As development fills East Kensington and starts to drift over to Port Richmond, it's possible that developers will start getting creative with their acquisitions and look at parcels they wouldn't have considered just a few years ago. We're already seeing it in this part of town, as homes are getting built almost on top of I-95 and apartment buildings are going up under the El, yet people are still buying and renting in spite of these imperfections. This being the case, we believe it's just a matter of time before we see some of the larger properties on Lehigh Avenue turn over in favor of new development. The fact that two such parcels are available could hasten the process.

One corner of Frankford & Lehigh

It's a huge parcel

2035 E. Lehigh Ave. is currently home to Paramount Auto & Truck Sales but shouldn't be for much longer, as it's currently listed for sale for $5M. The parcel is enormous, stretching from Frankford to Trenton Avenue and covering 177K sqft. The property is zoned industrial, so any sort of residential project would require a zoning variance; with railroad tracks abutting the property, some sort of sound barrier would probably also make sense. If we owned this property, we might consider an apartment building in the rear, backing up to the tracks, and homes fronting Lehigh Avenue with parking in the back. Alternately, a large apartment building would possibly work here, and if we use the CMX-2 rules as a guide, 491 units would be by right. That would certainly be a game changer for the area.

Joel's Tire Shop, across the street

Across the street, you can see that Joel's Tire Shop at 2001 E. Lehigh Ave. is also available. We can't find any info about this property online, so it's possible that it's already under agreement with somebody. This parcel is a fraction of the size of the Paramount property, but could still accommodate a sizable apartment building or perhaps a row of homes. Again, we see the same challenge here as we see with the adjacent property, that the train tracks aren't exactly a desirable neighbor.

One other thing we should mention is that there are a few scrap yards very close to these properties which also make them less attractive for residential development. Some neighbors are looking to close down the scrap yards in this neighborhood, because, well, nobody is excited to live near a scrap yard. If the scrap yards end up moving away, those properties on Lehigh Avenue will become even more interesting for redevelopment. Or else they'll just stay industrial for the foreseeable future and we'll eventually regard this train of thought as mere speculation, in retrospect.