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Tag Archives | Annunciation

What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Work on Wharton Street Lofts has gotten under way

We stopped by the forthcoming Wharton Street Lofts, coming to the old Annunciation school at 12th and Wharton, because we remember developer Leo Addimando said he planned to start work on the building in the first quarter of 2013.

12-wharton 013


This week, the front didn’t look that different from what we saw when we took the above picture in the fall. But a quick walk around back showed us that a crew was buzzing around inside.

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Wharton Street Lofts get zoning approval

Developer Leo Addimando went before the Zoning Board of Adjustments to get final approval for his effort to turn the former Annunciation School into the Wharton Street Lofts at 12th and Wharton.

Inching ever closer

The board on Wednesday unanimously approved Addimando’s request for 45 apartments, a roof deck and a 3,300 square foot commerical space (tenant still to be determined) on the first floor, plus parking out back.

This means progress continues apace, and though Addimando said he’d rather not say when he plans to start construction, we imagine it will be in the first few months of the year. Next step is construction permits, and god know that can take a while. He previously told us that he’d like to start work on the building in the first quarter of 2013 and that construction would take about a year.

Good luck, Leo. And you let us know when you get a tenant, ya hear?

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Hey, South Philly Co-op, you wanna open at Annunciation?

We caught up with Leo Addimando, the developer who’s planning 48 apartments in the former Annunciation school at 12th and Wharton, and we came away with a couple particularly interesting tidbits.

Addimando went before the Passyunk Square Civic last week with his initial presentation and solicited feedback for what the community wants in the 3,300 square foot commercial space. They discussed a coffeeshop and office space for the civic. The most notable idea, though, is the possibility of locating the South Philly Co-op there.

“We would love to talk to the Co-op organizers,” Addimando said.

He hasn’t connected with them yet, but this seems like it could be a great home for it. It’s right in the middle of the neighborhood. There’s a city parking lot next door and Columbus Square Park across the street, so the density of cars is probably slightly lower than some other areas of the neighborhood.

The timelines of both projects could also line up. Addimando said if all goes well, he’d like to start work on the building in the first quarter of 2013 and that construction would take about a year. And the Co-op is about halfway to reaching the number of members it needs to open, so that’s still a ways off.

Another notable part of our conversation with Addimando is that there stills seems to be a bit of a disconnect between what he plans and what the neighborhood wants. We reported that though his presentation was popular, the civic’s zoning committee felt that 48 “is too many units for the amount of provided parking spaces [37, plus indoor bike parking] and that it will have a negative impact on the neighborhood,” according to the civic’s website. “Committee suggested they come up with some other plan/design with fewer units.”

Addimando said, however, the building could have fit 70 apartments but that they decided to lower that number to minimize neighborhood concerns.

“The project could support significantly more, but we didn’t want to negotiate,” Addimando said. “Forty-eight is what it takes for us to support the purchase price we’re paying to the archdiocese.” He wouldn’t cough up the sale price and said the sale hasn’t been finalized.

He said he plans to return to the civic’s zoning meeting next month with the same plans, but he noted that he’s “very open to talking with the neighborhood.”So, it sounds like there’s still some distance between the civic and the developer, but hopefully they can find common ground to get this important project moving. From what Cassie Knox at the civic told us last week, the neighbors responded positively to his presentation, and it sounds like Addimando is committed to the project.

“This is a part of town that we think is a really nice area,” he said. “It’s a good representation of how a neighborhood can evolve in a positive away over the years.”

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Annunciation plan sings to civic, neighbors

This post has been edited from an earlier version

Developer Leo Addimando reportedly got mostly a positive response at the Passyunk Square Civic’s zoning committee meeting Tuesday night when he presented plans for the former Annunciation building at 12th and Wharton.

The future Wharton Street Lofts
He apparently didn’t provide many more details than we reported earlier this week – 48 apartments, a huge communal roof deck overlooking Columbus Square Park and retail or community space on the ground floor.
But there were a couple other interesting tidbits. It’ll be called the Wharton Street Lofts, and naturally:

“The question of the parking impact came up multiple times and the developer has plans for 37 spots as well as interior storage for 50 bicycles, exterior guest bicycle storage, and two proposed car share spots,” Cassie Knox, communications committee chair for PSCA, said in an email. “The building is also directly on bus route 23.”

They plan for 37 1-bedrooms averaging 750 square feet, nine 2-bedrooms about 1,040 square feet and two 1,750 square foot 3-bedrooms, plus about 3,300 square feet of “commercial/community” space along 12th, and a gym.

There were concerns, however, that the building contained too many units. “Both the community and committee feel it is too many units for the amount of provided parking spaces and that it will have a negative impact on the neighborhood,” Knox said. “[The] committee suggested they come up with some other plan/design with fewer units.”

Addimando plans on taking community feedback and coming back to next month’s zoning meeting. “The presentation was extremely popular,” Knox noted.
This developer’s move into the hood marks an interesting shift for the area. He’s kind of a heavy hitter. The company just completed renovating the historic Robert Morris Building at 17th and Archinto luxe apartments. They also own the 2424 York artist studios in Fishtown, apartment buildings at 12th and Chestnut and in Old City, part-ownership of a massive office building at 123 S. Broad St., and other properties.Sounds promising. We’re supposed to talk to the big man himself later today, so if we can connect with him, we’ll give you the skinny. In the meantime, here are site plans for the first and second floors, and the roof. The bottom right of each image is 12th and Wharton and the park is to the right.

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