Early Stage of Construction For Another Big Front Street Project?

Remember the ski-slope building on the 1300 block of N. Front St. that we told you about last summer? Here's a look at the finished product, which looks as weird and as wonderful as we'd hoped.

Ski slope building

Just to the north of this new building, a reader recently brought the large property at 1320-48 N. Front St. to our attention. This parcel was home to a small warehouse as recently as 2007, but since its demolition the parcel has been sitting vacant and overgrown. In the last few months though, some construction equipment has rumbled on and off of the site, tearing up the concrete that had covered the lot.

Current view at 1320-48 N. Front St.

Naturally, you'd guess that some kind of new construction is on the horizon. Considering the avalanche of recent construction on Front Street and the success of the Townhomes at Liberties North project across the street, residential or mixed-use development would seem like a logical next step for this property. But logic doesn't always apply to real estate development, so it's not altogether shocking that something entirely different is happening here. Yes folks, this vacant lot is turning into a surface parking lot. Exciting, right?

It's actually a little more exciting than you might think. The owners of the property got a variance last year to convert it into a parking lot, specifically as an accessory use to a hotel on Frankford Avenue. We first told you about plans for a hotel at the old Arctic Cold Storage building at 1224-40 Frankford Ave. a few years ago, but you've probably noticed that no hotel has opened here yet. On the same day the owners of the parking lot got their variance, they also got a variance for the hotel, which will include 125 hotel rooms, office space, multiple restaurants, an event space, and a rooftop pool. We've noticed intermittent construction activity at the hotel site over the last year, but it pretty much still looks like it did a couple years ago.

Future hotel on Frankford Ave.

It may sound like a stretch, but we'd argue that the work on the parking lot could be a strong signal that work could soon begin at the hotel property. This would obviously be phenomenal.

Let's not only hope that the hotel is indeed happening soon but when it does they'll have a valet parking arrangement. After all, how many hotel guests want to walk two blocks to fetch their car?

A bit of a hike to the hotel