Frankford Chocolate Factory

Discussion in 'Southwest Center City' started by MackeyDingo, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. MackeyDingo

    MackeyDingo REALLY Well-Known Member

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  2. xerotope

    xerotope Well-Known Member

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    No. At least not anytime soon. NOWAC will sue to block any decision by the ZBA, and Councilman Johnson will continue to sit on the rezoning of Washington Ave that would allow mixed-use development by right.
     
  3. MackeyDingo

    MackeyDingo REALLY Well-Known Member

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    Do we know why the honorable councilman is against mixed use development for his constituents? By definition, mixed use would bring jobs and amenities.
     
  4. John Goodman

    John Goodman Well-Known Member

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    I doubt they dropped 8 mil without talking to the councilman first
     
  5. xerotope

    xerotope Well-Known Member

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    Because his power-base is the anti-gentrification groups. It's one of the reasons Ori Feibush ran against him.

    I think things will shake-out similar to 2401 Washington Ave. See here: http://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-phil...-spite-fence-coming-soon-on-washington-avenue
     
  6. londoner

    londoner Well-Known Member

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    Parking.
     
  7. ThePursuit84

    ThePursuit84 Well-Known Member

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    Ive seen security cameras go up around the building. Still waiting for some news of plans. Hopefully soon!! (but probably not).
     
  8. Burholme06

    Burholme06 Well-Known Member

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  9. londoner

    londoner Well-Known Member

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    I think Ori is capitalizing on a market inefficiency - that there's not really a good commercial corridor in Southern GHo and Northern PB - and buying up relatively inexpensive land and remaking Wash Avenue in a more commercial/residential image.
     
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  10. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Just as a refresher, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson still refuses to introduce the bill to remap Washington Avenue (and Point Breeze) to the new zoning code. All of western Washington Ave is still zoned I-2, which prohibits residential without variances.

    Here's the South District Plan from the Planning Commission, issued 3 years ago. See pages 64-67 for Washington Avenue.

    http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/plans/District Plans Library/DP_South_FinalDraftforCommission.pdf

    And here are details of the proposed remapping from the current I-2 to IRMX:

    WashAveRemap.png
     
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  11. MNG1324

    MNG1324 Well-Known Member

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    Ori tore this factory down without an independent engineers report so he can build awful GHO special townhomes and an uninspired 5 story apartment building.

    I'm sure he's also going to tear the church on Christian Street as well.

    I've lost all respect for him and while Kenyatta is terrible I'm not sure Ori would have made a good councilperson.
     
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  12. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    I think Inga capitalized on the issue nicely. Lots of article pageviews on inky dot com and people yapping about it. No change to the ground realities.

    GroJlart has done more to document historic buildings and bring them to people's attention, free of charge, on his own, for years now.

    I hope he is free to continue writing new posts on his philaphilia blog now.

    Philaphilia
     
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  13. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    I don't care for Ori's building designs, but that's totally subjective. I'm also not buying his houses or renting his apartments.

    Ori would be 100% better than Kenyatta at being a district councilperson. His agenda was clear: to set an informed, clear, uniform zoning and development policy-- then let market actors do what they will with it. That is far better than Kenyatta pimping out city owned lots to his friends for pennies on the dollar, not to mention his other run ins with the law, nor his continued preference for spot zoning and for (ab)using councilmanic prerogative.

    Ori rubs some people wrong way and that's never going to change. But he is also one of the only developers I know who goes to community zoning meetings all the time, who actively supports and donates to local schools, and generally is present. He can be stubborn like a goat about his ideas-- he has often outright refused to plant street trees in front of his developments... something that is required in zoning code in better cities than Philly but in Philly it would be a good thing to do, regardless.
     
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  14. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    Isn't South District remapping and zoning plan limited to the southern side of Washington Ave? Northern side of the Ave is in a separate district remapping plan. Not the same "district" as councilmanic district, obviously.

    Chocolate factory is on the northern side of the avenue so it would be in that other remapping plan. NOt that it matters-- if Kenyatta has any say in it, he likely will not have acted on that either. It benefits him when basic redevelopment that ought to be by right must instead require variances and therefore his political blessings. Ori's projects would never get it, obviously... lol.

    If Ori's wasn't as stubborn as a goat he would have paid the asking price to Kenyatta like John Longacre did, and none of this drama would be happening in the newspapers and online boards... all the variances and appropriate community groups would be paid off or lined up just right. But...that's not this reality. :D
     
  15. Burholme06

    Burholme06 Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree with the essence of what you are saying - I love reading his stuff. But don't you think him working behind the scenes to facilitate the destruction of a 150 year old factory that he himself had just nominated undermines his crediblity as a writer/?
     
