Lower Northeast Implementation
There are 45 recommendations in the Lower Northeast District Plan. The recommendations are organized into the three forward-looking themes: THRIVE, CONNECT, and RENEW. These themes reflect the goals and strategies of the Citywide Vision. 8 recommendations have been identified as “Priority Recommendations.”
A number of factors including previous master plans or feasibility studies, strong public support, and availability of resources determined which recommendations were prioritized. Priority recommendations are found on page 65 of the plan and cover a wide range of issues and areas.
Of the 45 recommendations, implementation is in progress for 19.
LNE 2: Develop a health and wellness center through a public-private partnership adjacent to the Frankford Transportation Center.
LNE 5: Rezone commercial properties along the Castor Avenue Commercial Corridor between Robbins Street and Unruh Avenue from CA-1, CMX-2 to CMX-2.5 to increase density and encourage mixed-uses.
LNE 18: Complete an analysis to understand the evolving travel patterns in Northeast Philadelphia and the immediate suburbs in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.
LNE 25: Realign the intersection of Oxford and Frankford Avenues in order to simplify pedestrian and auto circulation and create a welcoming entrance plaza at Margaret-Orthodox Station.
LNE 29: Create a greenway along both sides of the Frankford Creek from Castor Avenue to Torresdale Avenue, complete with a recreational trail, riparian buffer, and stormwater management infrastructure where space permits. Connect the greenway to historic Womrath Park in order to link the recreational trail network to Frankford Avenue’s shopping and transportation.
LNE 33: Renovate Hedge Street Playground in Frankford:
- Decrease the amount of impervious surfaces;
- Increase opportunities for active recreation; and
- Formally connect the park to Orthodox Street.
LNE 39: Prioritize the preservation and rehabilitation of the following buildings and sites through local historic designation, adaptive reuse, and increased awareness:
- 1548 Adams Avenue (c. 1728, possibly the oldest surviving structure in Frankford)
- Fishers Lane bridge
- 4651 Leiper Street, Blumhaven
- 4704 Leiper Street, Bromley/Garsed Mansion (Frankford Y)
- 6304 Castor Avenue, Bushrod Branch of the Free Library
- 4800 Langdon Street, Engine 70 Fire Station
- 1652–54 Foulkrod Street, Frankford Fire Station
- 5021 Rutland Street, Frankford War Memorial
- Italianate gatehouse at Cedar Hill Cemetery
- 1196 Adams Avenue, Tremont Mills
- 4647 Leiper Street, Greenwood Mansion
- 4650 Frankford Avenue, former Circle Theater
LNE 44: Initiate the following public realm improvements in the Frankford Gateway Focus Area:
- Streetscape improvements along Church Street and Torresdale Avenue, including landscaping, lighting, and signage; and
- Vacant lot improvements, including public art, at the five-point intersection of Church, Waln, and Tackawanna Streets.
Some of the most vibrant and visible implementation of the District Plan has occurred in the Frankford neighborhood. In 2013, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission received a grant from ArtPlace America that continues to fund Destination Frankford. Destination Frankford is an arts-based initiative using marketing and creative placemaking to enhance and expand the resources of Frankford’s growing arts, artisanal industry, and creative business economy. Working hand in hand with the Frankford Community Development Corporation and other neighborhood partners, three festivals and gallery openings were held in Frankford to highlight the neighborhood and its assets. As part of Destination Frankford the Frankford Pause, a pop up park, at the corner of Frankford Avenue and Paul Street is currently being designed.
In addition to Destination Frankford, implementation work has begun on some of the priority recommendations. Over the past year the Planning Commission has been working with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to explore the implementation of a bus rapid transit system on the Roosevelt Boulevard, locally referred to as Better Bus. The City Planning Commission has also been involved in the preliminary work to create the Frankford Creek Greenway. The Frankford Creek Greenway Feasibility Study was completed in the summer of 2014 and work continues to bring the Greenway to completion.