535 Units Proposed on Site of Kensington Junkyard

kensington junkyard
The scrapyard at 2200 E. Somerset St. on the border of Kensington and Port Richmond

Back in July of 2018, a massive fire broke out at the scrapyard at 2200 E. Somerset St. on the border of Kensington and Port Richmond. The dark smoke could be seen for miles. The city temporarily shut down the junkyard and required them to limit their scrap piles to 10 feet in height. The scrapyard continues to operate to this day to the dismay of nearby neighbors.

It looks like change may be on the horizon. Stakeholders will appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on June 16th to request a variance in order to pursue a multifamily structure on the IRMX and ICMX parcels that make up the junkyard property.

kensington junkyard
Aerial view of the scrapyard

3 structures with 390 residential units, 118 automobile parking spaces, 225 bicycle stalls, and roof decks are being proposed on the combined ICMX parcels at 2200-50 E. Somerset St. and 2750 Tulip St. Together, these parcels total nearly 137,000 square feet of land.

An additional structure with 145 residential units, 61 automobile parking spaces, 68 bicycle stalls, and a roof decks is being proposed on the combined parcels at 2152-58 E. Somerset St., 2160-66 E. Somerset St., and 2755 Martha St. The Somerset St. properties are zoned IRMX while the Martha St. property is zoned ICMX. Together, these parcels include over 52,000 square feet of land.

It total, stakeholders are proposing 4 structures with 535 residential units, 179 automobile parking spaces, and 293 bicycle stalls. Variances are being requested for multifamily use and for building height. At this time, we do not have any additional project plans or renderings. However, we expect them to be released as the project progresses and before its hearing before the Civic Design Review (CDR).

There are now several large proposals on the north side of the freight tracks between Frankford Avenue and Aramingo Avenue including the 231-unit proposal right across the street from the scrapyard that we told you about recently. Is this a sign that mega development has finally jumped the tracks? It will be interesting to see if any of these developments break ground in the next 12-18 months.

How do you feel about this project? Would you like to see this blighted junkyard transformed into hundreds of homes for people? Would you have liked to see a commercial component included in the project?

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