  16. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree that his being recently hired by Ori makes it look bad, and when it comes to conflict of interest-- the hint of it is just as bad as if it actually happened. I guess he could have said to anyone who would care to pay attention that he recently got hired by Ori. Would it have mattered had he been hired by some other developer? Because it wasn't hidden knowledge that he was consulting for commercial real estate developers for a while.

    I have no insider info, but I could also see it this way: he nominated it in December or whenever it was-- it's like a 60+ page nomination full of details, history, images, site plans, etc. So he put in a lot of his own time and effort. Then a few months later, he gets hired by Ori. And just as Ori has given others a tour of the inside of the building, he also gave a tour of the same to GroJLArt. And that changed his mind, and he chose to withdraw his own nomination.

    That looks bad. But at the same time, in such a big city with so many supposed historic preservation hawks, why is it that only he filed the nomination? Anybody can file one. Nobody else did, in all these years. Would it have been better had GroJLArt not spent his own time and resources to file that nomination in the first place? Also, a lot of the fury against the project seems subjective and directed towards Ori...because he is Ori. I wonder if it would be less of a problem had some other developer taken this on?

    Hidden City's editors (Nathaniel Popkin) also seem clueless, or in it just for their own sake, and after Inga's article, got into a CYA job. Too late! GroJLArt wasn't hiding that he was having dealings with commercial real estate folks going on at least for the last couple of years. His Hidden City guided tour takers have said as much, and his online interviews also make it clear that he has had gigs with developers. So when Hidden City acts all surprised that they didn't know about it, it comes off as they didn't care to know, or it suited them just the same because GroJLArt was producing much needed content for their web site which attracted lots of eyeballs and followings for the larger web site and its offshoots such as those guided tours.

    I understand why they would want to throw him under the bus the way they did. But if all this makes him stop writing more articles in the future, or is shunned by the preservation community writ large in this town (face it, people who don't tow the "party line" in Philly get easily ostracized by the rest because it's a small talent pool to begin with), I would think it's a loss for Philly and for those of us who enjoy discovering the hidden history staring us in our faces around so many corners in this town.

    To me, this project and the one at Jewelers Row just makes the preservation people in Philly either look totally out of their depth, or makes the city's preservation, zoning, development, and planning rules look amateurish. It's perhaps a little bit of both.

    Nobody comes out unscathed. But right now, only some people feel the heat.
     
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  17. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    I believe you're right (although East of Broad the South District in the plan extends to Christian St.), but the planning commission wrote both sides of the street in their South District plan that I linked. Either way, still Johnson's district and still awaiting remapping by Council.

    I'm going to go look for the Central District plan document to see if it has anything additional about Washington Avenue.

    EDIT: Here's Central District: http://www.phila.gov/CityPlanning/plans/District Plans Library/Central_DP_FINAL.pdf

     
    #18 Jayfar, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  18. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    last time i was looking at it, the central district plan remapping was happening or had already happened. which is why it stuck out like a sore thumb that the south dist plan hadn't started remapping. without remapping, the old map will show the properties/lots on the southern side of Washington Ave to be industrial zoned and therefore need variance for anything not industrial. Somehow the self-storage unit got built. that's the main new development on the southern side but there could be good other candidates if mapping/zoning was updated.
     
  19. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    I just looked at atlas.phila.gov and it appears the old zoning is still in place on the north side of Washington as well, almost all I-2, rather than the IRMX proposed by the Planning Commission. Also, it appears the remapping is done piecemeal, rather than an entire district at a time:

    Philadelphia City Planning Commission | Philadelphia2035
     
    #20 Jayfar, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  20. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    He's baaaaack! The no longer anon GroJLart aka Dennis Carlisle, formerly a correspondent and tour guide for Hidden City Philadelphia and "anonymous foulmouthed blogger of Philaphilia," is now conducting history tours on behalf of his current employer, OCF Realty. Seems he is also writing for OCF's Naked Philly blog.

    Fishtown Corridors Tour

    Fishtown Tour on the Horizon, With a Side of Johnny Brenda's History - OCF Realty

    Philaphilia
     
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  21. phillyaggie

    phillyaggie Well-Known Member

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    Cool. I'll try to check out one of his tours; never went before. But am happy to try to attend. Also have always liked Brad Maule's online work around Philly architecture and development. He leads tours as well and have been meaning to go to some of his too but never can seem to make it.
     

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