The transformation of the historic, 150-year-old Frankford Chocolate Factory into townhouses and mixed-use development could start as early as this year.
OCF Realty posted a short update on the development at 2101 Washington Avenue this weekend. In it, they wrote that they plan to break ground on the townhome portion of the project in December, and on the mixed-use development portion in April.
The group also included rough renderings of the development, which show a project with green roofs, a partial brick facade, and a courtyard that’s accessible from the street.
The update follows news that Ori Feibush, president and founder of OCF Realty, bought the abandoned Frankford Chocolate Factory in April, with plans to turn it into 44 townhouses, 30,000 square feet of retail, and 20,000 square feet of public space. The chocolate factory is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Feibush told Curbed Philly at the time that he planned to demolish most of the structure, saying it was in “deplorable condition.” He added that he hoped to salvage and use as much of the building as possible in the new development, including—at the time—the smokestack.
However, the smokestack is noticeably absent from the renderings posted this weekend. Feibush said the group decided in May to demolish it, calling the smokestack “structurally unsound.” He added that he expects the smokestack will come down in September.
What will stay is the brick facade of the original building along 22nd Street and Washington Avenue, according to Feibush.
The top of the construction is covered in grass, and Feibush said the entire project will be a green development. A large portion of the interior of the development includes open green space as well.
Demolition has been underway on the 19th-century building for the last few months, with more still to go, Feibush said. Before they can begin groundbreaking, OCF will need to get the proper zoning for the place, which is currently zoned industrial.
OCF Realty is holding a community meeting next Wednesday at 7 p.m., to allow residents and neighbors to give comment on their concerns, or ask questions about the future of the site.