It’s been a long road to construction for the former surface parking lot at 1351-59 Frankford Avenue just north of La Colombe in Fishtown. A zoning permit was issued for a 33-unit, mixed-use development on the site way back in 2015. Then, in 2019, plans shifted to a 5-story project with ground floor commercial space and offices above. We imagine the pandemic stalled the office development as by the end of 2021, plans shifted back to residential mixed-use.
We reported in November of 2021, in anticipation of the development team’s hearing with the Civic Design Review (CDR), that the new plan was for a 4-story, 60,948 square foot building with 61 residential units and 12,285 square feet of commercial space. The new plans called for commercial space on the ground floor and basement level along with a green roof, a roof deck, and 21 bicycle parking stalls. No automobile parking spots are included.
We never thought we’d see the day, but it looks like construction is finally proceeding at the site. Heavy machinery is currently breaking up the asphalt that has blanketed the property for as long as we can remember and we imagine that excavation will begin in the coming weeks, if not sooner.
When complete, the facade will primarily be constructed of brick, cast stone, and metal panels. The building will have a mix of reddish tones throughout. Large commercial windows will grace the first floor. There will also be outdoor patios for the retail spaces. The patio on the north side of the building will have an entrance from the sidewalk, which should create an inviting atmosphere for pedestrians. A handful of bi-level residential units will be located along Crease Street with their own entrances on that side of the building.
We’re extremely excited to see this project move forward. This was probably the most prime remaining developable parcel left on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. We must say that we’re happy to have waited for this iteration of the project to come around as it is way better than anything previously proposed, in our opinion. We imagine that some high-quality commercial operators will move into these storefronts, which will add to the vitality of Frankford Avenue and activate a strip of the corridor that has been underutilized for too long.
Are you happy to see construction finally proceed here? What kind of businesses would you like to see open in the commercial spaces?
Kyle is a commercial real estate agent at Rittenhouse Realty Advisors, a homeowner, and a real estate investor in Philadelphia. Kyle uses his extensive Philadelphia real estate market knowledge to help his clients buy and sell multifamily investment properties, development opportunities, and industrial sites.
Email Kyle@RittenhouseRealty.com if you are looking to buy or sell a property