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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

As many as 15 condos proposed for oddly-shaped lot at 1312-16 E. Passyunk Ave.

The 9th and Wharton development wasn’t the only big project being discussed at last night’s Passyunk Square Civic Association Zoning meeting. Potential developers presented preliminary plans for community feedback prior to submitting a proposal for 1312-16 E. Passyunk Ave.


A while back we told you about potential for development of this oddly-shaped lot, but this is now the first sign of movement for this long-vacant property. The proposal last night included 6-stories, 15 condos and ground floor parking for as many as 7 cars.


What the lot looks like currently.

Landmark Architectural Design’s plans include a unique, warehouse-style look for the front of the building along East Passyunk Avenue. The lot of this property is actually four bundled plots of land, including a sliver of property along Wharton Street. The developers are planning on using the shape of the property to their advantage with the lobby for the condos being accessible both through the parking garage on Passyunk, along with an entrance on Wharton. They’re also including a triangle-shaped green space for the back of the lot.


When first presenting the plans, a total of 15 condos were proposed, but by the end of the presentation, their plans shifted. Initially one 3-bedroom unit, nine 2-bedrooms, and five 1-bedrooms were proposed.

The major concern of the community was regarding the massive height of the structure with 6-stories, which one neighbor called “a little extreme.” Despite having the top two floors being setback, the community still was not on board for such a huge development. Seeing that the plans for the top two stories only included 3 additional units, it was said during the presentation that they would scrap those to instead make this a 4-story structure with 12 condos instead of 15.


Since the problem with many projects in the neighborhood is that of parking, these developers want to better accommodate for the neighborhood with the first floor of the development being designated for cars. The entrance for this parking garage would be along East Passyunk Avenue. To keep the garage entrance from being an eyesore, they’re planning to put planters along the street level for a bit of beautification. When asking for feedback, no neighbors expressed opposition for the parking.

Once revisions are made to the height and number of units, a formal application will be made for the review of the development.

What are your thoughts on this plan for 1312-16 E. Passyunk Ave.?

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16 Responses to As many as 15 condos proposed for oddly-shaped lot at 1312-16 E. Passyunk Ave.

  1. Tony December 9, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    “To keep the garage entrance from being an eyesore, they’re planning to put planters along the street level for a bit of beautification. When asking for feedback, no neighbors expressed opposition for the parking.”

    You can’t make this stuff up. So, we’re going to make two curb cuts so cars can mow pedestrians down when they can’t see them behind the planter boxes. Taking two parking spots away and encouraging car owners is going to make a minimal difference with parking on the street. Think of the folks who are willing to park on the street until more spots are available inside vs. no one who absolutely needs a car renting there because parking is already hard….and the neighborhood is losing two spots.

    • Alex December 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Glad to see you’ve appointed yourself Judge Jury and Executioner on the matter.

      • Paul December 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

        curb cuts should not be allowed on Passyunk

        if people are really worried about parking in the area, build a grarage on the PPA lot that has surface street fronting retail. Spots could be available monthly and some left for people driving in

        I am not against parking per se I am against curb cuts of this sort on the main drag

        • Tony December 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

          Agreed Paul. My disappointment in this development comes from the fact that this is a main drag with a lot of pedestrian traffic. It already feels “garage-y”. The more garages and curb cuts that take place, the more it’s going to feel like walking behind a grocery store with loading docks. Not something that we as a community should want for such an important block.

      • Tony December 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

        Good one… Street-facing garages with more offstreet parking is likely to help with nothing, while chopping up a block with fairly strong pedestrian traffic.

    • CS December 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      There are already curb cuts there.

      • Tony December 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

        Yeah, but they’re not being used.

        • Jonathan December 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

          This building will make a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. If anything is wrong with it, it is that 7 spots for 12 apts and that is not nearly enough.

          • Tony December 10, 2015 at 9:11 am #

            Right, maybe we can scale the units back to 5 and up the parking spots to 14. Or we could just skip the units all together and make it a parking garage with a condo facade.

          • Tiny Tim December 10, 2015 at 11:50 am #

            People who live in the neighborhood should understand how big (not) lots are. Think about how big cars are. Think about what adding more surface lot space does to the potential other uses of projects. Underground parking just isn’t an option. Street level garages just take away public spots. Where is the parking supposed to go? If you want to bulldoze everything and make it a parking lot just say so, then find a developer who thinks it’s a good investment. Then enjoy the lovely view of the parking lot every time you walk by.

          • wc December 10, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

            Agreed – the drawing looks like it has 6 spots for 12 units. We can’t keep saying people live in the city don’t have cars, they do. These spots doesn’t accommodate this many apartments, especially near a corner where people randomly pullover, illegally park and MANY people don’t understand the angles and stop signs. Can’t recall how many times I have walked around here and cars don’t see the stop signs.

            • Aaron B December 11, 2015 at 10:26 am #

              Do your homework.
              40% of South Philly households do not have cars.

              • Heather December 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

                Thanks for letting me know this, Aaron! I wasn’t aware of how few people owned cars in South Philly. Yet somehow I’m in disbelief, just based on what I see when I walk around the ‘hood. Do you have a link to the source of this information, so that I can share it with my neighbors who always complain about parking?

  2. Tiny Tim December 10, 2015 at 5:02 am #

    Probably should just turn all of passyunk into a parking lot. Then people would be happy.

  3. Sue H. December 15, 2015 at 2:50 am #

    Beware this architect. He works with shady contractors, who don’t stand behind their work.

  4. spf5000 December 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Dressing up the front of a ground floor garage with planters is not good enough. Living space on the ground floor with windows on the street create a perception of safety because there are eyes in the street. A garage at ground floor reduces the perception that this is a safe sidewalk.

    Curb cuts bring cars onto sidewalks: a dangerous condition for pedestrians, someone will get hurt. Curb cuts and driveways also reduce street parking.

    This block of Passyunk Ave already has too many curb cuts. This block needs more retail and/or residences at the ground floor.

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