A reader reached out to us, wondering what’s happening at 2222 Frankford Ave., where a building was demolished toward the end of last year. Looking into things, we took a trip down memory lane using Google Maps Street View, and took a look at this property way back in 2007. Holy cow, did this block look awful! The surrounding properties were a mix of vacant land and blighted buildings- 2222 Frankford Ave. might have been the best of the bunch back then.
By the time last year rolled around, shortly before the building got demoed, you can see just how much things improved. Every visible building was renovated during this time. The vacant lot next door turned into a new mixed-use building with a yoga studio on the first floor. Several other vacant lots filled in nearby. And a store selling second hand stuff opened in the building at 2222 Frankford Ave., ultimately enjoying a nice run for a small business. Alas, the business and the building are now gone.
It appears that developers bought the property back in 2017 and then went to the ZBA to get approval for a new mixed-use building with 6 apartments over retail space, and two parking spaces in the rear. That approval came through in 2018 and the demo permits were issued in 2019, but we don’t see any building permits at this point. That would explain why the site looks the way it does today, with bracing ostensibly supporting the party walls on either side, while the owners wait on permits to build their new project.
It’s a shame that the mixed-use building with the yoga studio was built when it was, since a combined property could have accommodated more units and a larger commercial space. Frankford Avenue has so many small retail spaces, and as a result and to its credit, it’s one of the most successful corridors in town in terms of small, locally owned businesses. That being said, larger retail spaces attract larger tenants which can add a different dimension to a block, and that could have been a nice approach at this location. But we’re really splitting hairs here- the transformation on this block is so staggering in such a short period of time, one large retail space versus two smaller retail spaces probably doesn’t move the needle very much at all. We’ll just look forward to a day, hopefully in the near future, when the bracing comes down and construction gets moving.