Another project is in the works in Northern Liberties but first the developers and members of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association must agree on plans that would knock down the former Color Reflections warehouse at 413 Green St. and in its place construct ten new homes with four fronting Green Street and the remaining fronting Wallace Street to the north. Well, on Green Street, there would be three homes and a carriage house, so that future owners could access an interior parking courtyard.
Like so many times over the past few years, the community group has asked developers to amend their plans and reappear before the NLNA with changes to height and parking. The NLNA asked developer George Felici to make the homes on Wallace Street wider and to have more rear yard space and no rooftop decks. The current plan, according to NLNA zoning chair Larry Freedman, called for lots around 1110 sqft, which is shy of the 1440 sqft required by code. Multiply the size being short by 300 sqft by ten, explained Freedman, and you are losing a lot of space. He said if the design, made by architects at KJO Architecture, followed code, 10 units would not be possible. So the NLNA asked Felici to cut one on Wallace Street. They also asked Felici to lose the rear decks because the homes already featured second-floor decks. That, plus a bigger rear yard seemed, to NLNA members, like it was sufficient outdoor space already. “Most people don't use their rooftops on a consistent basis,” Freedman said.
Plus, rooftop decks with pilot houses could serve to block the view of neighbors across the street. While this may seem like NIMBY-ism or heightened self-interest, it is a real issue to neighbors already living along Green, according to Freedman. “You might have thought the same way if you lived across the street,” he said.
So for now, the project sits in its early stages and may yet lose a unit. If and when it passes through the community, it would mark the second change of the former Color Reflections building. Two years ago we told you that its main building at the corner of 4th & Green was slated to be converted into 10 apartments. While many vacant lots and parcels are hurriedly being developed in Northern Liberties in the wake of record-searing building over the past five years, developers are also looking at these garages and former warehouse tucked among residential blocks, as evidenced by the project described above. And you can bet that more are coming.