A recent site visit by Philadelphia YIMBY has observed that construction work has made significant progress at a five-story, 204-unit development at 1700 North Front Street in Fishtown. The large-footprint structure replaces a block-spanning parking lot bound by the elevated-train-capped Front Street to the east, Cecil B. Moore Avenue to the south, Hope Street to the west, and Palmer Street to the north. Designed by NORR, the 172,844-square-foot structure will include 123,218 square feet of residential space (including 28 studios, 141 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom apartments, and a 5,264-square-foot amenity suite) and 16,429 square feet of retail. The project will also offer parking for 70 bicycles.
1700 North Front Street will benefit the neighborhood by offering ground-level retail along the adjacent commercial streets, with residential and vehicle access placed the minor streets. However, under a more sensible design code unencumbered by exceptionally inflexible height limit, the development may had instead been massed more optimally. A taller, slimmer building would had opened up a portion of the large lot for public activity, which is notable since the parking lot was previously used for the much-beloved North Front Street Festival.
When we last visited the site in February, we found the construction lot completely torn up and ground-level construction underway. Since that time, work has progressed quite rapidly, and three CMU block service cores tower over the site, reaching nearly to the top of the future building’s height.
Despite the loss of the ersatz public space that the parking lot provided for special events, 1700 North Front Street will be a positive addition to the neighborhood as it will supply an ample volume of new housing units in a transit-adjacent location and will create continuity along the adjacent commercial corridors.
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