Where does Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood end?
Seemingly somewhere north of the Port Richmond Village shopping center on Aramingo Avenue, according to the strip mall’s owner, Cedar Realty Trust.
The Port Washington, N.Y.-based real estate trust plans to rechristen the strip mall as Fishtown Crossing in a revamping of the center, which also will include the construction of a new row of shops, said chief operating officer Robin McBride Zeigler.
“The branding and merchandising is created to directly attract the burgeoning surrounding Fishtown and Northern Liberties neighborhoods,” Zeigler said during a conference call with analysts earlier this month.
Port Richmond Village’s main entryway opens onto York Street, which some consider the border between the neighborhoods of Fishtown and Port Richmond. The center is claimed by both the Fishtown Neighbors Association and the Olde Richmond Civic Association as within their bounds.
A map maintained by the Philadelphia Inquirer defines the center as being within a narrow section of Kensington that pokes between Fishtown and Port Richmond to reach the Delaware River.
A message left for Zeigler with a Cedar spokesperson asking about the name change was not immediately returned.
Jacob Cooper, a managing director with brokerage MSC Retail in Philadelphia, said the decision to adopt a Fishtown moniker for the center was probably meant to cash in on the nationwide buzz around the revitalized neighborhood, where such restaurants as Wm. Mulherin’s Sons and Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall and Fette Sau draw big crowds.
“There are restaurants and retailers from out of town — that could be Washington, New York, Chicago. The first thing they ask me is, ‘What is this place called Fishtown that everyone is talking about?'” said Cooper, who is not directly involved with leasing at the shopping center.
Port Richmond Village’s main tenants are currently an IGA Inc.-affiliated supermarket and a Pep Boys store. The center’s T-Mobile USA Inc. and GameStop branches recently moved to new locations within the property to make way for the planned new retail structure, the construction of which is scheduled to begin late this year, Zeigler told analysts.
Among the new building’s tenants will be a branch of Nifty Fifty’s, a chain of retro-styled restaurants, Zeigler said. Nifty Fifty’s has stores in Northeast Philadelphia, Ridley Township, and Turnersville, N.J.
Leo McGlynn, an owner of the chain, said during a March appearance on the Fox & Friends morning cable show that a new location also is planned at 10th Street and Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia and that franchisees are being sought to expand the business.
“Nifty Fifty is a Philadelphia staple serving shakes and burgers and bringing a local flair to what will become the newly branded Fishtown Crossing,” Zeigler said.
Cedar has previously disclosed larger redevelopment plans for two of its other Philadelphia properties: Riverview Plaza shopping center on South Columbus Boulevard, south of Washington Avenue; and the South Philadelphia Shopping Center and Quartermaster Plaza flanking Oregon Avenue along 23rd Street, which Cedar is combining into a single complex that it is calling South Quarter Crossing.