At last night’s Passyunk Square Civic Association zoning meeting, conceptual plans were presented for a 5-story mixed-use building that would have 18,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, 70 apartments, 8 single-family trinities and approximately 150 parking spaces in an underground lot.
Midwood Investment and Development, the group that is responsible for the recently-completed Cheesecake Factory location on Walnut Street, is behind this development. Though don’t worry, they called this project the “anti-cheesecake project.”
In order to blend with the existing retail on 9th Street, there would be awnings on the street-level to mimic the historic style of the Italian Market. Having those awnings would mean that the retail locations that would be tenants of this building would be able to bring some of their merchandise out onto the street, just like the other vendors in the Italian Market. During the presentation, they expressed that they’d like to keep the street level “alive” and “interactive.” A total of 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space along 9th Street and Washington Avenue is currently in the plans.
Anastasi, the seafood restaurant currently on the corner of 9th and Washignton, would need to be relocated temporarily, but John Usdan, president of Midwood, says that they would plan to have the restaurant occupy one of the retail spaces in this new building once it is completed.
The development includes 70 one and two bedroom market-rate apartment units on the upper floors of the development. These can be accessed through an entrance on Darien Street.
Since Darien Street is a quieter, more residential street, the project includes 8 single-family trinities to better blend with that part of the neighborhood. Each of these single-family homes would include a backyard space.
As far as the parking situation goes, a below-grade parking garage would be accessible off of 9th Street and would include a total of 150 space, with approximately half of those being accessible to the community.
In order for this development to move forward, the property would need to be rezoned from CMX-2 to CMX-3 to accommodate for the height of the building and commercial use being planned.
If this project is approved, Usdan says it will take approximately 18 months to build.