Boy oh boy, has Washington Avenue undergone some changes over the last few years. With projects popping up all over the place and the newly paved (and partially safer) roads, the industrial-heavy past is slowly making a sharp turn toward a mixed-use future. One place where this change is very clear is at 2201 Washington Ave., where the former Biben Sales building has been demolished and cleared for one of several mixed-use developments at various stages along the corridor. It was way back in 2018 when we first told you of plans for the site, with 21 townhomes and 90 units across two mixed-use buildings. As you can see now, things are just about finished for this sizable project.

The view from 23rd St., with the townhouses on the left and the mixed-use building on the right
A look at the former Biben Sales building that once stood here, not exactly an architectural marvel
The eastern building at 22nd & Washington

We’ve mentioned in the past that an increase in retail and commercial options along Washington Ave. will further cement this area as a mixed-use neighborhood. And (jubilant trumpets blaring) this project managed by OCF Realty will have several spaces that should set-off foot traffic as one moves west along Washington. Four new retail businesses will join the corridor in the coming year, which will represent a sea change on this corridor.

The western building at 23rd & Washington
2201Wash-site Plan
The site plan, with the soon-to-be commercial tenants

Starting on the west side of the site, Chef Chad Durkin and the team behind Small Oven Pastry Shop and Porco’s Porchetteria are working on a new concept. While Chef Chad is keeping a lid on the exact concept at the moment, he promises the new space will be an “approachable, fun, simply delicious quick concept you will grow to love, just like in our current establishments.” Keep an eye on the socials for Small Oven and Porco’s in the coming months for more info.

Tuck Barre & Yoga, which has a few locations across the city, will take the larger space in the western building, and it’s a good thing, given the growing food options on the corridor. Jumping to the eastern building, Warhorse Barbell Club is taking the largest of the commercial spaces, joining the gym’s other spot in Northern Liberties and also helping burn off the calories. Last but certainly not least, Bagels & Co. will hold down the 22nd St. corner, becoming yet another business expanding from a Northern Liberties (and Fishtown) location. This is an enviable set of retail options for any part of the city, but this is truly a coup for the Graduate Hospital/Point Breeze neighborhoods. Unless you’re shopping for floor tile, this end of Washington Ave. is fairly limited from a retail standpoint, so these places should be popping as soon as they open their doors.

And speaking of retail, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the most adorable – and beneficial – retail spaces we’ve seen in a long time. In between the two buildings sits a tiny structure that’s easily missed. This is a Mama Tee Pop-Up Grocery Store, relocated from its old location at 16th & Montrose.

2201Wash-site Plan Updated
The site plan, with the soon-to-be commercial tenants

This pop-up grocery store is an expansion of the 18 community fridges that founder Dr. Michelle Nelson has been pushing across the city. This store is supported by donations from Whole Foods Market and is meant to help offer socially impactful retail to developing neighborhoods. So in addition to its cute appearance, this store is providing a true benefit to this evolving community.

Disclosure: An affiliate of OCF Realty is the developer for the 2201 Washington Ave. project. OCF Realty is the parent company of Naked Philly.