It wasn’t even a week ago that we shared, with no small amount of excitement, that redevelopment is on the horizon for the long vacant and blighted Quaker building at 9th & Poplar. We were pleased for a few different reasons. First, that building has seriously been bugging us for years. In addition, we’re generally very glad to see an adaptive reuse instead of demolition and new construction, especially for a building with bones so fine. Finally, the fact that developers are considering a property at 9th & Poplar, several blocks away from other market rate development in any direction, speaks to a heretofore unseen level of heat in the local real estate market. All good stuff.
In case you’ve already forgotten about the plan for the property, Post Brothers is looking to convert the building into 350 apartments with retail on the first floor. We were sure the project would include a parking component, but didn’t have that info at our fingertips last week. Now, thanks to Philly.com (behind a paywall FYI) we know that the project will have roughly 135 parking spaces in a new structure built near the existing building. Previously, we speculated that could be across the street to the south or adjacent to the northern side of the building, but we still don’t know which to expect.
Our expectation of the look of the renovated building got a little boost today though, also thanks to Philly.com. Their story included a couple of renderings, with design work done by Coscia Moos. Check ’em out, they look pretty sweet.
We told you previously, the developers are planning to work with the community to get them onboard, and have already promised a generous donation to the East Poplar playground. In addition, it appears the community is looking for promises of scholarships for local students and construction employment for local residents as part of a community benefits agreement. Though the neighborhood meeting took place last week, we don’t know the status of the community benefits agreement or even whether the community voted in support or opposition. All of this should come to light next week, when the project comes before the ZBA. Until then, we’ll cross our fingers and toes and hope that this project moves forward. And we suggest that you do the same.