Torresdale Avenue flea market is unlicensed nusiance says Frankford Civic Association board


An apparent un-sanctioned flea market that has waxed and waned various weekends for at least a couple years on Torresdale Avenue in Frankford has grown to a size and a consistency that concerns the civic association there.

Concentrated on the east side of the 4200-block of Torresdale Avenue between Adams Avenue and Church Street, civic group complaints date back to at least 2009, as the Frankford Gazette reported then, noting, as board members did Thursday night, that the venders were unlicensed, leaving litter behind, causing traffic, and otherwise mistreating a partially residential strip of the busy two-lane road.

So the board discussed finding a new home for the market.

Watch below video of the flea market from October 2009, as recorded by the Frankford Gazette.


Members called for action from Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, who was represented at the meeting by staff member Jason Dawkins, who clarified that their councilmatic district [PDF] there hugs Torresdale, sharing it with outgoing City Councilman Frank DiCicco.

They would have to work together with whoever replaces DiCicco, Dawkins said, suggesting he wouldn’t take on the new fight during summer recess before his leaving office. The Democratic candidate in November’s election is Mark Squilla.

The nearly 10 board members and handful of residents in attendance discussed various police and license and inspections solutions, all of which fell into lamentations of inaction, before discussing the possibility of finding a new location for the flea market, rather than chasing the vendors and buyers away. Treasurer Tim Wisniewski suggested the vacant Philadelphia Parking Authority lot across from Womrath Park on Kensington at Frankford Avenue.

No next action was discussed. The board is taking a summer recess and will resume Sept. 8, 2011.

Also at the meeting: Joe Hohenstein, the clerk of the Frankford Friends School board committee and a 1979 graduate, announced that the school had great success in getting its financing for the $1.6 million expansion that the civic approved in September, including a matching state grant coordinated by state Rep. Tony Payton. The groundbreaking took place recently, and full construction will commence in July or August, he said.

An unnamed resident asked for direction about her child and three classmates being struck by a teacher at HR Edmunds Elementary School and alleging indifference from the school’s principal. She was directed to call the police.

City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez representative Jason Dawkins also announced the grand re-opening of Wilmot Playground, at Mulberry and Meadow streets, including new playground equipment and two new trees, though Dawkins said kids are breaking off their branches. The official opening will happen at 12pm Sat. June 18th with a basketball tournament, food and music. D

awkins also said that the Sankofa Freedom Academy officials are still in conversation with Beneficial Bank, which owns the mortgage of the old Frankford Y, in its bid to take it over for its expanding program.

A family daycare business at 5108 Torresdale Avenue is seeking the civic’s support for zoning approval to double its licensed child care population, from six to 12 children at a time in the 24-hour service.


Zoning officer Pete Speccos is being awarded the Charles Campbell Memorial Award for neighborhood service at a celebration at Unity Hall, at 1349 Unity Street, on June 23 from 7-11pm. The $25 ticket supports the award and gets you a buffet, beer, wine, dancing and entertainment.

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