Laser Tag Coming to Washington Avenue

We just love it when people take our advice. We've been ringing the bell for laser tag in Philadelphia for years, typically defaulting to the recommendation when faced with large, challenging, vacant buildings. We suggested it for the Gretz Brewery in South Kensington. We thought it would be a neat idea for the old Mikveh Israel building on North Broad Street. We still think it would be amazing in the building behind the shopping center where Washington Avenue hits Columbus Boulevard. 

Alas, years have gone by and nobody has taken the laser tag plunge… until now.

At the end of last year, we told you that new developers had come forward to purchase 2101 Washington Ave., the former home of the Frankford Chocolate Company which has sat empty for the last decade despite several redevelopment possibilities. We were optimistic that these developers would finally move forward on a project here, especially in light of the numerous proposals for other Washington Avenue properties over the last year or so. So yesterday, we were especially pleased when a reader shared news of a near neighbor meeting at which the developers presented preliminary plans for the property. Laser tag was apparently a major theme.
 

Frankford Laser Tag Company

The current version of the project would demolish most of the structures at the front of the property and reuse the main building, similar to the Campbell Thomas plan from a few years ago. Unlike the Campbell Thomas plan, the first floor and part of the second floor would be reserved for "the largest laser tag facility in the world." At the meeting, the developers showed their passion for laser tag, going on about the concept for quite some time. The facility will have themed laser tag rooms with modular separations, allowing the rooms to be combined into a single space that could accommodate up to 250 players at one time. Upstairs, the developers are planning apartments but according to the reader who attended the meeting, they were really pushing the laser tag and the apartments kind of seemed like an afterthought.

Obviously, this was just a preliminary presentation and the plans could change as the project moves through the permitting process. It stands to reason that the laser tag facility will be smaller than currently advertised and that community involvement will push the project toward a more standard configuration. But for now, we can at least say two things with confidence-  the Frankford Chocolate Co. building is getting reused, and laser tag is happening!!!

Laser tag!

Update: This story was posted on April Fools Day and it definitely not true. Mostly.