Just around the corner from the thriving Frankford & Berks intersection in Fishtown, developers are renovating a three-story brick building with a carriage door. Two years ago 1836-38 Sepviva St. was purchased at a short sale. According to old listings, renovations have started and stopped repeatedly over the years, and recently resumed. 

The property in question

Bright Common Architecture has done the design for the building’s renovation, which boasts an appealing Fishtown location. Long ago, the building served as the home of the The Theodore Harvey Pickle Factory, but now it seems more appropriate as a live/work space or just condo units. According to the permits, the building will, in fact, be a very large single family home. The first floor has high ceilings, while the second- and third-floor are designed like lofts. The property also includes a large vacant lot next door which has been used as a driveway. Hardly the highest and best use, if you ask us. The property last changed hands in 2011 for $300K. Next door, at 1834 Sepviva St., permits have been filed for renovations. Apparently redevelopment is contagious.

From this location, one only needs to walk a block to Frankford Ave. and look around to observe the consistent redevelopment ongoing along this corridor. We recently told you about a number of projects and progress along the 1800 block of Frankford, including a 15-unit project on the block. Now, as the corridor continues to fill in, developers are looking to capitalize on one-off projects just off Frankford.

Pretty soon, if it was somehow possible, we feel we’ll be able to throw Frankford Avenue and North 2nd Street in Northern Liberties into the ring to see which is stronger. North 2nd has been a heavyweight for a few years, and new spots continue to fill up random vacancies. Meanwhile, Frankford is hitting the weight room with plans like a 16K sqft next-generation LaColombe cafe and distillery, and an entertainment complex down at Delaware Avenue. Who will win the battle? We say, everybody.