Developers have been working since this past winter, trying to get approval for their plans to transform a vacant East Girard lot at 1142 Crease St., only two blocks beyond Frankford Avenue. They reappeared before the Fishtown Neighbors Association in early July, and got support for their plans to build a four-story building with ground-floor retail and three apartments above. They got approval from the ZBA soon after.

Current view

FNA actually supported a 41' tall version of this project earlier this spring but the ZBA denied the variance. When the developers came back to the community in July with a revised project from Fusa Design (who've been the architects from the beginning), plans simply reflected reduced ceiling heights—as low as eight feet—on each floor, to make for a 38' tall building.

According to FNA zoning chair Matt Karp, a handful of FNA members have gone to ZBA hearings lately. What they've observed is the ZBA keeping close to the zoning code, denying various projects where designs showed a height beyond what code allows. According to Karp, since the 2012 change in the code allowed for four-story homes and raised the permitted height from 35' to 38', the ZBA sticking close to the code has been a steady theme.

Project rendering

With the recent ZBA approval, look for construction to get moving soon. When a building finally appears, whatever opens in the retail unit will join an already bustling area. Joe's Steak's + Soda Shop recently opened nearby, at Frankford & Girard. Meanwhile, down Girard, at Marlborough, across the street an old auto supply store was restored last year. As for Crease Street, it's had building of its own. Last year we reported four homes were being built on the 1300 block of Crease, north of Girard. And in the summer of 2013, it was homes being built on the 1200 block of Crease. When this Crease Street corner is redone at last, it should be a nice addition to the growing East Girard corridor.