In lux Logan Square, the wrecking ball swings towards a relic of area’s industrial past

The former Creswell Iron Works building at 23rd and Cherry Streets, “one of the last industrial relics left in Logan Square [and longtime]  haven for art studios and other creative endeavors,” could be demolished as early as April 25th, according to Hidden City Philadelphia. The property has been available for years, though Naked Philly speculates that the sale price “didn’t make redevelopment work.” However, a demolition notice posted last week “permits indicate a plan to build a project with sixteen units and sixteen parking spaces,” though this could “mean sixteen townhomes or sixteen condos.” Naked Philly also snapped some shots of some early construction activity conveniently located on the large property across the street.

S.J. Creswell Iron Works, founded in 1835, relocated to 113-27 North 23rd Street in 1885. Samuel Bernstein purchased the company and properties in 1953. Samuel’s brother, Edward, now owns the property. The old ironworks site is listed with a current market value of $2,772,000 

Another residential reinvention marches forward, on Washington Avenue

Meanwhile, in South Philly, developer Ori Feibush has purchased the site of the former Frankford Chocolate Factory on Washington Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets with plans to demolish most of the massive red-brick building and replace it with new apartments, townhouses, and retail, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jacob Adelman reports.

In partnership with fellow developers Robert Roskamp and Howard Silverman, Feibush plans to replace the bulk of the existing 170,000-square-foot factory with “176 apartments above 22,000 square feet of retail space along Washington Avenue in a five-story structure. The mixed-use development would incorporate a section of the existing property at 22nd Street. Plans also include a pedestrian throughway with twenty condo duplexes and a 176-space underground parking garage. The city issued a zoning permit for the building’s demolition on Friday, about a month after classifying the building as imminently dangerous, Adelman reports. The permit does not allow Feibush to demolish the section of the building from which its iconic smokestack rises thanks to a designation on the National Register of Historic Places that became official in January. 

Feibush, who purchased the 2.3-acre site for $15.5 million, insists that there is “insatiable demand” for higher-end mixed-use development. His target audience is renters who want to be centrally-located but can’t quite afford the luxury-level accommodations in Center City. In other words, the same people he has drawn to renovated rowhomes in gentrified Graduate Hospital and gentrifying Point Breeze.The developer, who operates his real estate firm out of a large storefront on Washington Avenue has been on a campaign for years to transform the auto-oriented industrial corridor into a dense, walkable, residential area. 

 “I see [this proposal] as the single most important development that can occur for Point Breeze and Graduate Hospital,” Feibush told Adelman.  “[Washington Avenue] is the true connective tissue between both neighborhoods.”

PSA: Announcing SEPTA Key External Retail Network

SEPTA has launched its new External Retail Network for SEPTA Key, the transit authority announced.  The External Retail locations expand the availability of Key beyond transit stations, bus loop fare kiosks, and SEPTA sales offices. This initial launch includes more than 100 locations, with the goal to grow to approximately 1,500 locations that include grocery stores, pharmacies, and local convenience stores. Jim Saksa reported that SEPTA recently announced that a $4.95 fee will apply for the purchase of a new Key Card.

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