Fishtown

The rest is probably gone by now

Last summer, we told you that the former Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ at 1401 Marlborough St. was under agreement at a list price of $750K. At the time, we speculated that any buyer stepping in at that price point would likely be demolishing the handsome building, likely in favor of residential development. It was just a few months later that our suspicions were confirmed and plans came out from Greenpoint Developers, an offshoot of Tower Investments for six homes on the site. After negotiations with the community, the oddly shaped sixth home was axed and the project got approval from the ZBA. At that point, it was just a matter of time before the church came down.

Old picture of the church

Recently, when we told you about plans for tacos on Frankford Avenue, we mentioned that demolition had begun at the church. When we passed by last week, only one entranceway remained from a church that was originally built in 1841. It would come as no surprise to us if even this remnant has now passed into oblivion.

And they're gonna be delicious

Two years ago, we wondered what a little building the size of a ticket stand on a vacant Frankford Ave. corner was doing. Back then we thought 1431-35 Frankford Ave. would be a solid location for redevelopment. Such a vision has recently come to life as the Fishtown Neighbors Association recently supported plans for a take-out taco shack at this location. It will purportedly be run by the owners of Modo Mio, according to a thread on Fishtown.us.

Makes sense considering the direction of the corridor

In the riverwards, East Girard Avenue is in the midst of continued redevelopment. From the almost finished Joe's Steaks at Frankford in the old Acropolis location across the street from Johnny Brenda's, to Marlborough where a former rose garden was developed into mixed-use, East Girard continues to see improvement.

Looking up East Girard

Where the roses once bloomed on the corner of Marlborough St. is now Girard, a french brasserie on the ground floor, with apartments above. Across the street, an old auto supply store sold a couple years back and has been wonderfully restored, pointing to even more reinvestment along East Girard. Now there are plans for more mixed-use, this time at 1142 Crease St., a property that looks like it was once a small gas station. That's two small half-size blocks, from Shackamaxon, where another mixed-use project brought the Palm Tree Market with five units above.

Positive change for a once-neglected corner

Last April, we brought the corner of Sepviva & E. Firth to your attention, noting the early stages of a six-home development. Previously at this corner, there was a City-owned basketball court that was in poor condition, and according to commenters it was rarely used for play and occasionally used for drug dealing. So no loss there.

In the past

We passed by this corner the other day and it seems that the project is done.

Current view
Five homes on Sepviva St.

We can only find the sales of some of the homes on public record, but from the looks of it, most if not all of the homes have found buyers. Architecturally, the row of new homes certainly stands out from the older homes in the neighborhood, and for us they evoke a bit of a Lego feel. Still, those front balconies will surely be a treat once the warmer weather rolls around.

How 'bout five instead?

Development in Fishtown is shuffling towards its borders as parcels near Aramingo Ave. have been getting attention in recent months. But developers with plans to build six townhomes at 2631-35 E Norris St. will have to amend their project if they want community support.

The long empty lot

At a community meeting last month, neighbors thought six homes on three lots was too many, according to Matt Karp, Fishtown Neighbors Association zoning chair. Currently, the parcel is a large fenced-in vacant lot with some big trees. The size of said trees suggests that the lot has been this way for many years. Gator Properties acquired the parcel for $350K in 2004 along with the home next door, used as a rental property ever since. Clearly, the developers have been biding their time with this lot.

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