Last month, we gave you the heads up about a proposed mixed-use development at a long blighted, triple wide lot on South Street West. Earlier this week, representatives for the developer presented this project at 1612-16 South St. to the SOSNA zoning board and the community. And the response was, more or less, two thumbs up.

Current view

After the informational presentation last month, architects Harman Deutsch made a couple of small changes to the design to accomodate requests of members of the SOSNA zoning board. For example, a small alleyway was included in a section of the rear of the building to improve safety, light wells were added to increase natural light in the apartments, and more glass was added to the front of the commercial space, to make it more attractive to potential customers.

The changes aren’t so noticeable, but check out the before and after renderings anyway. At least the newest version is in color.

Rendering from last month, in boring black and white

New rendering, delightfully in color. Notice the glassier commercial space.

One possible change that was mentioned at the meeting was to increase the height of the building by a couple of feet to increase the ceiling height of the commercial space. That this suggestion came from a member of the SOSNA zoning committee almost made us fall out of our chairs, but the added height would definitely make the commercial space more attractive for potential tenants. According to a representative for the developer, only restaurant uses are being considered for this space. Thus far, a few letters of intent have been submitted, though no lease has been signed as of yet.

In general, this is a huge win for South Street West. A new, 2,500 sqft commercial space can serve as an anchor tenant on this block, hopefully accelerating the improvements that have been taking place on this strip over the past couple of years. We can’t wait to see this blighted lot turn into a shiny new building.

Full disclosure: OCF Realty, one of the representatives for the developer, is the parent company of Naked Philly.