Developer Michael Samschick, owner of the recently completed penthouses at Waterview Grande part of his emerging development call Penn Treaty Village, hopes to transform the former Ajax Metal Works, at Frankford and Delaware avenues in Fishtown, into a 3,000-person music venue, a bowling alley, two restaurants and a distillery. He also plans to turn the nearby dry ice building at 44 Richmond Street into a country and western establishment with live music, shared by Fishtown Neighbors Association Zoning Committee Chair Matt Karp.
The main entrance to the Ajax building music venue would not be on Frankford Avenue, but on Canal Street. Committee members see this as a good thing because there are residences on the north side of Frankford Avenue, and the more sheltered they can be from people going to the music venue, the better off the community will be.
The 337 parking spaces for the proposed business would be located beneath I-95. The proposal calls for surface lots at 25 Richmond St., 49-61 Richmond St., 1011-23 N. Front, 1025-31 N Front, and 35-51 Laurel St.
Samschick is working with Philadelphia's Interface Studio to create a master plan for his Delaware Avenue parcels, blueprint of which we hope to see partly revealed some time in September. Until then he wont reveal much, saying he doesn't want to raise expectations for something specific, only to have plans change as negotiations with prospective partners progress. The complex will be a mixed use of retail, residential and commercial spaces tying in all the elements. Samschick began buying up property on or near Delaware Avenue about ten years ago, because due to research on large cities, waterfronts are the last to be developed, but make the greatest impact on the city. He believes the Delaware Waterfront will have a huge impact on Philadelphia, with the potential to be one of the greatest waterfronts in the country.