State Senator Christine Tartaglione visited the headquarters of the Frankford Community Development Corporation (CDC) on January 14th to deliver a $54,610 state grant that will help the CDC to stabilize and rehabilitate a fire-damaged mixed-use property in the heart of the local commercial district.
“The CDC has made great strides in recent years to revitalize the Frankford Avenue corridor, remove blight, and promote the growth of new businesses. This public investment will enable the CDC to continue its work, which has had a tremendous positive impact throughout the community,” Senator Tartaglione said.
The grant was awarded through the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Local Share Account program, which reallocates a portion of the funds generated by casinos that operate slot machines within Philadelphia.
“The Local Share Account grant will allow the Frankford CDC to stabilize what is now a hazardous and blighted site at 4663 Paul Street,” said Kimberly Washington, Esq., executive director of the Frankford CDC. “This vacant property is the last remaining site on the block in need of improvements, making it vital to the Frankford CDC’s goals to revitalize Frankford Avenue as set out in its Reimagining Margaret-Orthodox initiative.”
On October 26, 2018, flames ravaged the three-story storefront, which is just two doors from the Frankford CDC office and less than a block from SEPTA’s bustling Market-Frankford El. The multi-alarm blaze largely gutted the property, which was being used as an unlicensed boarding house. It burned for several hours and spread to a neighboring building, causing severe damage to the second and third floors of both structures.
Frankford CDC bought the property last fall and will use the new grant funding for the first phase of its rehabilitation, including cleanout, demolition, framing, roof replacement, and floor stabilization. These measures will address any immediate safety issues and prevent structural damage to neighboring buildings.
The non-profit CDC will seek to raise additional funding to complete final renovations that will include commercial space on the ground floor, as well as four affordable housing units on the second and third floors.