The idea for a community grocery store for Point Breeze Avenue emerged in May with plans to bring a glass-box-like development with the food co-op on the ground floor to a neighborhood that has been called a “food desert.”
The plans for the food co-op and development for 1245 Point Breeze Ave. were reviewed last week, receiving a “no” from the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The idea for the project was to bring fresh foods to a neighborhood that lacks such amenities. The plans for the development required a variance for to build something of this density on a CMX-2-zoned property.
From Naked Philly, which is owned by OCF Holding, the developer of this project:
As for the community group and a handful of near neighbors, we don’t know what to say. Point Breeze is a food desert and many residents lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables. This project would have improved access to grocery items with a deed restriction guaranteeing the use moving forward and a promise to offer the space at $1/month in perpetuity. This store would have been a great benefit to many people in the community, and it’s a shame that gentrification fears expressed through concerns about parking, density, and the “character of the neighborhood” submarined this project.
OCF Holdings may “pursue an alternate development plan that doesn’t include a grocery store, or they might just let the property fall out of contract,” but no alternative plans are in place for the property at this time.