Developer David Grasso hopes to bring a "state-of-the-art live-music venue" to Fishtown.
Grasso, a musician who plays guitar in Brothers from Another and who owns the record label F.O.F Entertainment, previously tried to open a House of Blues at the Grande (15th & Chestnut) and on Washington Avenue in South Philly.
"Between the TLA and Susquehanna Bank Center there is a gap in that space for a quality entertainment venue, for a place that bands want to play and people want to go and have a quality experience," Grasso said yesterday.
The venue, which he expects would hold about 2,800 people, would be on Richmond Street near Girard Avenue, in what is now a warehouse. The idea, Grasso says, is to have it be a "scalable venue able to configure itself to accommodate different types of events, touring bands, comedy shows, spoken word, theater." He hopes to start renovations early next year.
Grasso says the venue would be booked by "one of the largest promoters in the world." But he declined to comment when we asked him if he was referring to LiveNation, which lost access to a similarly sized venue, the Electric Factory (7th & Willow), earlier this year, when Larry Magid, who owns the venue, left the company. A LiveNation spokesman declined comment yesterday.
Although the property is not near any homes, Grasso said he is committed to getting the support of the Olde Richmond Civic Association and Fishtown Neighbors Association (FNA), which have concerns about issues such as parking, traffic and noise, and the space becoming a club. Grasso, who meets with the FNA at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington (418 E. Girard), says he has committed not to "do any DJ or club nights."