Previous plan called for three homes

We were pretty sure that 1244 E Colona St. had already been redeveloped, and were therefore quite surprised to see it listed on a Fishtown Neighbors Association Zoning Committee agenda earlier this month. We first brought this property to your attention over three years ago, when the oddly shaped parcel included a flowery fence, a vacant home covered in ivy, and a bunch of empty space. By the summer of 2014, developers had purchased the parcel and had neighborhood support for three homes, with two fronting Colona Street and one fronting Susquehanna. We hadn't been back here since, and had simply assumed that the project happened. That wasn't the case, as the project got denied at the ZBA for some reason.

Shape of the property

In the past

If you pass by this location today, you'll see that indeed no homes have been built and the property is now a vacant lot. According to a thread, the demolition took place in the last month or so.

Thanks for the pix, CDR!

Yesterday, we told you about a community meeting at which developers presented plans for the renovation of the Edward Corner building at 1100 N. Delaware Ave. and the construction of a new mixed-use building next door, and we told you that we'd provide renderings as soon as the CDR site updated its listings for the November meeting. Maybe half an hour later, the City updated the CDR site. Nice job, guys.

So now, without much more ado, check out Core Realty's plan for this block, in all its glory. Credit goes to Stanev Potts Architects for the design work.

Plus large mixed use coming next door

It was three and a half years ago that we first brought the Edward Corner building at 1100 N. Delaware Ave. to your attention, wondering when development would catch up to this relic of a bygone maritime age. We learned about the 2010 plan to renovate the building and create a diner space on the first floor, but it seems nothing ever came of that idea. When we checked in about a year and a half ago, Core Realty had come up with a new plan to demolish the Edward Corner building and build a twelve story structure with 180 apartments and retail in its place.

Edward Corner building

Neighbors were not into this plan. Within a couple of months, the building was nominated for historic designation and the Historical Commission voted to list it about a year ago. So here we are today, with the building looking as blighted and vacant as it did when we first looked at it all those years ago.

More good news for Frankford Ave. in East Kensington

Just because it's been a few weeks since we've been able to get ourselves to East Kensington doesn't mean there isn't a bunch of development news to report in the neighborhood. Take, for instance, a large vacant lot at 2565-77 Amber St., which sits near the intersection of Frankford Avenue and East Huntingdon Street. This parcel has been sitting vacant for many years, with the surrounding chain link fence slowly getting overrun by some aggressive flora.

View of the property

Developers bought this property back in 2013 and are now looking to build seven triplexes. They went to the ZBA earlier this week, but the case got continued. Has anyone been to the community meetings on this project that can provide some insight into how it was received? Perhaps the neighborhood was looking for a single building here instead of a number of smaller buildings? Or maybe, because the property sits so close to Frankford Avenue, the community wanted retail on the first floor. After all, there's a Steak N Shake across the street and just beyond that building we've seen some new mixed-use buildings rise on Frankford Ave. in the last couple years.

Been in the works awhile, looks like it could happen soon

An undetermined number of years ago, some city planners and/or school district employees determined that the best school yards are those that are covered in asphalt. Not knowing their identities and understanding that they're probably long dead, we can't even send them a thank you card for the many lousy school yards we "enjoy" today. Across the city, many communities are no longer willing to accept big parking lots that double as school yards and are working on all sorts of improvement efforts. At the Arthur School in Graduate Hospital, a major construction project took place over the summer and should wrap up in the coming weeks. In West Philly, we've been covering the greening efforts at Lea Elementary for years. In Bella Vista, the Nebinger School has taken a phased approach to improving its school yard.

At the Adaire School at 1300 E. Palmer St., parent group Friends of Adaire have worked for the last several years to push forward a school yard revitalization project, and it's certainly a large space that could use some love.