We were in the neighborhood the other day and spotted some new zoning signs at 2042-44 Frankford Ave., a large vacant lot at the corner of Frankford & Susquehanna. A new project at this corner would represent additional action on a block that's currently experiencing some construction in anticipation of Frank 2 from Postgreen and will surely see some additional development with the impending sale of four large City lots further down the block.
Looking at public record, it seems that the developers bought the nice-sized parcel from the Bethel Baptist Church of Kensington earlier this year for $150K. We don't know what the church was planning to do with the land when it made the purchase back in the early 1990s, but
we can see that they definitely haven't done with the parcel of late.
Permits to renovate the three buildings first pulled in 2008 were renewed this summer. All three are owned by the Fishtown Redevelopment Authority, which appears to have purchased the properties together for $105K in April 2008, and filed for permits to renovate the properties soon after. According to a former resident at 2130 Hagert St., a lawyer who posted the information on Fishtown.us, all three properties were new renovations when he lived there in 2008. Next door, at 2134 Hagert St., “Home Depot boxes served as windows,” he wrote. When we passed by last month the boxes were gone but the home remained vacant.
If the new permits are any indication, work is set to revamp these properties for the second time in a very short time period. The owners should have an easy time finding tenants, as the neighborhood is experiencing a consistently heavy dose of redevelopment, both along the Frankford Ave. commercial corridor and on the surrounding blocks as well.
East Kensington is an interesting architectural study of a neighborhood that's experiencing considerable development. On a single block, you may find a classic Philly row home next door to an ultra-contemporary new construction home, next door to a vacant lot. But on the 2000 block of E. Susquehanna, it seems that an older home is on the outs, along with some vacant land.
Demolition coming soon
Last week, developers received approval from the ZBA to demolish the green home pictured above at 2072 E. Susquehanna Ave., and to construct three new homes on its lot as well as two additional vacant lots. These parcels, along with two on Abigail Street, were being offered for sale earlier this year for $350K. Public record doesn't reflect the sale of the lots as of yet, but we would have to assume that the applicant is the new owner.
For years, the old 26th Precinct Police Station stood blighted on the corner of Trenton & Dauphin. The number of years this architectural gem sat vacant worried preservationists, who feared that it might eventually be lost. Thankfully, the building was purchased and restored last year, maintaining the existence of one of the most interesting buildings in the neighborhood.
Along Frankford Avenue, redevelopment has been filling in parcels one by one like dominoes, as each new project seems to feed into the next. Johnny Brenda's was a pioneer, anchoring Frankford Avenue at a hallmark location where it hits Girard. A few years ago, the opening of Frankford Hall heralded the beginning of big new things for the corridor. And the next big thing, coming soon, is the next-generation cafe from La Colombe. But Frankford Avenue development is not only about big projects or large, well-known businesses. It's also about one or two-off residential or mixed use buildings replacing vacant land.
Take, for example, the 2400 block of Frankford Ave.