance.

How do you feel about this project? Do you welcome additional residential density and retail storefronts to this section of Frankford Avenue? Would you have preferred the bearings and drives company to have stayed put? Will a real estate office help bring more activity to the neighborhood during weekday business hours? Would you have preferred if the current building was re-used with a residential addition on top?

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