Swanky apartments at old Catharine Street YWCA are one step closer

For the fourth time since January 2012, developers of the former YWCA building at 1607-09 Catharine St. presented their plans to revamp the eyesore to the South of South Neighborhood Association last night.

The YWCA envisioned in its future, proposed glory… (pic from Naked Philly)

Most recently, the plan included 33 residential units and 22 parking spots. After seeking input from the community, they presented a revised and more modest proposal that seemed more palatable to everyone.

There would be fewer units (the number was knocked down to 28, plus one for the superintendent); the height of the addition would be shaved about one story, from 68 feet 60 feet so neighbors could keep their views; and the communal roof deck would be removed.

With these measures in place, neighbors mostly seemed excited about the potential for the space. The deteriorated exterior would be revived by power-washing the facade, changing windows, and smoothing the stucco. Plus, neighbors hope that the expected exterior lighting will help deter crime on that dimly-lit section of the street.

…and as it is now. (This one’s from SOSNA)

There was some concern, though, about the proposed 23-lot parking garage (13 spaces are above ground, 10 below), but the developers seemed to put attendees at ease by saying they would keep the noise to a minimum by using a sliding gate and including sound-absorbing shrubbery.

The owner envisions the space starting out as apartments and later converting to condos. Early renters might even be able to opt for a lease-to-own plan, where each payment gets one closer to home ownership.

This is a month old rendering, taken again from Naked Philly (Thanks!). New elevation plan, which they wouldn’t cough up, has no roof deck and is one story shorter

If the Zoning Board of Adjustment approves the revised plans and a demo permit is granted quickly, the developers hope to begin in the winter, when the noise would be less disturbing, the developer said. The partial demo would be expected to take about two weeks and from there, it would take about a year to complete.

Architect Harmon Deutsch’s attorney, David G. Orphanides, said that the ZBA would hear the case sometime in the beginning of February.

Paulina Reso, @paulinareso