The 126-year-old building has officially been sold to a “consortium of buyers” who are planning to use this massive building for some sort of mixed-use project.
More from The Inquirer:
He did not know whether the buyers planned to reuse the 241,000-square-foot structure or demolish it and build new. The building is not a protected historic site.
Though the site received permits for the residential units, restaurants, and other uses anticipated as part of the Vietnamese center, planning officials have recommended a zoning change that would give Washington Avenue developers more flexibility to build mixed-use projects.
Lauren Gilchrist, Philadelphia research director at commercial real estate services firm JLL, said she would expect new development on Washington to include ample retail that could serve residents of the neighborhoods flanking the corridor.
In 2007, the 100,000 sq. ft. property was sold to a developer by the name of Truong Dinh Tran for a plan that he called the “New Vietnamese Center.” This plan included “up to 15 restaurants, 50 residences, storage space, and multiple retail locations.” Tran then died in 2012, which left the Frankford Chocolate Factory’s future in flux. The factory was put back on the market a year ago after some legal issues regarding the building were settled.
When the Alphonese Hotel Corporation purchased the building in 2007, it sold for $5.75M. The Philadelphia Business Journal previously reported that the building could sell again for between $10M and $15M.
These new plans in the works for the Frankford Chocolate Factory add to the list of changes coming to the strange commercial corridor that is Washington Avenue. There’s the Blatstein development at Broad and Washington, another mixed-use project at 24th Street, plans for restriping, new businesses and plenty more happening along this stretch of road.
What would you like to see the Frankford Chocolate Factory used for? Should the original structure remain, or do you think it should be demolished for something entirely new?