Renovation, Demolition at Former Warehouse in Fishtown

A few years back, when we were sharing news about five homes planned for the 400 block of Memphis Street, we first mentioned 1421 E. Columbia Ave., a blighted and vacant old factory just a block from Palmer Park. The five homes on Memphis are now built and sold, but the former Brownhill Kramer Hosiery factory around the corner remains vacant. But not for long.

In the past

Remember, we told you that this building would be getting revived a couple years back, with plans from Roland Kassis of Domani Developers to create 57 apartments and 30 parking spots in the old building. The project also called for the renovation of the smaller building with frontage on Columbia Avenue (in the foreground of the image above) into the newest City Fitness location. We even got a rendering that showed the new gym but strangely didn't show any renovations for the rest of the building.

An old rendering

We passed by the property the other day and were happy to see that the warehouse is currently under construction. All the old windows have been knocked out, and we assume that crews are doing their thing inside. You can even see that a handful of new windows have been installed.

Construction ongoing

But then it occurred to us- the building on Columbia Ave. is gone! Previously, we weren't able to see a shorter second section of the old factory and now it's visible, clear as day.

Front section of the building is almost all gone

We wonder, does this mean that the gym is no longer happening? Or maybe the gym is still coming and a new building is in store. We reached out to the developer to get the skinny, and we'll be sure to provide an update as soon as we hear back. If a gym isn't in the cards, it will take some of the shine off the project in our eyes, but it would probably represent an exciting change for the folks that live nearby that disliked the project because of parking concerns. Gym or not, if we lived nearby, we'd just be happy that this building, an eyesore for so long, is finally getting the attention it deserves.