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Rules committee hearing on large Fishtown music venue postponed

The City Council Rules committee hearing on proposed  zoning legislation that would allow developer David Grasso to transform a 7,600 square foot warehouse into a live music venue/performance space at Richmond and Beach streets in Fishtown was cancelled.

First District Councilman Frank DiCicco, who introduced the legislation, said he could not move it forward because an anticipated parking lot lease agreement between the developer and a business near the site has not been finalized. The lease agreement would “reduce on-street parking” and without it, DiCicco is concerned event goers would park in the surrounding neighborhoods. “I don’t want to push that into the neighborhood,” he said.

DiCicco said this is the only remaining issue and once it is resolved the matter will move forward.

Grasso, himself a musician as well as a developer, has the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s approval for the project. Live Nation, which would host shows there, is enthusiastic about the venue and so are some music lovers who have testified on other occasions in favor of the venue.

But concerns about traffic and parking and after-show revelry remain for some in the neighborhoods. Fishtown Neighbors voted against the proposal. Tom Potts, of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, said at a Tuesday night meeting about the I-95 construction project that doesn’t think the planned venue should go forward until after the Girard Avenue portion of the re-do is complete. “This is not a good plan for now, but it may be a p lan for the future,” he said.

One of the reasons the Philadelphia Planning Commission liked the location is its proximity to the Girard Avenue ramp of I-95.

Contact the reporter at kgates@planphilly.com

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