Back in the spring, we told you to expect a new apartment building on a pie-slice-shaped property at 2110 E. Norris St., a parcel that’s been used as warehouse/office space for a framing company in recent years. Even if you’ve never been on this block of Norris Street, you’ve probably still seen this building from across the field next to the Kensington CAPA High School. The ‘Kensington Football’ sign on the side of the building refers to the Kensington Tigers team, which pulls participants from a number of area high schools, covering an otherwise blank wall. The project in question will undoubtedly result in the demolition of the existing building and therefore the elimination of the sign.
When we first told you about the project, we were expecting a six-story building with 106 apartments, 16 parking spots, and ground-floor commercial. As is often the case with these sorts of projects, the plan has changed a little bit. The final concept calls for 95 apartments, 21 parking spots, and a pair of retail spaces. The building will have an unusual ‘U’ shape, with a small dog park and lawn space in the open space in the middle, fronting Norris Street. On the first floor, the retail spaces will sit on one side of the U, with the parking area on the other side, and tenant amenities in the rear. The upper floors are all residential, of course.
GY Properties is the developer for the project, the same company that renovated the Trenton China building in Old City and the Chesterman Building in Fishtown. Unlike those projects, this will be ground-up construction, but given the wealth of experience, we don’t imagine this project will present much of an issue for these developers. As we expected, they will be pursuing a by-right project here, with a h/t to the property’s CMX-3 zoning. They still needed to come to the community, however, because the project will be going to Civic Design Review. As a result, we’ve got some renderings to share, with credit to Coscia Moos for the design work.
This will obviously represent a tremendous upgrade over the building that’s here now, and nearby businesses will surely appreciate the influx of new customers. As we said before, we don’t have a ton of confidence in the retail spaces in this building, which will sit off of both the Front Street and Frankford Avenue corridors. Then again, they’ll be small enough that they might work nicely for some neighborhood-focused retail or office space. In the end, it’s a minor detail for a project that will otherwise make a great change at this location. Unfortunately for the Kensington Tigers, we aren’t sure their sign will be making a comeback- but that’s a small price to pay, in our estimation.