February 16, 2023
An empty parking lot in West Philadelphia appears on track to be transformed into a small business village where vendors will operate out of shipping containers.
Zoning permits have been issued for the West Parkside project, located at the edge of Fairmount Park near Concourse Lake. A timeline for its opening has not been announced.
The flea market-style mall was proposed by Fourth District Councilmember Curtis Jones, who envisioned using refurbished shipping containers as affordable spaces for early-stage businesses to scale up. The proposal calls for 20 or more vendors to bring a mix of retail and food trucks to the empty lot.
A project description for the village suggests it might be open Wednesdays through Sundays. Jones had sought to get the village up and running last year. The lot will include a restroom, a stage and other design features.
The shipping container concept is similar to the Piazza Pod Park that temporarily operated in Northern Liberties before the COVID-19 pandemic, although that space was primarily dedicated to food trucks. Cherry Street Pier also uses shipping containers for businesses to operate along the Delaware River waterfront.
Given the proximity to Fairmount Park, the shipping container village, at 4862-70 Parkside Ave., is expected to draw a mix of local residents and park visitors, especially on weekends.