The southwest corner of the Moyamensing Avenue and Moore Street intersection is home to a rather unusual arrangement of buildings. At some point in the early part of the 20th century, a company called Kamis Engineering occupied a large warehouse that started at the corner and wrapped around a few homes, only to continue a bit farther down the block. More recently, a company called eModa used this building, though we’re pretty sure nobody has used it for some time. This big, ugly, vacant building certainly wasn’t adding anything to the neighborhood even as it’s been available for sale for the last several years.
Back in 2014, the owners of the property went to the ZBA to get approval for a nanobrewery in part of the building, which we would guess is one degree smaller than a microbrewery? That same approval also reserved the right to open other businesses in other parts of the building and was necessary because the entire property is zoned for single-family use. The nanobrewery never came to pass, however, and like we said before, we’re pretty sure the building has been empty since before the zoning application came along half a dozen years ago.
We don’t know whether it’s the same owners or whether someone new has entered the picture, but we see on the ZBA calendar that a new proposal is coming down the pike for this property which would represent a significant departure from the previous concept. Instead of leasing space in the ugly old warehouse, the new plan calls for the demolition of the building, along with the four homes that sit in its middle, and the construction of a 32-unit apartment building with 14 parking spots.
This feels like a pretty good plan for this sizable property, adding some density in a part of town that’s dominated by single family homes. Like we said though, the property is zoned for single family use and the project therefore required approval from the ZBA. We don’t know what the community had to say about it, but we wonder whether the neighbors would necessarily line up behind a project that adds density without including 1:1 parking. We think it’s an easy call given that any new building would be an upgrade over what’s there now, but we don’t live nearby and we’re not on the Zoning Board, so it ain’t up to us.