FreezPak Facility Goes to Civic Design Review at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue in Port Richmond, Kensington

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

Pennoni Associates, a Philadelphia-based construction engineering firm, has submitted a proposal to Civic Design Review for a 77-foot-tall, 170,117-square-foot FreezPak industrial facility at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue in Port Richmond, Kensington. The gargantuan development will span a 306,275-square-foot lot bound by Allegheny Avenue to the west, Westmoreland Street to the east, and a rail line to the north. In addition to the building, the facility will also include 18 65-foot-long semi-trailer loading docks, parking for 90 cars, a 104-foot-wide loading lane, and a four-lane interior access road.

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

The new building will measure 385 feet long and 346 feet wide. Most of the structure will be comprised of an enormous single-story space, which ought to be one of the largest single enclosed spaces by volume in all of Philadelphia. The exterior will be clad in bland yet, thankfully, largely inoffensive mix of off-white and gray insulated metal panels, with a blue stripe making for a horizontal accent.

The development will rise in the midst of a mixed residential-industrial neighborhood comprised chiefly of a mix of rowhouses and hulking commercial and industrial facilities, many dating to the prewar era. While the removal of the enormous, seven-acre parking lot, which is currently used primarily for school bus parking, is a definite positive for the neighborhood, its replacement will offer only marginal improvement to the streetscape, in the form of new sidewalk trees and a narrow band of greenery along the building footprint.

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

2201 East Allegheny Avenue. Credit: Pennoni Associates via the Civic Design Review

The boxy, nigh-featureless building will have an overwhelming presence on the local streetscape. This fact, in itself, would not be an affront to an all-industrial area, yet the building’s presence at the site is complicated by its immediate proximity to residential blocks, including rowhouses across Allegheny Avenue and a 189-unit mixed-use development also proposed at 2204-14 East Allegheny Avenue across the avenue along the railroad trestle.

But even though ambivalence about the project’s impact on the neighborhood is understandable, as is the future impact of tractor trailer traffic on the adjacent streets, it is hard to deny the facility’s positive impact on the local economy, the hundreds of jobs (both construction and permanent) it will contribute to the working-class neighborhood, and the boost to the city’s tax base the development would bring.

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3 Comments on "FreezPak Facility Goes to Civic Design Review at 2201 East Allegheny Avenue in Port Richmond, Kensington"

  1. That’s not an Amtrak rail line. It’s an old freight train line.

  2. Thats the perfect sight for that kind of building….an old industrial area near the I95 Allegheny ave on /off ramps

  3. This is good news for the type of jobs needed in Philadelphia to help those who are marginally skilled and not over-educated. Warehouse work – in cold conditions, tough but steady work. Will be great for the Port of Philadelphia, and help Philly secure some of the warehouse(cold storage) jobs now being anchored over in South Jersey. Hope it gets built for the good of those seeking to work hard to better themselves and their families — these types of job starts have been missing for Philadelphians who need them for a long time.

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