We had a hankering for a Steap and Grind sandwich yesterday, and something caught our eye as we approached the excellent Frankford Avenue cafe. We don't know how long it's been there, but a construction fence has appeared at 1716-32 Frankford Ave.
This property looks like it was a surface parking lot at some point, but looking at the Google Street View Time Machine, it's clear that it hasn't been used for that purpose in many years. Doing some perfunctory research, it appears there was a proposal for eleven condos above a commercial space back in 2007, but nothing came of that plan. The property changed hands about two and a half years ago, and more recently we've noticed a 'For Lease' sign posted on the premises.
Perhaps someone has finally stepped forward to lease the land and plans to build something here. Alternately, the owners of the property could be planning a new building. By right, so far as we can tell, they could build a structure with ground-floor retail and 42 apartments above, which would seem to fit in nicely with the growing Frankford Avenue commercial corridor. But we know nothing about concrete plans for this property, we just noticed the fence. Has anyone in the neighborhood heard anything?
Clearly, the redevelopment of this parcel would be a big win for Frankford Avenue, but it would be a loss for those of us who love the mural of a giant fruit-filled fish on the adjacent building. Such is the price of development sometimes, perhaps the artist who painted the fish can recreate it somewhere else when construction eventually begins.