Earlier this month, Philadelphia YIMBY published a detailed overview of The Frankford, a six-story, 150-unit mixed-use residential and retail development planned at 1120 Frankford Avenue (alternately 1120-36 Frankford Avenue) in Fishtown, Kensington. Designed by BLT Architects and developed by US Construction, the attractive Neo-Idustrial structure will create 7,166 square feet of ground-level retail and 83,372 square feet of residential space, contributing a significant volume of housing stock and a vibrant retail-fronted streetscape to the neighborhood. However, despite the positive impact the proposal promises to deliver, it arguably suffers from a squat, sprawling massing, which was likely crafted as a response to the neighborhood’s unreasonably low height limit. In this publication, YIMBY shares an alternate project layout of our own, which shows how a less restrictive zoning envelope would allow for a more organic relationship to the street, improved unit layouts, creation of new public space, improved pedestrian circulation,and even preservation of a locally beloved mural.
This year, Philadelphia is about to say “Yes In My Back Yard” to new development on an unprecedented scale. Over the course of last year, the Department of Licenses and Inspections issued a slew of permit approvals that may result in the construction of approximately 10,000 new rental units, roughly triple the number of the average total per typical year. Moreover, during the same period, a total of 90 proposed developments went before the Civic Design Review (CDR) board, which makes non-binding suggestions for projects that meet certain criteria depending on size and location. The number roughly doubles the average yearly volume and has set a record for CDR submission history.