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Project for old Ajax building would require multiple zoning variances

4/24/2013 | Real Estate Blog

An empty factory in the 1000 block of Frankford Avenue has been targeted by a real estate developer as a good location for the center point of a music and dining complex covering many blocks. The project is located across Delaware Avenue from SugarHouse Casino, at the old Ajax Metal Co. building.

The Ajax building would be converted to a 3,000-seat Fillmore Theater; a Revolutions bowling alley with 20 to 24 lanes and a sports bar; an “artisan” distillery and tasting room; a restaurant; shops and offices. The project came upon opposition, though, when three residents who live a block from the old Ajax building. According to the residents’ attorney, the uses of the old building are “inappropriate.”

They would, he said, require 10 variances, including a variance from the North Delaware Avenue zoning overlay that prohibits nightclubs. It remains to be seen whether the objections will put the project at a standstill.

Developers looking to initiate a project, and businesses looking to expand and develop, often face the issue of objections to their projects. The types of disputes that can arise depend on the type of project being pursued. Zoning is often an issue. These can include disputes over parking and parking lots, building height, placement of signs, and setback issues. The latter refers to the minimum distance a building can be located from a property line. Zoning disputes can involve not only buildings, but also activities to be conducted or limited in certain areas.

Businesses and developers looking to work through such disputes can be greatly helped by an experienced real estate attorney. Doing so will help developers to achieve their goals and set up for success.

Source:, “Hearing continued on variances for center” April 19, 2013