About a month ago, we told you to be on the lookout for a new project on the 1400 block of Oxford Street, just a block off Frankford Avenue. The project, which called for a new apartment building with 42 units, 34 parking spots, and a rooftop pool, will be located at 1408-18 Oxford St., a parcel which has been used for industrial purposes for longer than you’ve been alive. In recent decades, the building was home to Xynatech Manufacturing, a company specializing in rotary die cutting. With Fishtown changing so much in recent years and with exploding residential demand, it’s only shocking that this transition has taken so long to take place.
As we told you previously, this property is zoned for single-family homes, despite the longstanding industrial use. As a result, the proposed development will require approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustments. In case you weren’t aware, any case appearing before the ZBA must first appear before the community, and it just so happens that this one is coming before Fishtown Neighbors Association next week. Helpfully, FNA shared the plans for the project in preparation for this meeting, and as a result we can share the following renderings, with a hat tip to Ambit Architecture for the sweet design work.
But this project, which is being called the National Metalcrafters Building, isn’t the only development in store for this block. It turns out that Xynatech also owned a sizable parcel on the other side of the street, at the corner of Belgrade. You can probably guess, they’ve also sold this property, which will also meet the wrecking ball. We don’t know that too many people will miss this building.
In its place, look for a row of seven new homes called Oxford Row. The homes will have a fairly unique appearance (also from Ambit), with some homes featuring faux-industrial brick facades and others loaded with glass windows. The homes will have a parking lot in the back of the property, the absence of which would probably raise hackles in this part of town.
Like we said, both projects will require ZBA approval before they can move forward, and that approval might hinge on how the neighborhood responds next week. From where we sit, the homes will garner support, but the apartment building will meet with some opposition due to height, density, and “insufficient” parking. Here’s to hoping that we’re off base, and that the neighborhood appreciates the improvement to the block and supports the density, given the proximity to the neighborhood’s commercial corridor. If you’d like a front seat on the action, the community meeting will take place on February 18th at First Presbyterian Church on Girard Avenue.