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Housing

New proposal calls for converting church near 46th and Spruce into apartments

June 5, 2019

Architect Brian Phillips from architecture firm ISA presents proposal to convert church near 46th and Spruce into apartments (Photo by West Philly Local).

Developers presented a plan to the Garden Court Community Association (GCCA) last night that would convert the Good Shepherd Community Church near 46th and Spruce into apartments and add another smaller building on the property.

The proposal, made to a standing-room-only crowd, was met with mixed reviews. Preservationists welcomed the adaptive reuse, while many neighbors near the property at 314-316 S. 46th St. opposed the plan.

“We simply can’t absorb any more high-density housing in this area,” said Eric Santoro.  Continue Reading

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A second apartment building coming to 4300 block of Market Street

February 13, 2019

An artist’s rendering of 4306 Market St. The city approved the adjacent building to the right in October.

The 4300 block of Market Street, which includes a Checkers, some vacant lots and a handful of row homes, will likely look completely different by next summer.

A proposal for a six-story, 22-unit apartment building at 4306-4310 Market St. met with a favorable reaction from the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee on Monday. The building would be fit in between a cluster of existing row homes and another building, 4312 Market St. that was approved last year. The two projects are related.

The proposal would combine three lots into one for the building (one is the former site of the Dirt Factory). The proposed building would include 13 two-bedroom apartments, 5 one-bedrooms and 4 three-bedrooms. No information was available on proposed rent prices, but developers said the apartments would be “higher end” and not aimed at students. There are no affordable housing units proposed as part of the project, which several zoning committee members asked developers to reconsider.  Continue Reading

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SHCA monthly board meeting to discuss affordable housing (updated)

January 7, 2019

The Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) monthly board meeting will be held this Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spruce Hill Center (257 S. 45th Street). All community members are invited and welcome to attend.

The guest speaker at this month’s meeting is Nicole Ozdemir from the City Planning Commission. She will join SHCA members to talk about the city’s efforts regarding affordable housing. This will be an informational discussion to educate and update the board on the city’s mixed-income affordable housing bill and related initiatives. Regular committee reports will follow.

Affordable housing is becoming a big problem for Philadelphia, especially in gentrifying neighborhoods like Spruce Hill.

It was reported last month that Mission First Housing Group, one of the largest providers of affordable housing in the city, decided to move ahead with their plans to sell the Arvilla apartment building on the 4500 block of Osage Avenue and elicited protests from neighbors.

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Neighbors protest Arvilla sale; owners say deal nearly final

December 18, 2018

The non-profit owners of the Arvilla, an affordable housing building on the 4500 block of Osage Avenue, insisted on Monday that they will go through with the sale of the building despite pleas from some residents and neighbors.

Representatives of Mission First Housing Group, one of the largest providers of affordable housing in the city, said during a Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) zoning meeting that it can’t afford the necessary renovations required to maintain the 14-unit building and will go through with a sale that will likely convert the building to market-rate apartments.

“The costs of modernizing the building are much higher than we can cover,” Mission First’s Director of Business Development Mark Deitcher said. “We have to pull the plug on the building because of the capital needs of the building.”  Continue Reading

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University City population aging slightly, media home sale price tops 400K

December 6, 2018

Rent prices in the University City District leveled off, the number of home sales dropped by a third last year and the population got a little older, according to the annual “State of University City” report released yesterday.

The report covers everything from real estate development to population demographics to tree coverage in the area managed by the University City District (UCD). UCD roughly defines “University City” as the area bounded by the Schuylkill River to the east, 50th Street to the west, Market Street/Powelton Avenue/Spring Garden Street to the north and Woodland Avenue/University Avenue to the south.

Here’s what the report, which covers trends through 2017, shows in key areas:  Continue Reading

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Strong support for ‘5050 Baltimore’ at Cedar Park zoning meeting on Tuesday

October 24, 2018

Developer Ryan Spak, left, discusses “5050 Baltimore” during a zoning meeting at the Calvary Center last night (Photo by West Philly Local).

A 12-unit residential building with ground-floor commercial that includes below-market units proposed for the corner of 51st and Baltimore drew overwhelming support during a Cedar Park Neighbors zoning meeting last night.

Proposed by West Philly-based developer Ryan Spak, “5050 Baltimore” would be a three-story building built on three oddly shaped lots at the triangular corner of 51st and Baltimore. The project needs zoning variances for an additional two residential units. Ten units is allowed by right. The project also needs a variance for a “group practitioner” – a mental health counseling non-profit – which is one of the tenants for the proposed commercial space.  Continue Reading

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