We've probably only found ourselves on the 1000 block of Winter Street a handful of times over the years, likely looking for parking for a night out in Chinatown. Despite the presence of countless restaurants on surrounding blocks and the fact that the Vine Street Expressway is pretty much across the street, this block is largely residential and entirely unassuming.
One notable exception to the residential rule on this block is 1026 Winter St., a two-story building that's home to a law office. The property is double-wide and has a garage entrance to a parking area in the rear.
Later this month, developers will appear before the ZBA with a plan to demolish the existing building and build a new six-story building in its place. The plan calls for a small parking area on the first floor, office space on the second floor, and twelve apartments on the upper floors. The project came before the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation a couple months ago and it appears that the community is opposing the project. We weren't at the meeting so we couldn't tell you why, but perhaps it's due to the fact that a new building at such a height would be out of scale with the rest of the block. Of course, with the entire block zoned CMX-3, midrise commercial, it's a sure thing that the height isn't the reason the project is going to zoning.
In recent years, we've actually seen several projects in this neighborhood taking advantage of commercial zoning with taller new construction or additions to existing buildings. We wonder, will height and density win out on Winter Street? Or will the community opposition force the developers to rethink their plan?