It’s no secret that Frankford Avenue has experienced a major boom over the last number of years, with a bunch of new buildings rising and a ton of new businesses opening along the corridor. Has the growth of Frankford Avenue has spurred residential development on surrounding blocks in Fishtown and East Kensington? Or is it the other way around? Hard to say for sure, but we’d actually posit that there’s a symbiotic relationship between the two that’s working out well for residents and business owners alike.
But this isn’t really the case for all of Frankford Avenue. When someone talks about the bustling corridor, they’re usually talking about the section that runs between Girard and Lehigh. The first few blocks of Frankford Avenue, running from Columbus Blvd. to Girard Ave., have generally received less fanfare. Perhaps it’s because these blocks aren’t in the heart of Fishtown. Maybe it’s because this is where I-95 runs over Frankford.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen some notable activity on these blocks over the last few years. The Fillmore Philly complex is probably the most significant project to come down the pike, as it reinvigorated some old industrial buildings with a music venue, food options, a comedy club, and a distillery. A couple of residential projects at Frankford & Wildey have similarly brought old industrial buildings back to life. And now it seems that yet another project is poised to take a similar approach.
We believe that 1108 Frankford Ave. was originally built as the home of the Ajax Electric Company, but in recent years it housed Processing Machinery & Supply and an ice cream manufacturer. You can see in the image above, there’s a zoning notice posted to the building and also a liquor license transfer pending. The zoning notice describes a planned three-story addition that we believe will go up on the vacant lot next door, and a ground-floor use as a 400-seat restaurant. We’ve looked all over our usual sources, but can’t seem to find any information about what’s coming here. You’d think, for such a sizable establishment, there’d be more buzz at this point.
The reader that tipped us off about this project also pointed out that the upper floor of the building is currently available for rent as office space. The zoning application covers that use as well, so assuming that the restaurant receives community support and ZBA approval, then the office use upstairs will also be okay. Please note, if you’re looking for a 4,000 sqft office space with a huge restaurant downstairs and an adult arcade next door, this will be an attractive spot for you. Meanwhile, has anyone heard any more info about the restaurant that’s coming to the first floor?