The northern edge of Northern Liberties and the southern edge of Fishtown/South Kensington are no strangers to development. You’re likely well aware of the massive Piazza Alta project off N. 2nd St. and the Liberty Square project just north of Girard, but today we’re throwing a bit of a curveball. It would be easy to miss 17 W. Girard Ave., an awkwardly shaped property due to the obtuse angle of the street here. But the small space between Kostas and Sancho Pistola’s is making a big change, and it’s gonna be pretty awesome once it’s finished.

17 W. Girard Ave. in the olive green in the recent past
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View of the building coming down from across Girard Ave.
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Closer view of the on-going demolition

As you can see above, demolition is well underway for this corner building, which had structural issues, per data from L&I. So what will take the place of this non-descript building along this key corridor? According Instagram posts by Gnome Architecture and Grit Construction, we should see a four-unit building with ground floor commercial go up in due time. Though zoning and construction permits have yet to be issued, let’s take a look at what should be in store for this spot.

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Rendering of the four-unit building which will fill this corner
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Another moody rendering of the building, looking northwest across Girard Ave.

Quite a change for this corner, wouldn’t you say? We are huge fans of this design, which incorporates traditional red brick with the very non-traditional oval-shaped windows that make up the Girard-facing facade. The playful and modern design contrasts in an interesting way with the buildings next door and is yet another worthy addition to this neck of the woods. Speaking of that, this project sits right across Girard Ave. from two others that are well underway.

At 1148 Frankford Ave., more or less across the street, the former Kensington National Bank Building is getting refreshed along with a wrap-around addition from Oombra Architects. Just a few steps down Frankford Avenue, the Kore-designed Frankford Collective is progressing nicely. These projects will change this intersection even more, bringing 60 apartment units, a dozen hotel rooms, and multiple commercial spaces.

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Current view of former bank at the southwest corner of Frankford & Girard
And a rendering of what's to come to the lot in the future
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Current view of the Frankford Collective and the cleared lot next to the bank
Frankford Ave. view of the new apartments rising around the bank
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A rendering of what's to come for the Frankford Collective

Sure, the project at 17 W. Girard Ave. is quite small when compared to these nearby developments. Still, we’d describe it as small but mighty, emphasizing the funky shape of its front property line with a unique facade. Not only are we cheered to see continued development in this part of town, but we’re also delighted by just how many architects are getting creative around here, providing the urban streetscape with some true 1/1 buildings. This one will certainly qualify as such, and will surely stand as one of the more Instagrammable buildings in Fishtown.