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‘Some work’ to begin on 4224 Baltimore Ave lot slated for construction of residential/commercial complex

Posted on 26 June 2018 by

Future 4224 Baltimore Avenue construction site now has a community garden (the gate has been removed by the gardeners).

We finally have an update on 4224 Baltimore Avenue, the site slated for construction of a 132-unit residential building with ground floor commercial space that has been in the works for four years.

Some work is finally scheduled to begin on the site, according to the Spruce Hill Community Association Zoning chair Barry Grossbach. Crews will be entering the property to remove overgrown vegetation and perform a general cleaning, and additional soil testing on the lot will take place in the near future.

“The community has been anxiously waiting for progress on the site and we are now at the point where activity will be more pronounced,” Grossbach recently wrote in an e-mail.  Continue Reading

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What’s going on with 4224 Baltimore project?

Posted on 25 October 2016 by Mike Lyons


The lot at 4224 Baltimore Ave.

After years of planning and community meeting after community meeting, people are starting to wonder if the grand residential building proposed for the corner of 43rd and Baltimore will ever get built.


Residents look over plans during a community meeting on 4224 Baltimore Ave. in September 2014 (Photo by West Philly Local).

“I’ve given up going to the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays because I’m tired of people asking me what the problem is,” Barry Grossbach, the chair of Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee said at a recent meeting.

In case you had forgotten, construction on a 132-unit residential building at 4224 Baltimore Ave. complete with a full-service restaurant overlooking Clark Park was supposed to begin this summer. Delays on construction projects in the city are not that uncommon, so observers of the process waited. Soil samples were taken, more engineering studies were ordered, construction plans were submitted and re-submitted. But nothing has happened at the large, empty lot at 43rd and Baltimore.  Continue Reading

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Meet the Lea principal on Tuesday; 4224 Baltimore meeting rescheduled

Posted on 09 February 2015 by Mike Lyons

Community members are invited to the monthly meeting of the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) on Tuesday, Feb. 10 to meet Henry C. Lea Principal Jennifer Duffy, who will talk about the happenings at Lea.

Duffy is in her first year as principal of Lea and one of about 50 first-time principals hired across the School District of Philadelphia this year. Duffy has placed a priority on raising academic standards and strengthen the school’s relationship with the University of Pennsylvania, where she is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership.

The SHCA meeting gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the association’s headquarters (257 S. 45th St.)

4224 Baltimore 1In other Spruce Hill news, the zoning committee meeting to consider the well-publicized plans to build a residential/retail complex at 43rd and Baltimore (across the street from Clark Park) will be held Feb. 19 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at The University of the Science’s Rosenberger Hall (the small building on the west side of 43rd Street, just north of Woodland Avenue). This is the meeting originally scheduled for Jan. 26 that was cancelled due to weather.

The meeting actually begins at 6:30 p.m. when committee will consider a liquor license request from Fresh Grocer at 40th and Market and a residential project at 4100-02 Ludlow St. This is also open to the public. The 4224 Baltimore Ave. project discussion will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. The development team for the site is preparing materials for presentation to the City Planning Commission’s Design Review Committee and will share those plans to date.

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A meeting Monday for community input on the big 4224 Baltimore Ave. project (UPDATE: cancelled due to snow)

Posted on 26 January 2015 by

UPDATE (1/26/2015): Monday’s SHCA Zoning Committee meeting has been cancelled due to the inclement weather. The meeting will be rescheduled for sometime in mid-February, according to Spruce Hill zoning committee chair Barry Grossbach. Stay tuned for more information.

The Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) will be holding a Zoning Committee meeting on Monday, Jan. 26 to consider the widely discussed residential and commercial project at 4224 Baltimore Avenue.

4224proposedbuildingAs a reminder, the development team for 4224 Baltimore Avenue has applied for zoning to get the city’s approval to construct a 132-unit residential complex at the site. The project evolved from a series of neighborhood meetings and was discussed at an open meeting of Spruce Hill zoning last spring. Now that a formal application has been made, the project development team, U3 Advisors, are required to have public meetings with neighbors through community associations.

The zoning meeting will be held at the SHCA headquarters at 257 S. 45th Street, starting at 7 p.m. All interested neighbors and residents are welcome to attend.

At this meeting, you can also learn about The Fresh Grocer’s application for the right to sell beer under conditions specified in its lease agreement with the University of Pennsylvania.

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Owners of 4224 Baltimore will take their chances with zoning board

Posted on 22 October 2014 by Mike Lyons

4224proposedbuildingThe firm overseeing development of a prime piece of real estate at 4224 Baltimore Ave. – across from Clark Park – has announced that it will take its chances with the zoning process and will go ahead with plans to build a 132-unit residential complex.

“[U3 Advisors] will comply with every regulation of the zoning variance process and we look forward to meeting with area RCOs, community groups and interested neighbors,” said Tom Lussenhop, the firm’s senior vice president.

Lussenhop said the firm will file an application with the Zoning Board of Adjustment soon.

There was some doubt that the firm would go ahead with its plans after news surfaced that appeals to City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell for an ordinance that would allow them to sidestep the sometimes tumultuous zoning process were rejected. The parcel’s owner, Clarkmore LLC, already has permission to build a small residential building that would have no commercial amenities and very limited parking. But the plans for the 132-unit building, which grew out of a series of community meetings, include underground parking and commercial space. That plan requires zoning changes for the parcel.

A series of public hearings will be scheduled once the zoning change request is filed, including a community meeting with the Spruce Hill Community Association planning committee.

“Spruce Hill will follow its traditional process of dealing with this zoning application once a filing has been processed,” said the planning committee’s head Barry Grossbach.

(See all our posts on 4224 Baltimore here).

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Update on 4224 Baltimore from Plan Philly: Blackwell says ‘Go to the zoning board’

Posted on 10 October 2014 by Mike Lyons

Plan Philly yesterday got in touch with City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who said she will not introduce an ordinance to “spot zone” the vacant parcel across from Clark Park at 43rd and Baltimore.

Blackwell told Plan Philly’s Jared Brey that she is reluctant to push for special zoning for this project out of fear that other developers, including those involved in the row over the property at 40th and Pine, will line up at her door asking for ordinances. Blackwell said she supported the project, but advised the developers to go through the zoning process, which will include a public hearing.

We reported last week that the property owner, Clarkmore LLC, was pressing Blackwell for a special ordinance that would allow them to forgo the zoning process. Clarkmore currently can build a “by right” 92-unit project that includes little parking and no retail. It wants the ordinance for a bigger 132-unit building that includes parking and ground-level retail and would require zoning variances.

For a recent history of the property and the process that led to the current proposal, see this collection of posts.

There’s a lot to this story. Go to Plan Philly for more details.

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