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Tag Archives | East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association

What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

25 Townhomes Replacing Cabinet Warehouse on 600 block of McClellan

By Sequoia Medley for the Passyunk Post

Say goodbye to this sad view. 6th and McClellan looking northwest. Google Maps.

The September 12th meeting of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s Zoning Committee was more crowded than usual. Neighbors overflowed the available seating at the East Passyunk Community Center. Although another property was discussed, most were there to see the presentation about the redevelopment of the north side of the 600 block of McClellan Street.

…and say hello to these handsome townhomes. CANNODesign.

This much-anticipated project proposes to replace the cabinet warehouse currently located along the north side of the 600 block of Moore Street to allow for the construction of 25 single-family townhouses. Developer Kumas Homes also has plans to build multi-family units on Moore Street, but this presentation focused expressly on the McClellan Street section of the property.

View of the warehouse on the south side of the 600 block of McClellan, looking east. Google Maps.

Future view. Provided by CANNOdesign.
Designs by CANNOdesign show running-bond brick facades with metal canopies over the entry doors. Aluminum-sided pilot houses allow access to roof decks with metal railings. The facades alternate from light gray/tan to darker red brick.

This was the third time the developer met with the community. Two prior information-gathering sessions helped inform the plans presented. As in previous meetings, parking was a primary focus of the discussion. During their presentation the developers repeatedly pointed out design features that were direct responses to feedback from the neighbors, including:

  • Elimination of curb cuts, creating 5 additional on-street parking spots on the block
  • Provision of up to two private parking spaces per new residence accessed by a shared-drive aisle which will bisect the block, running east/west from 6th to 7th Streets
  • No gate on the driveway
  • A dedicated trash room for each residence

View of parking details. Note “Future Development” site along Moore Street. CANNOdesign.

The project requires zoning variances since the developer hopes to create one lot rather than 25 separate parcels, in part to provide the parking in the rear. Owners of these row homes will be part of a homeowners association which will maintain the parking area. A variance is also required since the parking spaces eliminate the required rear yard.
The developer stressed their good-faith efforts to listen and respond to the community since, ‘by-right’ they could make a number of different design choices. One concession to neighbors is the recent removal of towing signs to free-up parking on the block. Although some disagreed with the very nature of the development, many neighbors expressed support for the project.
In response to the desire for more greening, the properties will feature green roofs, as well as planting spaces in the front of the buildings. Developers also agreed to donate land on the 700 block of Emily Street to preserve a community garden used by residents of the area’s Burmese and Bhutanese community.

“Language Labs” mural on the 7th Street facade of the building.

Many neighbors voiced sadness at the potential loss of the “Language Labs” mural by artist Shira Walinksky. Located on the 7th Street side of the property, the colorful mural was completed in 2015 as part of the Southeast by Southeast project. The developer is in discussion with Mural Arts about possibilities of preserving the public art, or creating another work at the site.

A view of the building from 7th and McClellan, looking east, before the mural was completed in 2015. Google Maps.

Practical concerns about debris remediation during demolition were addressed, as well as the potential impact on SEPTA’s 47 bus route.
Although support for the project among attendees was mixed, a majority of those present voted in favor of the project. The EPX Civic Zoning Committee board also voted in favor of the project.
If approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), the developers hope to start work in three to six months. 20-days notice will be provided to neighbors before demolition begins.
This project will go before the ZBA on Wednesday, September 19th between 2pm and 5pm. Zoning hearings are open to the public to advocate for or against the project. ZBA meetings are held on the 18th floor of 1515 Arch Street.
EPX Zoning Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at the East Passyunk Community Center, 1025 Mifflin Street.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Beauty Bloomin’ Beyond the Backyard

It’s gardening season in South Philadelphia, and the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association (EPX) is hoping to get residents to think “beyond the backyard.” Their annual EPX in Bloom competition encourages residents to beautify their front steps, sidewalks, and window boxes. Neighbors are invited to submit images of their front greenery and plantings, with the possibility of winning prizes for Judge’s Choice or Crowd Favorite. You can help EPX determine the Crowd Favorite by ‘liking’ your favorite images on the Civic’s Facebook page.

EPX At-large board member and Social Media Coordinator Sequoia Medley explains, “EPX in Bloom is an excellent opportunity for our neighbors to exhibit their gardening skills for online recognition while also encouraging pedestrian exploration of our residential streets. We want people to walk through our neighborhood, and become inspired to create their own front-of-home displays.”

Entry from 1916 S 11th Street. See more at the EPX Facebook page.

The event is spearheaded by the EPX Beautification Committee, whose goal is to ‘clean and green’ within  civic’s boundaries, Tasker to Snyder, 6th to Broad Street. Entrants will be featured on a walking tour map, so neighbors can see the blooms even after the competition’s June 30th end.

Entry from 1035 Emily Street. See more at the EPX Facebook page.

Voting is currently open via the EPX Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EastPassyunkCrossingCivic. You do not need to be an EPX resident to vote, and you may vote for multiple entrants.

