Moving forward with hotel plans for building next to Frankford Hall

Discussion in 'Fishtown / Northern Liberties / Kensington / Port ' started by bonzombiekitty, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. bonzombiekitty

    bonzombiekitty Well-Known Member

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  2. New2Fishtown

    New2Fishtown Well-Known Member

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    The comments farther down the thread from "Matt Benatar" are fascinating. 125 rooms with multiple restaurants and an off-site valet parking lot is a very far cry from the more modest beginnings of this concept. I'm sure I won't mind the massing and scale of the project at all. I imagine that between people with small homes who want to host visitors, and then the segment of tourists who want a more authentic or off-the-beaten-path experience, there's definitely a few niche markets that could make a hotel like this successful. If Canal Street is indeed going to happen (and i heard recently that financing is in place), then there's a real argument that between that future venue, JB's, KFN, The Fire, etc, this would be the hub for people wanting to come check out the philly music scene. And with SEPTA Key, bikeshare, and waterfront improvements all coming along in advance of this project, the location will only continue to feel more connected to the core and easier to find, even for those who aren't local.

    That said, I know near neighbors are going to LOSE IT over this one. There's one house in particular along Frankford near Thompson...wooof. I'm tense already just thinking about the animosity that's sure to arise at the meeting. Will be interesting to see if Roland, who has such a long and strong track record of Fishtown projects, can win people over on this one. I wonder if he might already have a scaled down version in his back pocket, in anticipation of inevitable backlash.

    Either way, I think it's high time that the Girard MFL stop, and the intersection of Frankford and Girard, started to feel more like the gateway and major nexus of activity that they really are and still can be.
     
  3. cafeguy

    cafeguy Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad they have the valet parking thing in order. That's great to hear since that is going to be the biggest complaint. If anything, they might just need to expand the 2hr parking streets throughout the neighborhood so people visiting the hotel will be driven to garage parking or valet parking.
     
  4. New2Fishtown

    New2Fishtown Well-Known Member

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  5. bonzombiekitty

    bonzombiekitty Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, Roland's projects generally don't meet much resistance. He is good at dealing with neighbors. The only one I've seen that had some was when he wanted to put a city fitness on Columbia and Tulip. But now that (or some other gym) is going in the warehouse on Frankford & Belgrade.
     
  6. New2Fishtown

    New2Fishtown Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear a gym is coming to that same general area in some form. I recall that the lack of parking at Columbia was a major issue the last time around. Is Roland behind the gym at Belgrade, and do you know if they are using some of the site (or the grassy lot next to it) for parking? And while I'm thinking about the warehouse at Columbia and Tulip, do we know if Roland still plans to proceed with residential in the balance of that building?
     
  7. bonzombiekitty

    bonzombiekitty Well-Known Member

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    Roland is involved, but other than that, I don't know anything. He briefly mentioned that one was coming and I asked him after the meeting, and he said the location, that was it.
     
  8. New2Fishtown

    New2Fishtown Well-Known Member

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    Anyone make last night's SKCP meeting concerning the Front Street parking component of the hotel project?
     
  9. cjPhilly

    cjPhilly Well-Known Member

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    I believe the meeting was informational only. Voting won't happen until the next meeting in March.
     
  10. cafeguy

    cafeguy Well-Known Member

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    Inga wrote about this...

    http://www.philly.com/philly/home/2...sis_transforming_Fishtown_into_hip_haven.html

    She brings up a good point about the parking thing. To get this great project built in fishtown, the trash (surface parking lot) has gotta be put in olde kensington. Do we want to do that? Does south/olde kensington have leverage to ask for a parking garage with retail space instead of just a parking lot? I wouldn't agree that front street's retail is "blossoming", but this project hinges on getting approvals for a surface parking lot in our neighborhood. Maybe there is a way to petition for them to do something more than just a surface parking lot or something more creative. Even if its some sort of art installation as a fence.

    I want the hotel and the parking, but maybe there is a way to make the parking lot more "active".
     
  11. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood Well-Known Member

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    This is a very large project. It's my understanding that, irrespective of what FNA thinks (and Roland is known to have the ability to pack a room), Planning and by extension the ZBA
    will not approve it without an on-site parking component. For me, it seems like he is biting off more than he can chew.
     
  12. eldondre

    eldondre Well-Known Member

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    Cafe guy just build the hotel and hope a more enlightened philadelphia allows him to build on the lot as well. Unless it's not taxed demand will lead him to try to develop it at a later date. Not sure how wonderful it is to have everyone driving to fishtown to hit the bars anyway
     
  13. New2Fishtown

    New2Fishtown Well-Known Member

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    Was there a vote at last week's SKCP mtg about the parking lot component of the project on Front Street? Any updates from attendees would be appreciated.
     
  14. cafeguy

    cafeguy Well-Known Member

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    I saw that it was initially delayed...but then, I saw somewhere that there was a vote and it was approved. Kinda felt like it was confusing with the dates. If they did approve it, I hope they got an agreement to do something like an art installation or anything that could be more than just an ugly pavement on a prime location along front street...bordered by popular bars and soon to be backed by homes along hope.
     
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  15. bonzombiekitty

    bonzombiekitty Well-Known Member

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    The ZBA approved the hotel along with the parking lot. They seem to be moving ahead with the construction, there's been more scaffolding and it looks like they are working on securing the structure of the existing building.
     
  16. New2Fishtown

    New2Fishtown Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the neighborhood voted in favor of the pool overhang variance: Fishtowners to Vote on Proposal for a Pool Over a Sidewalk on Leopard Street

    I was not at the meeting so I'm unclear as to whether a clearly timeline for development was discussed. A nitpicky design-related variance such as this implies they are getting farther along in the process and still interested in moving forward.
     
  17. bonzombiekitty

    bonzombiekitty Well-Known Member

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    Technically was not even a variance. It was apparently for an ordinance as the overhang is considered infringing on the public right of way. It's like voting on allowing for outdoor restaurant seating (which is, IMO ridiculous in a commercial corridor).... except 60+ feet above the ground.
     

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