At last night’s Passyunk Square Civic Association zoning meeting, the developers of the proposed 9th and Wharton development came prepared with new plans with some “significant changes.” The last we updated you on this lot was regarding the zoning variance that was denied by the ZBA in June for the change from RSA-5 for single-family designation to CMX-2.5, which would allow for this mix of commercial space and apartment units.
While the developers listened to community feedback from the six previous presentations here since 2014 and made tweaks to the plans, the community is still not fully on board for this project that includes 4,638 sq. ft. of commercial space and 18 apartments.
Since the last presentation, some things have been scaled back. Originally 6,758 sq. ft. of commercial space was planned. It has now been lessened by 33% to include 4,638 sq. ft. of commercial to better mesh with the neighborhood. This new plan limits the entrances for the two commercial spaces to the front of the building along 9th Street, allowing Wharton to stay more residential.
There are currently 18 units of apartments being proposed for this four-story building. Originally plans called for as many as 33 bedrooms throughout. That number has now been scaled down to 27 bedrooms. The majority of the apartments are planned to be single-bedroom units. The lobby entrance for the apartments is proposed for Wharton Street. The cutback in retail space along Wharton now allows, instead, for two rowhomes to be built into the development. These current plans do not include changes to the property with the rectory.
The concerns of the community mirrored those of previous meetings with the major issue being related to parking. Since the development has no parking for 18 units, the community is concerned about the effect it will have on the surrounding neighborhood. During the presentation, the project’s lawyer, Brett Feldman, expressed that the addition of parking would be a “disaster we’d be bringing to this spot.”
Another thought from residents was about keeping the lot as residential, with it’s current RSA-5 zoning, to just build single-family dwellings instead of creating a four-story mixed-use development.
Developer Paul Mirabello has previously stated that the project won’t move forward without more support from the community. When a straw poll was taken at the end of the presentation, the majority of the approximately 40 people in attendance voted against this project.
You can check out previous renderings for 9th and Wharton here.