Penn Treaty Metals Project Proceeding on Frankford Avenue

Last summer, developers came to the community with plans to redevelop the large parcel at 1405 Frankford Ave., the longtime home of Penn Treaty Metals. By right, the developers could have built a mixed-use project with 30 units and no parking, but they instead proposed 32 units and 16 parking spaces. Still, the community only came out in support of the project by a narrow margin. We mentioned last month that we’d heard rumblings that this project would soon get underway, and wouldn’t you know it, those rumblings were accurate.

View of the property
Old building has been demoed

In case you don’t remember the plans for this property, here’s a rendering to jog your memory.

Penn Treaty Metals project rendering

Pretty much across the street, we’ve heard good news about the approval process for another project. Less than a month ago, we told you that developers had a plan to demo the buildings at 1502-08 Frankford Ave. and build a five-story mixed-use building with 28 residential units. The community was not on board, so the developers revised their plans to reduce the unit count to 24, and according to a thread on Fishtown.us, the community overwhelming supported the project. We’re not sure why cutting out four units flipped the vote so dramatically, but it’s academic at this point as the ZBA has already approved the project.

Upcoming project at 1502 Frankford Ave.
Old rendering of 1502 Frankford Ave.

Just yesterday, we showed you a new five-story building on N. 2nd Street in Northern Liberties and explained that the CMX-2.5 zoning for the parcel allowed for greater development flexibility. While Frankford Avenue seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much, we wonder whether the corridor might benefit from a little remapping to make it easier to develop new mixed-use buildings with appropriate density. On the other hand, given the challenges of getting buy in from neighbors on projects impacting parking, we aren’t sure the community would support a move that would allow for more height and density by right. On the other other hand, more density begets more customers for local businesses and a more vibrant commercial corridor. It’s a tough balance, we know, and it will surely be a discussion point in Fishtown for many years to come.

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