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City to look closely at Baltimore Ave housing complex proposal; public invited

April 2, 2015

4224rendering

The large residential project proposed for the corner of 43rd and Baltimore across the street from Clark Park has cleared another hurdle and will now go through a series of reviews at the city level.

The Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee, the Friends of Clark Park and the University City Historical Society have all approved the plan, according to a recent email announcement from the Spruce Hill Community Association’s zoning chair Barry Grossbach.

The 132-unit building at 4224 Baltimore Ave. would include a mix of condominiums and market-rate apartments. The plan also calls for first-floor commercial space, including a large restaurant.

Three project hearings have been scheduled for this month at the City government offices at 1515 Arch Street. All meetings are open to the general public. The community participation is encouraged, especially for the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, April 29.

Next week, on Tuesday, April 7, the Civic Design Review Committee will examine the project. Large development projects with over 100 dwelling units, like the proposed apartment building at 4224 Baltimore Ave, require a Civic Design Review. You can read more about this here.

Here are more details on the upcoming meetings at 1515 Arch Street:

Tuesday, April 7 – 1:00 p.m. – Civic Design Review Committee – Room 18-029

Tuesday, April 28 – 1:00-4:00 p.m. – Philadelphia City Planning Commission, 18-029

Wednesday, April 29 – 4:00 p.m. – ZBA (Zoning Board of Adjustment), ZBA Hearing room, 18-002

9 Comments For This Post

  1. WestPhillyChic Says:

    Will these “market-rate” apartments even be affordable? And do we really need more condos? Ergh…

  2. catholic chick Says:

    Can anyone tell me what’s going on with parkparking ? Congestion in terms of Baltimore avenue is already such fun!!! Someone please inform me where all the gas guzzlers are to be parked ? What’s the numaeer of parking spots ?

  3. Guest Says:

    @CatholicChick – There’s more information on a website the developer set up http://4224baltimore.com/, including some studies they did about public transit and parking availability. You can also search for articles in Philly Magazine and previous coverage on this website for details on the proposal (I’d link to them directly but if I try to add more than one the site blocks the comment). If I recall, they were planning for something like 60 underground parking slots.

    @WestPhillyChic – I don’t know what they plan on charging for rent but the units will be affordable for some people and too expensive for others, just like most housing stock. Rent prices around Philly have been rising in recent years, with Cedar Park just to the west seeing some of the highest rent increases in the entire city. There could be many reasons for that (e.g., AVI tax increases) but it suggests that yes, we really do need more housing. The developers wouldn’t invest in the site if they were’t pretty confident they could fill it with people.

  4. Strongforu Says:

    I think Philadelphia should implement a plan similar to New York’s where 10% of all new units in developments like this are affordable and open for working-class people to rent via a lottery system. There aren’t enough new affordable units for working folks in Philadelphia.

  5. streetcar Says:

    What voice does UCHS have in this decision, or maybe I should be asking WHY does UCHS, which does nothing as far as I know, have a voice in this?

  6. playfair Says:

    Final designs and materials for 4224 Baltimore can be viewed here:

    http://www.phila.gov/CITYPLANNING/PROJECTREVIEWS/Pages/CivicDesignReview.aspx

    Most of these images were not presented at the official RCO meeting led by the SHCA. The Civic Design Review Committee meets tomorrow, is open to the public and does take public comment. Its recommendations are only advisory in nature; they cannot compel the developers to make any improvements to the design.

  7. YouseGotItBackwards Says:

    @Strongforu Incusionary zoning has a lot going for it. And Hey! I notice its a year where City Council and the Mayor are being elected. Might make an excellent question for the candidates.

    Also, on this same blog people are yelling at a leading builder of affordable housing in this town because they let some misguided members of our neighborhood turn their private land into a broken, non-functional park. Maybe it should be affordable housing instead. Maybe the Apple Lofts building that never got converted could be affordable housing. If Affordable housing is your thing, its not like we don’t have places it could be built in our neighborhood.

  8. playfair Says:

    ZBA makes a decision on 4224 Baltimore Avenue. http://planphilly.com/articles/2015/06/16/board-approves-apartment-complex-at-43rd-and-baltimore

  9. playfair Says:

    Update on 4224 Baltimore. First report: https://www.facebook.com/groups/823548771046986/








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