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What's Happening in:  Pennsport 

Waterfront AAA project appears to be moving forward despite legal troubles

We’ve been following the developments of a potential waterfront AAA location at 1601 S. Columbus Blvd. since we first heard about the plans in February 2014.

Here's a look at the AAA plan. (via PlanPhilly)

A look at the plans for the AAA from olds renderings of the project.

The plans for the auto repair shop had reached a standstill once the Zoning Board of Adjustment denied appeals for the reinstatement of permits on the location. Despite the long process of legal battles and conflict with a local civic association, it appears that construction is now beginning on the location.

As you can see thanks to the tweet below, there is construction equipment and a sign stating “AAA Opening Soon Auto Repair You Can Trust.” 

More on the new developments regarding this property from PhillyMag:

Dr. James Moylan, president of the Pennsport Civic Association, one of the groups in opposition to the project, said he hasn’t been contacted by anyone regarding the new construction and found out about the work the same way he found out about it the first time around–by accident: “This is two times now that I’m finding these things out by pure happenstance, just by driving by [the site].”  Moylan is referring to the original issue, when he said he didn’t know that contractors were demolishing the buildings on the site for the auto repair facility–which prompted the civic association to file a last-second appeal of the project. Moylan said that it’s not about AAA as a business (“I’ve done nothing but say I love AAA.”), but rather the intended use for the site as an auto-repair facility on the river side of Columbus Boulevard, saying it “flies directly in the face” of the overlay.

Attorney Carl Primavera, who is part of the team representing AAA, called it “a long and interesting saga” and confirmed that the company is “moving to complete the construction” plans that were approved a year ago–an auto repair facility offering traditional AAA services like insurance and travel assistance. While some appeals are still pending, Primavera said that a judge recently ruled in AAA’s favor and restored the construction permits. “What you see is a reflection of what you want to see,” said Primavera. “I see it as a great AAA location, someone sees it otherwise.”

While construction is beginning on the project, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this project will receive approval for the zoning variance to operate a garage on this property since the legal process is still ongoing.

This project had originally filed for permits for this construction under a temporary zoning overlay on the Central Delaware Waterfront, which is when problems arose for the project, with the permanent overlay, which doesn’t allow for auto-related development, coming into effect the day after permits were filed. So this project has had quite a few issues with permits being granted, taken away, appealed, denied and now the long legal process.

Want to know more about this confusing process? You can see our other stories on this waterfront AAA here.

Are you in favor of this waterfront AAA?

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3 Responses to Waterfront AAA project appears to be moving forward despite legal troubles

  1. gazpacho April 28, 2015 at 10:55 am #

    Nothing boosts the charm of waterfront like a AAA. Ridiculous.

    • Anthony April 28, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Right. And nothing is more charming than a cheap suburban development along an urban waterfront with a plethora of exhaust rising from a surface parking lot.

  2. James April 30, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    CDAG does not own the property. AAA legally entitled to the permits.

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