Developer Reveals Tentative Redevelopment Plan for Vacant Ajax Metal Works Site

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor Philadelphia’s waterfront has attracted yet another prominent developer with plans to stir things up in the area. Michael Samschick, who has backed several development projects across the city, wants to turn the vacant Ajax Metal Works site into a sparkling mixed-use complex, according to a PlanPhilly.com report. Located at 1000-1052 [...]

Philadelphia’s waterfront has attracted yet another prominent developer with plans to stir things up in the area. Michael Samschick, who has backed several development projects across the city, wants to turn the vacant Ajax Metal Works site into a sparkling mixed-use complex, according to a PlanPhilly.com report.

Located at 1000-1052 Frankford Avenue in the industrial neighborhood of Fishtown and occupying an entire block, the property consists of four buildings constructed between 1893 and 1944. The derelict Ajax building was recommended for the National Register of Historic Places listing by the Pennsylvania state review board, with no further action to date. According to Samschick’s proposal, the existing structures, as well as a dry ice building located nearby at 44 Richmond Street, will be redesigned and repurposed instead of being completely demolished—a strategy that’s seen as a plus by the Fishtown Neighbors Association Zoning Committee.

As reported by PlanPhilly.com, the project would include a 3,000-seat music venue, a bowling alley, two restaurants and a distillery, while the building at 44 Richmond Street would be transformed into a country and western establishment with live music.

The development proposal will be reviewed during the Fishtown Neighborhood Association public meeting on September 11. An “information only” detailed presentation with the Philadelphia Planning Commission is scheduled for the following week.

Image of Ajax Metal Works building via Google Street View