Former Pretzel Factory on Frankford Is One of Many Projects on Booming Block

Factories and industrial uses used to be par for the course for Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, even up until several years ago. But as you probably know if you’re reading a real estate blog, this commercial corridor has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last several years, which continues even today. Back in 2019, we told you how Furfari’s Soft Pretzel Bakery used to operate out of the building at 2023 Frankford Ave., but plans were afoot for something new.

2023 Frankford Ave. with a sign of impending construction...back at our last site visit in 2019
Current view of Furfari's
View of the back of the lot (and pups!) from Sepviva St.

Despite the churn of development along this stretch, this building has remained surprisingly stagnant over these last three years. But fear not, because it sounds like things will get moving here sooner than later. Thanks to an Instagram post from KJO Architecture last week, we now expect that construction should soon begin on the lot. Permits are already in hand for an eight-unit building with Frankford-fronting ground floor commercial space. Check out the elevation drawing along with a rendering of what’s in store for this property.

A rendering of 2023 Frankford shows the modern structure between vernacular architecture

This project continues the Frankford Avenue transformation from industrial-focused to a true mixed-used corridor with an increasing residential presence. This modern design fits in nicely with the newer developments along the corridor, with the street’s CMX-2 zoning leading to a large number of similarly scaled projects. In fact, we barely have to leave this block to see some of those projects.

On the south end of the block, 1868-74 Frankford Ave. from Paul Drzal is almost complete and will bring 21 units to southwest corner across Norris. Just across the street from the former bakery, two Ambit Architecture-designed projects are in various stages of construction. 2002 Frankford Ave. is adding five units above commercial space, and 2020 Frankford Ave. will add 16 units, along with two affordable units. And finally, just across Susquehanna, 2201 Frankford Ave. is yet another project brought to us by Ambit. “The Yellowjacket” is the only one of these projects with parking, and will include six car spaces for the 26-unit building along with even more ground floor commercial space.

1868-74 Frankford Ave., looking southwest across E. Norris St.
Current view of 2002 Frankford Ave.
Rendering shows a more traditional, red brick design
Current status of 2020 Frankford Ave.
Rendering of what's in store for 2020
...or perhaps we'll see this style of brick instead?
Looking northeast across E. Susquehanna Ave. at the nearly-completed Yellowjacket

When these projects are complete, 76 more units (go Sixers!) and multiple commercial spaces will be added just to this stretch. We’ll bet that it won’t be another three years before the former bakery’s transformation begins.