Construction work is largely finished at a five-story, 21-unit mixed-use building at 1868-74 Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, Kensington. The building rises on a lot bound by Frankford Avenue to the east, East Norris Street to the north, and Blair Street to the west. Designed by Paul Drzal, the structure spans 42,000 square feet and offers a ground-level fresh market and adjacent retail space (which also extends to the cellar), elevator service, full sprinkling, and eight off-street bicycle parking spaces. Permits list Bridesburg Properties LLC as the owner and Your Best Choice Construction LLC as the contractor. The construction cost is specified at $850,000.
The structure rises 53 feet high to the main roof and 68 feet to the elevator overrun. The ground floor boasts a 12-foot-plus ceiling height and the ceilings on the floors above apparently rise over nine feet.
The building features an attractive exterior of tapestry red brick. The facade choice makes for a great fit for the prewar surroundings, especially when compared to the gray-brick structures that were built in the vicinity in recent years. Dark metal accents at the base and ornate brickwork at the parapet add further distinction to the design. A masonry veneer adds a further attractive quality to the composition.
Apartments range from studios to two bedrooms, and range from 390 to 1,453 square feet in size. Many of the units feature balconies. Fortunately, every bedroom boasts a window that faces directly outdoors. We wish we did not need to point out such a seemingly basic design element, but even though windowless bedrooms are illegal in Pennsylvania, a worrying number of new developments features rooms that appear to be classified as bedrooms yet feature no direct outdoor-facing windows.
The property is located within a couple of blocks of the Berks Station on the Market-Frankford Line. Even though the surrounding area is becoming increasingly built out (at least under the current zoning code), given the high demand for housing in the immediate area, we expect to hear of new development announcements in the vicinity in the near future.