While battening down the hatches and as the hunkering down has begun, we decided to poke around on the zoning dockets for the end of this month, and came upon a biggie. Last week, a developer presented a project to the ZBA at 810 Arch St., which has been a surface lot for decades.

The lot

Unfortunate PPA lot next door

According to the zoning application, the plan for this site is for a nine story building with a commercial space on the first floor and 112 apartment units. Also included in the property will be offices, lounges, community rooms, an exercise room, and thirty-eight bike spaces. And… that’s pretty much all we know.

According to public record, the owner of the lot is the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, and has been since 1970. We’re confident that the PRA is selling the lot to a developer, but can’t identify the buyer. It seems that the project was presented last month to the Planning Committee for the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, but can’t get anyone on the phone over there to answer our questions because the end of days seems to be approaching.

Does anyone out there have any more info about this project and can help us fill in the blanks here? Assuming it’s a halfway decent design, it will be great to see this long-vacant lot filled in with something positive. And considering that some other new construction has taken place on this block in recent years, it seems like there’s a bit of development momentum on the eastern end of Chinatown.

Across the street and to the west

Hopefully, the new Community Center planned for a few blocks to the north will get built soon, as will this project, and vacant lots in this neighborhood will continue to fill in. This would be good for the businesses in the neighborhood, and good for the ol’ tax rolls, too.