Proposed Fishtown concert venue draws praise, concern

In a city that’s already home to numerous concert venues both big and small, developer David Grasso has proposed a 3,000-seat concert hall in Fishtown that would offer a cozier setting for bigger acts.

The venue proposed by Grasso, who owns music company FOF Entertainment Group, would be operated by Live Nation. In granting approval, the city Planning Commission praised the jobs it will create and vibrancy it would bring to an underwhelming part of town near I-95 by transforming what was a 7,600-square-foot warehouse.

It will go before City Council on June 7. Approval hinges on a zoning bill to lift the Delaware Avenue Overlay’s nightclub ban. The Fishtown Neighbors Association has expressed opposition to the Richmond Street project at community meetings.

“The developer stated that a strong market for such a music venue exists in Philadelphia, and is assuming the risk to develop the business,” said Jastrzab, the commission’s executive director, noting that there was industry support. “There’s a very good chance it will be a successful business.”

Grasso told last month that, “This project will be a fitting compliment to Philadelphia’s rich musical heritage … and amazing original music scene. It will create hundreds of new employment opportunities and generate over $2M per year of new tax revenues while creating a much needed anchor to the northern end of the Delaware Waterfront.”

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