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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Developer presents preliminary plans for long-vacant lot next to Pat’s King of Steaks

A recent zoning meeting for the Passyunk Square Civic Association featured an informational presentation for the address listed at 827-29 Wharton St.

Pat's Steaks lots (2)

At first glance, that address might not mean much to you. However, it may once you realize it’s the location of that trash-strewn vacant lot east of Pat’s King of Steaks. While it’s still early in the process, let’s just say that there are some very real plans for this long-troubled lot.

Developer Paul Mirabello, a Passyunk Square resident with development projects at 1514 S. 9th St. and the 500 block of Girard Ave., said that the initial plans call for a four-story building with roughly 6,500 square-feet of ground floor commercial space topped by 21 apartments.

The lot and building at 827-29 Wharton St. were put up for sale in late May and quickly went under contract to an unknown buyer. Mirabello confirmed to us that he finally closed on the property on Monday, although city records show that Anna Olivieri still owns the property.

As for the meeting, Mirabello said it was for an informational presentation only and that neighbors’ main concerns were over density, height of the building and, of course, parking. Some of the neighbors mentioned they would prefer single-family homes on the lot, which Mirabello said “was not feasible” at this location.

It should be noted that it’s simply the beginning of the process to redevelop the vacant lot and adjoining building. As a neighbor, Mirabello understands the importance of community input.  ”It’s great that there’s at least some movement on these properties but we won’t proceed without neighborhood support,” he said.

“I live in Passyunk Square and have unfortunately had to see this lot far too often,” Mirabello added.  ”I’m looking forward to redeveloping it.”

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30 Responses to Developer presents preliminary plans for long-vacant lot next to Pat’s King of Steaks

  1. Rob October 31, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    A nice park would be good.

  2. Atrios October 31, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    There is a park literally across the street.

    • PreGentri November 3, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      That’s a ball field and a playground.

  3. spf5000 October 31, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    South Philly Food Coop!

  4. provwitout October 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Chili’s pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese! ;) :) ;) :) ;) :) ;) :);) :) ;) :) ;) :) ;)

    • ProvWitout November 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      They should password protect these user names so people with no life can’t post crap like this above comment…

  5. Chris October 31, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Any idea what makes this lot “not feasible” for single family homes? Aside from parking issues by adding potentially 40+ new residents, 21 apartments would create a lot of traffic at an intersection that’s already a pedestrian nightmare.

    • Lee October 31, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      probably because its a single lot zoned RSA-5 would need to be subdivied. Also, building single family homes is tough to make money on if they’re not fairly fancy. An apartment building is a good use here. Plus, i dont see single family homes selling there infront of pats.

      Plus, that lot should really be zoned CMX-2.5.

    • AnthonyG October 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

      @Chris: who would want, what would be a very expensive, single home on that corner?? Rental apartments are the only viable option.
      Or a Chili’s, complete the mook tri-fecta.

    • Harvey November 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      It’s probably not economically feasible given that he probably overpaid for the lot as currently zoned. Technically that should be completely irrelevant to the zoning variance process because stupidly buying an expensive lot you can’t build on by-right would be a self-imposed hardship, not a valid reason. Single family homes would sell just fine, just probably not for the price that he’d like.

      • Steven November 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

        Why wouldn’t pats/genos buy this? I’m sure if it falls thru there are 2 possible buyers

  6. Atrios October 31, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    40 new residents are not going create a lot of traffic. Residents don’t create much traffic at all.

  7. Kat October 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Statistics are indicating that young people are less likely to own cars or even to get driver’s licences than their peers in the past, yet whenever apartments are proposed in South Philly, the old guard are all “You’re going to need two parking spaces per apartment!!!1!!”

    • ProvWitout November 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      10% of young people all drive scooters or ride bikes!!! Lets torture the other 90% by being inconsiderate in our planning! Yay!

  8. ProvWitout November 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Forget these parking sabermetrics and use your eyes… There’s more cars taking up more space than before… Thats real cute that there are some stats about millenials riding bikes all over.. But its not a majority. And some of them still have a car and leave it parked unless its a rainy or snowy day. AnthonyG and your herd, feel free to leave some insulting comments after you read this. But to just brush off the fact that people still love their cars is stupid…

    GM experienced growth this year despite a massive recall!!! Freekin McDonald’s at 3rd & Oregon has TWO LANES for their drive through now… Every other commercial on TV? Yup… CAR COMMERCIAL!!

    • DonaldShoup November 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      Free and abundant parking is not a right. Keeping lots vacant and the city less walkable and viable for transit so that you can park your car more easily is not reasonable. Plenty of free parking in the ‘burbs.

      For the record, my household has two cars in this neighborhood. We gladly welcome density.

      • ProvWitout November 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

        Well yeah I’m not saying it should be a vacant lot either…

        I know the mural arts fans won’t like it, but the lot should probably have some type of appartment complex built on it..

        Wouldn’t be bad if the envelope was pushed a little. Maybe make it a bit more stylish than the cheap buildings with ugly bump-outs that have been built all around the city…

  9. NEWSMAN November 3, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    South Philly’s ridiculous and outdated view towards cars and parking is a detriment to development in the entire city. There is shopping of every variety within a 10 min walk from that empty lot . There are multiple bus lines running through the neighborhood , a 10 min walk to BSL and there is a street car line waiting to be re-opened if residents pushed for it rather than just tripping over the rails. No other part of the city has such a ‘me me me’ attitude and perceived right to free abundant parking as South Philly. We should not be taking parking regulation cues from an area that has collectively approved using the turning lane of Broad Street as FREE PARKING . City Hall and the PPA must be held accountable too , the cost of parking permits which amounts basically to a give away , does not control parking ; rather it encourages parking hoarding.

    • Lee November 3, 2014 at 9:36 am #


    • SC November 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm #


    • Ian November 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      This guy gets it.

    • ProvWitout November 5, 2014 at 10:00 am #

      I’d rather a surface parking lot than 40 apartments with 80-100 bikes locked up out front.

      • Kat November 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        Why does the SP old guard always think every apartment has two residents and that each resident has a car (or bike)?

      • Atrios November 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

        if 15 cars could fit on that lot I’d be shocked, and you’d subtract two on street spots for the curb cuts. that’s really the best use?

        • ProvWitout November 6, 2014 at 9:03 am #

          That’s 15 cars not parked on the street. So, yeah, that’s a good use of the lot.

          • Atrios November 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

            Should the city use my tax money to buy it and have it be free municipal parking? Maybe you could buy it, and set up a private lot?

      • ProvWitout November 10, 2014 at 2:09 am #


  10. Christopher Mote November 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Came here for the parking comments. BRB, taking the popcorn out of the microwave…

  11. Ralphie Head November 4, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    What a great location for a hipster bowling alley, arcade and pick-up joint.

    Another drop for the “christmas tree gang.”

  12. Wanderer November 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Just to support Newsman, this neighborhood gets a walkscore of 95, so walking is a real option for many trips.

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