Test kitchen and taproom coming to old garage

The cider business is exploding in America, with exponential growth over the last half dozen years. And as the Philadelphia area has a thriving local brewery scene, it should come as no surprise that the local cidery scene is on the rise. Still, we must admit that we'd never heard of Kurant Cider until earlier this week, when we read a story from Michael Klein that described their plans for a test kitchen and tasting room on East Girard Avenue. Their future home, 436 E. Girard Ave., is a garage that was originally built in the 1800s and was used most recently as a windshield store. The building has a ton of character right now, with a red door and a second level painted teal. We'd guess that it'll look rather different when they're finished their renovation efforts.

Something exciting surely coming soon

As East Girard has continued to evolve, we've seen various types of changes take effect on the corridor. Many old storefronts have turned over, with a one notable example being the old Acropolis Diner turning into Joe's Steaks a couple years ago. Vacant lots have been filled with new mixed-use buildings, like the project now under construction at the corner of Berks & Girard. And old buildings have come tumbling down in favor of new projects, as we saw over the summer, when a bike shop and garage were demoed on the 500 block of E. Girard. A four story project with two retail spaces and 17 apartments is now rising at that location.

And they'll soon have a bar that's pretty convenient to them

We've been keeping an eye on the area east of Fishtown, on the other side of Aramingo Avenue, for over a year now, waiting for others to discover that Olde Richmond is the new, uh, East Kensington? This part of town has seen the occasional project over the years, but two large developments now under construction could convince other developers that the time is right around these parts.

First phase of Fishtown Court, on Livingston Street

We told you before about Fishtown Court, a project at 2515 E. Albert St. from BMK Homesreplacing an old warehouse with ten new homes. When we last checked in, the warehouse was still standing and the project had yet to go to the ZBA. Now, we see that the first phase of the project is approaching completion, and we understand that all five of the homes on Livingston Street are under agreement at prices up to $375K. The second phase of homes, fronting Belgrade Street, is now under construction.

Community apparently isn't into it

Fishtown keeps improving and as the neighborhood grows, people are more and more willing to live at addresses that were previously considered to be undesirable. We've seen all kinds of projects cropping up on Front Street, for example, despite the frequent rumble of the El. Similarly, we've seen several projects appear next to I-95, like the Riverview Court townhome project. Today we turn our attention to 1025 E. Montgomery Ave., a 15K sqft warehouse next to I-95 that was listed for sale earlier this year for $630K and could be the next residential development site in the neighborhood.

The building

So close to I-95

This property has been home for years to the Mateson Chemical Corporation, a company that has had great success with a deodorizing product with an amazing name called the Bad Air Sponge. Developers have this property under agreement and presented a plan to the community for eleven residential units just this past week. According to a (very short) thread on, the community did not vote in support of the project. Was anyone at the meeting that can shed some light on what happened?

Something bigger coming next door

As Frankford Avenue continues to thrive as a commercial corridor, developers are looking at possible projects everywhere, including smaller properties that they might have previously overlooked. This could very well be the case at 1425 Frankford Ave., a comparatively little property surrounded by some major projects.

Vacant lot to be redeveloped

Developers went to the ZBA last week, and got approval for a plan to build a four story building with ground-floor retail and three apartments upstairs. With Penn Treaty Metals operating out of the building next door for many years, we can see why this parcel previously wouldn't have been anybody's first choice for new construction. But as you might recall, the Penn Treaty Metals building is going away and will soon be replaced by a large mixed-use project that we told you about over the summer. To refresh your memory, that project will involve 30 condos, 16 parking spots, and ground-floor retail. It got a narrow margin of support from the neighborhood and the ZBA gave their approval a couple months ago. So look for this project to move forward in the near future.