It was little over a month ago when we brought your attention to 709 N. Penn St., currently an overgrown pier that has had several proposals that sadly never came to pass. At the time, we saw that preliminary plans were in place to redevelop the lot, with 61 units slated to rise across a mix of townhomes and an apartment building. Let’s hop in the lite version of the way-back machine to check out the scene.
Thanks to a zoning permit from this week, we are happy to provide some additional information. An entity called Pier Townhomes LLC is working with Abitare Design Studio to revamp the site. A little digging shows that Adam Spivak (previously part of the former Electric Factory ownership team) is the listed contact, and the listed address is the same as Shovel Ready LLC. If this developer sounds familiar, that’s because they were the developers of the now-demolished low-rise industrial building at 1121 N. Delaware Ave., where a mixed-use proposal came and went, along with some bankruptcy issues for good measure. However, these zoning permits indicate that something indeed is afoot for this property, which is still listed for sale. Let’s give those permits a quick check.
Look for a seven-story mixed-use building to front N. Penn St. containing 47 units – a slight decrease from the previous iteration. Additionally, 12 (likely very expensive) townhouses will bring the total unit count to 59, which is also the number of car parking spaces to be provided. While we are always ones for more density, this plan seems like a decent approach for this part of the waterfront. We applaud the inclusion of commercial space, which will front the increasingly busy Delaware River Trail and sit just to the north of the huge Festival Pier project going up close by. Let’s hope we see movement here sometime soon so we aren’t discussing “what if” again a few years from now.