Last month, developers presented plans for a duplex with off-street parking at 439 Belgrade St. to the community at the monthly Fishtown Neighbors Association zoning meeting and the outcome was a strong vote of 38 in opposition to 21 in support. According to, the owners of this property live next door and the lot has been used for years as a corner parking lot. According to Matt Karp, FNA zoning chair, neighbors want a single-family home here, not a duplex. With a lot that's over 1,300 sqft and considering that the two proposed parking spots wouldn't impact street parking at all, we're not sure we understand why the community opposed the project.

Belgrade Street

The lot

Meanwhile, you can see some new homes down the block in the photo above. On the alley-sized 1400 block of Emerick St., three homes we told you about in September are near finished. Brickstone Group LLC purchased the lots in 2011, and so far they've sold one of the homes for $440,500. Another home is under agreement at a list price of $375K and the third is still available at a list price of $365K. We're curious though, what happened to the Juliet balconies and the colorful front doors that renderings showed?  Across the street, there are also a pair of one-story industrial garages on this block of Emerick. We're wondering whether, like numerous other one-story garages across Fishtown, these sites could become future infill developments.

New homes down the street

Emerick Street project rendering

We'll have to wait and see. For now, consider the location: this is only a few blocks from the heart of Frankford Avenue, where ongoing redevelopment is a constant. A slightly longer walk will get you to East Girard, where we've also covered numerous retail opportunities popping up as of late. Oh and it's got the best pizza in the country to boot. We shall see whether the owners of 439 Belgrade St. reappear before the FNA with a new set of plans for their vacant lot or whether they chance it at the ZBA without community support. We won't try to handicap what will happen, but it will certainly be an easier road if they're able to come up with a compromise that the neighbors are willing to get behind.