With every year that passes, Frankford Avenue continues its evolution from a commercial corridor with a heavy dose of industrial use to a commercial corridor dominated by mixed-use and retail. For a case in point, consider the 1300 block of Frankford, where Toile, Jinxed, the Parlour, office space, and the flagship La Colombe are all located in converted warehouses and garages. Ditto City Fitness on the 1400 block, which converted a plastic bag manufacturing company’s old headquarters into the biggest gym in the neighborhood. While those changes are of the adaptive reuse variety, there are also examples of demolition and new construction, like the former Penn Treaty Metals property at 1405 Frankford Ave., across the street from City Fitness.
We first told you about this project a little less than two years ago, as the developers were preparing to present to the community. We suspected that it would be a contentious discussion about the project, mostly because parking gets people extra riled up in Fishtown. We explained that the developers were able to build a 32-unit building with no parking by right, but were proposing a 30-unit building with ground-floor retail and 16 parking spaces. Still, we wondered whether that would be enough to get the neighbors to support the height variance for the project. In the end, the community came out narrowly in support of the project and it eventually got approval from the ZBA. Work got started last summer and we were pleased to see the progress when we passed by the site the other day.
You can see, the building has shaped up, for the most part, and that the retail spaces are going to be awesome, with super high ceilings. According to the brochure from MSC Retail, one of the two retail spaces is leased, with the other still available. Has anyone heard anything about the tenant for this property? Is there a particular type of business you’d like to see take over the other space? Maybe Penn Treaty Metals wants to make a comeback at this location?