If you’re familiar with the Fishtown/East Kensington area, you’ve probably traversed the crazy intersection where Frankford Ave., E. York St. and Trenton Ave. converge, which formed a bit of a wild west approach to driving through here. If you’ve been by recently however, you’ve experienced the wonders of the Fishtown Roundabout, which is now in service. In a very Philadelphia-style mystery, someone has been placing decorative rocks in the middle of the roundabout, as a tweet from the Fishtown Neighbors Association pointed out. Sadly, these rocks will have to be removed for “emergency access” per city agencies (please excuse our groan upon hearing this rationale). Let’s check it out now before the circle rocks out no more.

Close up of the roundabout shows mysterious rocks - the Stonehenge of Fishtown?

We bring you to this circle today as we have some updates on what’s to come for the immediate area. The buildings at 2406-12 Frankford Ave. have long held down the 2400 block, even in the years before this neighborhood went through its ongoing development boom. You can see how they stood by themselves for awhile, thanks to a little jump into the way-back machine.

A rendering of "The Dash" at 2400-04 Frankford Ave.

So where are things now? Well for the time being, these buildings remain steadfast in their mid-block location. However, they are no longer so lonesome, as there have been multiple neighbors popping up on either side. Soon though, they’ll be gone. A recent zoning permit was pulled, calling for the buildings to be demo’ed, with a 22-unit building and ground floor commercial space to rise in their place. We don’t have many details as of yet, but given the CMX-2 zoning, we would anticipate something of similar scale to the adjacent buildings.

A rendering of the future look of "The Phlatiron"
View looking south shows new neighbor on the corner
Close-up of the four homes to be demo'ed

As you’re well aware, we’re all for additional density and more commercial space, but the imminent demise of these rather adorable buildings has us a little down. Fishtown’s progression from a development standpoint has been both remarkable and helpful in filling in the gaps that once were so common. While these buildings are not of the stunning variety you may see in Rittenhouse Square or Parkside, they collectively offer some terrific character and we can only hope that what goes up here is a worthy replacement. Speaking of nice designs, you may have noticed the building immediately to the south under construction in the picture above. Let’s check on the progress for this and another roundabout-facing building while we’re in the neighborhood.

Current view of "The Phlatiron" at 2401 Frankford Ave.
View looking north up Frankford shows several new additions to the block
View of 2406-12 Frankford Ave. in the past, looking rather lonely on the block

Things are really coming together for these two projects we covered recently. First is “The Dash” at 2400 Frankford Ave., which replaced a used car dealership. The Dash will bring 16 units and ground floor commercial space, designed by Canno Design and developed by Khosla Properties, to the northwest edge of the circle. Just across the street at 2401 Frankford Ave., the aptly-named “Phlatiron” is on its way. This building from Philly Capital Group and Ambit Architecture which will add 15 units and ground floor retail. We hope that the new project on the 2400 block keeps up this high-quality design that’s encircling the, uh, circle.

UPDATE (5/13/2022): After we initially published our post, the fine folks at Archive Development reached out to let us know they will be developing this site. These houses are in rough shape sadly, with the city even attempting to condemn them recently. So what will rise here? We are thrilled to say that the high-quality design we were hoping for is very much coming our way. Canno Design is handling architectural duties, and wouldn’t you know it, they designed the buildings on both sides of this parcel. Let’s check out some renderings before we get to the details below.

View looking north at the new 2406-12 Frankford Ave.
Daytime view shows off the grid-like form
And an evening view for good measure

Look for 22 units to go up in this building, three of which will be affordable – always a win to include in such an appealing area. Also expect 3,000 sq. ft. of retail space along Frankford Ave., putting a nice bow on this soon-to-be completely revamped block. We are huge fans of how this building plays to the form of the building to the south while taking on the window and brick detailing of the building to the north. The exposed steel skeleton on the outside of the building looks pretty darn cool, too, along with the ombre effect of the dark-to-light building tones as you move north. We can only hope that more blocks under development across the city end up looking as good as this one will.