Developer Andy Kaplan is scheduled to return to the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday to present a revised plan for the King of Jeans building, which has been the subject of one proposal after another since summer 2012.
In September Kaplan got the civic OK for a five-story building to rise 59 feet with retail on the first floor and 16 apartments on the remaining four, but the Zoning Board of Adjustment denied that appeal in November. We’re told that he has altered the plan to include office space on the second floor, restoring an idea that was considered by the previous developer, Max Glass.
The remainder of the building, at 1843 E. Passyunk Ave., will have 12 apartments and retail on the first floor, plus bike parking and storage in the basement.
Reconsiderations by the ZBA are very rare, said David Goldfarb, zoning chair for the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association. “EPX continues to support the project’s approval since it reduces some of our neighbors’ main concern (the number of units) while replacing them with a use that was non-controversial when we supported it the first time a second-floor office was proposed,” Goldfarb said.
One hitch with the appeal hearing Wednesday is that only people who attended and registered at the first meeting can testify for or against the project, so there’s no chance of flooding the meeting to sway the board.
Kaplan, a principal at the real-estate firm Rockland Capital, apparently has experience navigating choppy waters. According to Rockland’s website: “Our ‘sweet spot’ is acquiring assets from distressed sellers and/or lenders at substantial discounts due to our immediate access to capital, our ability to close quickly and our expertise in working through difficult situations.”
Hmm, distressed situations. Sound familiar?