The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted Wednesday to grant a handful of variances to Domani Developers, which is planning to convert a former baseball factory at 1701 Tulip Street in Fishtown into a 30-unit apartment complex. (Yes, that’s an empty factory that used to make baseballs: the A.J. Reach sporting goods company.)
The building has been vacant since 2004, according to developer Roland Kassis, and he was unable to find a viable industrial use for the property, which is zoned I-2. Kassis said that the city in general and Fishtown in particular have seen a growing demand for small, one- and two-bedroom apartments, which is what he intends to put in the building. According to the zoning application, the developer intends to build a fifth-story addition, roof deck space, and a canopy over the first floor.
The project, designed by architects at Cecil Baker Partners, won the support of the local RCO, Fishtown Neighbors Association, by a vote of 107 to 77. A quick calculation shows that that is not a unanimous vote, and the reason seems to be parking: the planned apartment complex contains none.