Frankford Arsenal will have a new life as a shopping center. Money from the development will help preserve historic buildings.
A unique demolition ceremony was held in Northeast Philadelphia Monday to make way for a new shopping center. The goal is to preserve military history and make it an inviting place to shop.
The cannon fire and rendition of the 1812 overture were reminiscent of the end of the movie Caddyshack, but they were designed to mark the Frankford Arsenal’s history of supplying troops with armament since before the Civil War. The north end of the historic site is being demolished to become a shopping center while the south end will remain two charter schools and other small businesses.
Developer Mark Hankin says it’s taken millions in federal and state dollars to clean up hazardous materials.
“To remove the PCB contaminated transformers and PCB contaminated soils around the transformers. We were told when we bought the property it was clean for unrestricted use and that wasn’t the case.”
Profits from the development will be put back into preserving some of the historic buildings on the southern portion. There are no tenants for the development yet, but Hankin says he expects some by next year’s groundbreaking.