Musings on the 1400 Block of Frankford

The west side of the 1400 block of Frankford Avenue is undergoing a major transformation before our eyes. Turn back the clock half a decade and this block was most prominently home to the Bicycle Stable and a large warehouse belonging to the Chalmur Bag Company. Things are rather different today.

Bicycle Stable closed at 1416 Frankford Ave. a little less that two years ago, and when they closed their doors we were worried that a developer would step in and demolish their building. As we told you previously, this building was originally constructed as a stable for police horses and was associated with a long since demolished police station on Front Street. Thankfully, with the news that Cheu Noodle Bar will be opening a new location in the building, we don’t have to worry about the former stable meeting a similar fate.

Future noodle bar, and construction next door

The same developer that bought the Bicycle Stable also bought the two properties next door and you can see they’re at work on a new mixed-use building. The immediately adjacent property was sitting vacant and the second property is a home that was built only a few years ago. The permits are a little confusing, but it appears as though the developer is dramatically renovating the residence and converting it into a mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and two apartments above. The former home will get an addition in the front to match the frontage of the new building next door and we believe the commercial spaces will be combined into one larger space. How unusual, to see a building get so dramatically altered just a few years after it was constructed. We wonder whether it might have been more economical to tear it down and start over, but what do we know.

Head on view

Looking up the block, the bag company is long gone. All that’s left of their warehouse is a lululemon location at 1424 Frankford Ave., and the rest of the warehouse was torn down and the biggest City Fitness ever was constructed in its place. It’s already been a few months since it opened, and we really need to take a tour of that place sometime soon. And maybe crush a couple sets while we’re there, if that’s the proper term. Further up the block, a mixed-use building is progressing on a formerly vacant parcel, and we still don’t know what’s taking their retail space.

New City Fitness building
Mixed use building progressing next door

Finally, at the corner of Frankford & Jefferson, the Yachtsman closed down earlier this month and then news broke that the owners recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With reports indicating tens of thousands of dollars of debt to the landlord, there’s a chance we could see new ownership step in here in the future. We just hope it remains a tiki bar, we don’t have enough of those in this town.

Trouble at the Yachtsman

Update: According to Foobooz, a no frills gastropub will be opening in the Yachtsman space. So long, tiki bar. Bummer.