Group razing Frankford Chocolate Factory building to buy adjacent land for development

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Building at 2201 Washington Ave., which a group involving real estate investor Ori Feibush plans to acquire for redevelopment.

The investment group working to raze South Philadelphia’s historic Frankford Chocolate Factory building for redevelopment says it has plans for the next-door parcel on Washington Avenue as well.

Developer Ori Feibush said in an interview Thursday that he and his partners at the chocolate factory site are under contract to buy the industrial building across 22nd Street that is currently home to the Joseph E. Biben Sales Corp. electronics supply business.

Planned for the one-acre property at 2201 Washington Ave. are roughly 100 apartments atop some 14,000 square feet of ground-floor shopping facing Washington Avenue, with a row of townhouses along League Street at the parcel’s northern edge. Parking for the homes and retail spaces would be built underground, he said.

The plan is similar to what the group has in mind at the chocolate factory property, which, citing safety risks, it began demolishing over the objections of preservationists in April. Proposed at that property are 176 apartments over retail space along Washington Avenue, with 62 condo-duplex and townhouse units on the north half of the parcel.

Feibush said he is in talks with a potential supermarket tenant to occupy 24,000 square feet of retail space at the former chocolate factory site.

He declined to share the planned purchase price for the 2201 Washington Ave. parcel prior to the sale’s closing, which is not expected to occur until later this year, to give Biben time to move to a new location that it has identified. The electronics supplier did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking details of the move.

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