Fishtown is Getting a Flatiron Building on Frankford Avenue

The intersection of Frankford Avenue, E. York Street, and Trenton Avenue is one of the most challenging in the city, a rare five corner intersection, with the sixth corner just off to the side. All this chaos is incredibly hazardous to everyone, from pedestrians to bikers to drivers, and will soon result in a roundabout. We have to wonder whether it was safer or even more dangerous back in the day, when trains rumbled up and down Trenton Avenue.

View of the intersection

Though the road conditions make traversing this intersection incredibly stressful, they produce uniquely shaped properties, which makes things kind of fun. For years, we’ve looked at this phenomenon on Passyunk or Point Breeze or Grays Ferry Avenues, where this condition has sometimes resulted in rather boring buildings and in other situations gifted us with some of the more interesting new structures in town. Our favorite is probably the Flatiron-like building at 5th & Passyunk, designed by Ambit Architecture. That building is still under construction, but is approaching the finish line.

Curvy building on Passyunk Ave.

2401 Frankford Ave. looks like it has a rather similar condition to the property at 5th & Passyunk. This parcel was home to a uniquely shaped building for many years, which was most recently occupied by an appliance store. That building was demoed a few months back, and plenty of people complained about this on Facebook.

In the past
Current view

Perhaps, had people known what was in store for this property, we might have heard less kvetching. Ambit seems to be wrapping up the funky triangular lot niche these days, as they’ve stepped up to handle the design for this parcel. Though we don’t see permits just yet, we understand the project will entail fifteen apartments over retail. Check out these sweet renderings:

Project rendering
Seen from Trenton Avenue
Interior rendering

This is gonna be one terrific new building, assuming the end result looks like the renderings. It certainly resembles the Passyunk project, but there will be enough touches that differentiate the Fishtown building from the Queen Village project, like the cast stone columns on the facade and the recessed entry at the front of the building. We don’t get buildings like this very often in Philadelphia, and it’s a cause for celebration when developers and architects can put their heads together to come up with something interesting that truly embraces the funky conditions of a site. With roundabout construction starting soon, there’s some serious change in the air for this intersection, and we love to see it.

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