Development in Fishtown is shuffling towards its borders as parcels near Aramingo Ave. have been getting attention in recent months. But developers with plans to build six townhomes at 2631-35 E Norris St. will have to amend their project if they want community support.

The long empty lot

At a community meeting last month, neighbors thought six homes on three lots was too many, according to Matt Karp, Fishtown Neighbors Association zoning chair. Currently, the parcel is a large fenced-in vacant lot with some big trees. The size of said trees suggests that the lot has been this way for many years. Gator Properties acquired the parcel for $350K in 2004 along with the home next door, used as a rental property ever since. Clearly, the developers have been biding their time with this lot.

Looking up Norris St.

With numerous projects occurring nearby, this project (assuming it happens in some form) is another example of continued infill development across Fishtown. Remember, last spring we told you about two new homes coming to a vacant corner lot at 2618-22 E York St., right around the corner from this Norris St. proposal.

But before this project can become a reality, it seems the developers will have to make some changes. According to a thread on, some neighbors are vehemently opposed to anything other than three homes on these lots, but it would seem wise to us if they could come to some kind of compromise. The two lots at the corner are zoned commercial and the third lot is zoned for residential use. By right, the developers could build a single family home and a pair of quadplexes at the corner. In our estimation, nine total units and retail would create far more traffic and density than six homes. Perhaps five homes would be a decent option, with three homes fronting Norris Street and two on Thompson Street? That seems better than the alternative for both the developer and the community.