UPDATE: Demolition has begun on the old Armory, with heavy machinery taking down the rear of the building before the facade, for now. Plan Philly reports that the debris is being trucked out the back via Juniper Street, and that the demo effort will take until November to finish.
The developer behind the 50-unit apartment building proposed to replace the old Broad Street Armory – which should be coming down any day now – will go back before the South Broad Street Neighbors Association tomorrow night for a formal presentation.
The first meeting in February was an informational “prerefusal” presentation in which developer Michael Carosella and architect Vincent Mancini of Landmark Architects sought feedback from neighbors. The duo has since revised their plan to include a commercial space on the first floor, which several attendees indicated they wanted.
The commercial space – which will be included only “if that’s what the neighborhood wants,” Mancini said – will be a little over 1,000 square feet. The plans still include a community room. They also added a green roof to the plans and will probably eliminate the gated setback on the first floor.
Mancini said the demolition delay – they had planned to do it nearly two months ago – occurred because of several new regulations implemented in the wake of the fatal building collapse at 22nd and Market streets. “Just getting the demolition permit was very, very difficult,” he said. “The requirement that each neighbor had to sign off was very tedious.”
Mancini stressed that he doesn’t mind the rest of the new regulations, which also include putting up a sign and submitting a demo-safety plan to the city, as well as getting the immediate neighbors’ permission in writing.
“I understand warning them, or asking people to move out temporarily, or whatever things you need to do ensure safety during a demolition,” he said. “But nobody wants to sign anything. That’s where the regulation gets a little tricky.”
“When people start working from fear, it all starts falling apart. You need to regulate from experience, not from fear.”
The meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 20 in the Morgan Conference Room of Methodist Hospital, Broad and Ritner streets, at 7 p.m.