Doctors’ office, not retail as hoped by many, likely coming to 46th and Spruce

September 13, 2017

Rendering of new apartment building coming to 46th and Spruce via

It looks like a doctors’ office will occupy the ground floor of the apartment building coming to the southeast corner of 46th and Spruce, dashing the hopes of some neighbors that a restaurant or other high foot traffic businesses would move into the space.

The good news is that there is unlikely to be an uptick in vehicle traffic related to the new tenant as the proposed doctors’ office, Penn Family Medicine University City, is presently located just a few doors down at 4623 Spruce. It would move in following construction of the four-story, 21-unit apartment complex that, much to the dismay of nearby residents, will feature a roof deck and no off-street parking. That project was held up in court for a year or so, but now has the green light. 

The roof deck and increased parking headaches prompted several nearby residents to heavily criticize the project. But their concerns were somewhat assuaged when the developer promised to seek a restaurant or other business that would “brighten” the corner.

The developer, attorney Ricky Liss, told the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee late last week that interest from potential businesses waned while the project was in court.

Nearby resident Eric Santoro said he was counting on something a little more lively than a doctors’ office.

“It feels like I am taking on a huge parking burden and a loud property without getting the retail and the bright corner I was promised,” he said during the zoning committee meeting.

The office would occupy the nearly 6,000 square feet of the ground floor and requires a variance. The proposal is scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Sept. 27.


5 Comments For This Post

  1. Meredith Says:

    Good. I’m glad it’s not retail. The character of Spruce street doesn’t need another coffee shop. That apartment building shouldn’t have been approved without parking for their tenants, and not on the street. They should follow what center city did with new buildings and rehabs – they must have parking. Good luck folks on Spruce.

  2. mxg Says:

    Can you imagine if somebody tried to build Philadelphia in the way Meredith suggests? It would be nothing but parking lots. Our neighborhood “on Spruce” has never included housing with parking. The other three corners of the intersection of this development are apartment buildings without parking.

    Parking only makes housing more expensive, encourages gentrification, and of course supports unsustainable car ownership in a neighborhood with excellent public transit access.

  3. Meredith Says:

    Hard to believe that including parking with a new 4+ story apartment building is what causes gentrification. I have lived in west philly for 20 years and have rented the entire time. I am a white woman with a decent paycheck and I am very soon going to be priced out of the neighborhood. So this has nothing to do with gentrification at 46th and Spruce – that happened about 10 years ago. If Penn had not built the Penn Alexander School all those Victorian homes on Spruce would be dumps that they were in 1997. Now, if they have been updated, they go for over 500k.

    Unsaistainabke car ownership – hmmm not sure about that. Tons of people in CC have cars and they have even better public transportation- and gosh we’re all falling over every Uber and Lyft car.

  4. Jawbrokedeunion Says:

    Wow, really, no retail? I call shenanigans. Feed the monkey yet shocked when called out? Why do we have to go underground to be good consumers. Give us what we want. How else can we save the economy? Buy local. Why must West Philly become another cliche on the tip of the serpent’s tongue. The lizards in suits decide what be buy, so we might as well get to shop for ourselves. Am I wrong to think it’s so foolish to promote capitalism without having to denounce liberty!?

  5. antelope Says:

    We need fewer cars around here, not more. There should be a quota of some sort.

    There are also too many gas stations in the heart of the neighborhood, which spew toxins as people dine at their café-style outdoor tables, and create a base for panhandlers and predators. They should be moved to non-residential locations. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

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