Construction begins on 8-story apartment building at 49th and Spruce

January 21, 2020

Construction has begun on a new 8-story apartment building at the former parking lot on the southwest corner of 49th and Spruce. The building will include 150 residential units from the first through seventh floors and a roof deck on the eighth floor. The project also includes 41 parking spaces and 63 bicycle spaces on the ground floor.  Continue Reading

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7-story apartment building at 46th and Chestnut gets green light; to include affordable units and parking

December 13, 2019

City Council passed legislation on Thursday changing the zoning on West Catholic High School’s parking lot at 46th and Chestnut, clearing the way for a seven-story apartment building.

Proposed by outgoing Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, the bill passed after extensive negotiations between a group of West Catholic alumni and supporters of the school and the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA). West Catholic wants to lease the land to a property developer to help fund renovations and provide scholarships for students. To make the deal financially attractive, the zoning had to be changed from CMX-2 to CMX-3 so that a developer can build a much bigger structure than is currently allowed.  Continue Reading

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University City report release provides Gauthier opportunity to talk equity

December 6, 2019

Councilwoman-elect Jamie Gauthier speaking at the “State of University City” event on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of University City District).

City Councilwoman-elect Jamie Gauthier told University City District supporters, staff and board during a speech at the organization’s annual “State of University City” event that she hopes the economic success in the area around the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital and Drexel University reaches into struggling neighborhoods as well.

“As more cranes go up in this area,” she said to the crowd of developers, donors and supporters of the University City District. “I hope our residents farther out can participate in that growth.”  Continue Reading

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Spruce Hill zoning committee mulls “upzone” proposal for possible 260-unit apartment building at 46th and Chestnut

November 19, 2019

Lobbyist, longtime Philadelphia politico and West Catholic alum Eleanor Dezzi, seated left, discusses the proposal to change the zoning on West Catholic High School’s parking lot at 46th and Chestnut to allow the construction of a large apartment building. Attorney Ron Patterson (also a West Catholic alum), standing, and real estate developer Jim Paterno are also part of the West Catholic group. Drawings of a possible design are in the background (Photo by West Philly Local).

The Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee is considering a deal with West Catholic High School that would change the zoning on the school’s parking lot at 46th and Chestnut to make way for what could be a seven-story, 260-unit apartment building with ground floor commercial space.

The parcel is currently zoned CMX-2, which limits the height of the building. If West Catholic can secure a change to CMX-3, which allows for a much larger building, the parcel will become far more valuable to a potential developer.  Continue Reading

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Fresh off an election win, Councilwoman-elect Jamie Gauthier talks zoning and affordable housing to Spruce Hill residents

November 13, 2019

Photo by West Philly Local

Newly elected City Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier says one of her top priorities when she takes office in January is addressing the development “frenzy” in West Philadelphia by pressing for more affordable housing.

“I think we should look at zoning with an eye toward equitability and affordability,” she told the Spruce Hill Community Association during its annual meeting at the Penn Alexander School on Tuesday.

Gauthier, who grew up in Kingsessing, will represent a district that has some of the most expensive real estate and the deepest poverty in Philadelphia. Development and issues related to zoning have become flashpoints in recent years.  Continue Reading

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‘Baltimore Crossing’ condo development project underway near 51st and Baltimore

October 29, 2019

The “Baltimore Crossing” condo construction project is underway near 51st and Baltimore. This is a three-unit building north of Baltimore (Photo courtesy of Holly Mack Ward & Co).

Folks looking to buy a home in West Philly have usually had two options: a pricey Victorian or a more affordable (but still pricey) rowhome. Developers have mostly been reluctant to build condos – essentially apartments that are for sale rather than for rent. That might be starting to change with “Baltimore Crossing,” a new condo development project currently under construction near 51st and Baltimore.

The project includes three buildings – a three-unit building north of Baltimore (at 717 S. 51st St), a five-unit building south of Baltimore (at 732-734 S. 51st), and a townhouse at 5135 Webster St. The construction of the north building is in an advanced stage, and the foundation has been laid for the south building.  Continue Reading

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