Due to a technical error, entries from EPX residents are still being accepted, if you live within the civic’s boundaries, 6th Street to Broad Street, Snyder Ave to Tasker Street. To enter, email an image of your front display to david@epcrossing.org and complete the application available on EPX’s Facebook page or at www.epcrossing.org. The competition’s guidelines are available here.

Entry from 2017 S. 11th Street. See more at the EPX Facebook page.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Escape the 1980s on E. Passyunk Ave. to close, residential units coming soon

Escape the 1980s, one of the city’s top escape rooms, will close its location at 1804 E. Passyunk Ave. on June 30th.  The business opened in August of 2015 in a former pharmacy that had been vacant for at least five years. According to a press release announcing the closure: “Building owner Vince DiBacco plans to develop a luxury condo unit[s] and [a] storefront. Construction will begin July 2018.”

Photo of 1804 E Passyunk Ave. captured by Google Street View before the trees were added out front.

The changes to the building required a zoning variance and were vetted at a public meeting of the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association zoning committee on January 11, 2017. Plans call for the addition of a third floor to create three dwelling units above the first-floor retail space.  Roof decks (more akin to balconies) would be added to the back of the building above the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.  The top floor deck is initially permitted for maintenance purposes only.

The presenter, Ron Patterson, attorney for the owner, said the third floor facade will feature “a metal panel with wood slats. Lighting and a small canopy will accentuate the residential entrance.”  The plans were approved by the community and EPX zoning committee.

At the time the plans were presented, Escape the 1980s, which obtained an “assembly and entertainment” permit in 2016, was to remain as the tenant. According to their website, the business now hopes to relocate and add an Escape the 1990s room as well.

Photo of a group enjoying Escape the 1980s, courtesy of TripAdvisor

Escape the 1980s is an interactive game where 2-12 players figure out clues and codes to unlock doors and get through an 80s themed adventure. The award-winning game, conceived by Steel Owl Productions, was built in the summer of 2015 by Philly artists, programmers and engineers. It’s been featured in dozens of publications including USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

If you’d like to check it out before June 30th, go here.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

For the love of gravy

By Joseph Myers

As Sunday’s 4th Annual East Passyunk Red Gravy Cook-off commenced at Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School, attendees heard the pleasant strains of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.” It was a fitting tune considering that a love for pasta’s pal – red gravy – had brought a crowd of 200 guests together.  The cook-off began with guests sampling 15 gravies, and ended with an unprecedented voting decision.

As the crowd grew, Samantha Gross, who organized the event for the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association, kept busy trying to find more plates and cups to accommodate the throngs. “We experienced a problem that every event planner dreams of – we had a much bigger turn-out than last year – nearly 80 more. Luckily, we had amazing resources to pull everything off, and, in the end, everybody got sauced,” she said with a laugh.

“This event takes one of the many Italian-American traditions of the East Passyunk neighborhood – enjoying a pot of gravy with family – and blends it with the new neighborhood that’s developing around that culture,” said Darren Fava, who conceived the cook-off concept with fellow attendee John Raab. “We wanted to combine a food Italian-Americans love with the foodies who have come to love – and live in – our community.”  

Gross, who has lived in East Passyunk for a year, loved the mix of people the event attracted, “It’s great to see community and business leaders dining next to residents with their extended families. I’m very impressed at the outpouring of support from the community, especially the generous donations from our sponsors.” Continue Reading →

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Get Your Gravy On

By Samantha Gross

This Sunday is your opportunity to weigh-in on South Philly’s best red gravy at the 4th Annual East Passyunk Red Gravy Cook-Off.  Try fifteen different types of gravy with pasta, New York Bakery bread, salad, and Triangle Tavern’s famous vegan meatballs. Sip complimentary Vin Café wine and finish off your meal with Rival Bros. espresso.  

The competition brings together amateur and professional chefs for a blind tasting.  Over $400 in prizes will be awarded to winners of the Judges’ Choice and Crowd Favorite. This year’s panel of judges includes Geno Vento of Geno’s Steaks, Councilman Mark Squilla, and “Mamma” Maria di Marco, owner of Mamma Maria Ristorante Italiano.

East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association President, Leon Malloy, calls the event, “A celebration of South Philadelphia.”  He adds, “East Passyunk is known for its amazing food scene, and this event really showcases that in a fun way. We look forward to this competition every year as an opportunity for everyone to get together, taste some delicious sauces, have some wine, enjoy homemade desserts and conversation.”

The event takes place on Sunday, April 22nd from 4pm-6pm in the Ss. Neumann and Goretti High School cafeteria.  Enter the event through the parking lot at 11th & Moore Streets. Tickets can be purchased here.  All proceeds benefit the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association.  Kids 12 and under dine free!

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Take a tour of holiday lights in East Passyunk Crossing on Sunday

It’s that time of the year again. East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association will be hosting its annual tour of lights this Sunday, December 11.

Photo: J. Fusco via EPX

Photo: J. Fusco via EPX

The neighborhood is full of holiday cheer, with the Miracle on 13th Street looking as bright as ever and other seasonal displays around the neighborhood.

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