Domani Developers, the minds behind the shabby-chic aesthetic of much of Frankford Avenue is looking to expand their dominion with two new apartment buildings. Both proposals involve factory conversions, in keeping with the aesthetic and MO laid out by the string of adaptive reuse projects throughout Fishtown. But one of the projects, the conversion of the old REACH factory (located right off of Frankford Avenue,) involves a feature which would be a first for Philly, a bicycle garage.
Though the site of the proposed conversion is surrounded by a sea of parking spaces, they're all already designated for other properties. Instead of trying to put a parking garage in the probably not-so-sturdy and definitely cramped boiler room below the old REACH factory, Domani decided to put in what they're calling a bicycle garage: the lobby will include at least 30 parking spots for bikes, so that residents and guests don't have to haul their steel ponies up and down the stairs.
Though it's obviously preferable not to have to work a bike into your decor scheme, unless it's a reclaimed bike light fixture (this project is in the heart of hipster Fishtown, after all), is a bike garage a gimmicky replacement for actual parking? The project is located within ten minutes' walking distance of the Berks stop on the Market-Frankford El, which could certainly help to reduce prospective residents' desire for a car, and the bikes-only garage would certainly fit with the emerging eco-conscious ethos of the area around Frankford Ave, but it seems likely that the lack of designated car spaces would put more pressure on the already tense street parking situation.
The other project is a conversion of an old hoisery factory at Columbia Avenue and would include 24 car parking spaces for the residents, plus 25 spaces for patrons of the City Fitness planned for the first level.
· Roland Kassis Proposes Two Big Transit-Oriented Apartment Projects for Fishtown [Philadelinquency]