Between running a record label and a development company, David Grasso was kind enough to take a moment and send us the renderings for his contested 7,600-square-foot music venue on Richmond and Beach Streets next to 95 in Kensington. Live Nation will operate the 3,000-person-capacity live theater/concert space if city council approves the proposal, which would add some life to a currently derelict and dead location. Bonsall Shafferman architects and space planners will be working on the space, creating an exterior that features an aluminum and glass door facade with a massive outdoor marquee.
We can’t imagine idle hands (in this case, idle land) wouldn’t be the breeding ground for the devil’s work in a neighborhood that shouldn’t be left alone for too long, so to speak. However, some people (as always) are against the project, speaking out of their fear of nightclubs and the Ronnies and Snookies stumbling out to the streets at 2am leaving a trail of vomit before breaking bottles over puppies’ heads. (We are just being argumentative to be funny; most complaints are about parking at this stage in the game, which is valid).
Right now, the Electric Factory is the only venue that would be in the same category as Grasso’s spot. “This project will be a fitting compliment to Philadelphia’s rich musical heritage, dedicated music fans and amazing original music scene,” Grasso told us. He markedly is a huge proponent of creating something in that empty area, but with good reason: “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.” We support this project because doing something is always better than doing nothing (vacant lots are the death of a good city), but we hope to see more independently run music venues, too. (Hear us, R5?! When is your 1026 Spring Garden venue opening?)