Before the New Year, we told you about plans to transform a vacant lot/garage combo at 1123-27 Earl St. into 14 single-family homes. That project was supported by the community and approved by the ZBA in February.
Across the street, the Fishtown Neighbors Association supported plans for 17 units and ten parking spots at 1133 E Columbia Ave., a vacant lot, next door to the Candy Factory building. Designed by Harman Deutsch, it was approved by the Zoning Board a couple of weeks ago. The parcel stretches all the way to Earl Street. This project originally came before FNA last fall, at the same time as the aforementioned 14-home project, but didn't get support. Shedding a few of the units and making a couple of design changes got the community behind the project.
We've seen widespread development in just about every nook of Fishtown, from old out of use one-story garages into single-family homes, to conversions of industrial sites into mixed-use or lofts, to continued development along East Girard. We've lost count of the number of blocks where a new development is occurring or just recently finished up. There was the mixed-use project at Girard & Shackamaxon that brought apartments on the upper floors with Palm Tree Market on the ground-floor; the French brasserie Girard that opened on the ground-floor of a mixed-use building at Marlborough; and across the street from that a former auto supply store has been fixed up and made much prettier.
The seventeen-unit project on Columbia Ave. is one more block to the east, just off Girard. Take that in conjunction with the Earl Street project and this little pocket is set for 31 new apartments and homes. That sound you hear in the background is cash registers opening and closing on Girard Avenue. After all, the best thing to keep a commercial corridor moving forward is an influx of new customers.