205 Race Street Project Back on Track?

A long stalled project may be on the horizon as developers for the vacant lot across from the Ben Franklin Bridge at 205 Race St. are scheduled to appear tomorrow before the Old City Civic Association Zoning Committee to seek support for newly revised plans for a mixed-use apartment building. This project has been discussed on and off for years, and may finally move forward, provided the developer and the community can see eye-to-eye.

Lot and bridge

Brown/Hill Development will seek the community group’s approval for a 16-story 128-unit building, according to the zoning refusal. That would make it perhaps the tallest building in the area, a 197-foot structure, three times that of the current height allowed by zoning. The building, as proposed, will have 34 interior parking spaces, as well as bicycle parking.

These plans are a departure from the most recent plans for this site, from October 2011, which called for 122 mid-income rental apartments in a 178-foot-tall building, according to PlanPhilly. Those plans differed still from 2006 renderings produced by Brown/Hill Development, depicting a 10-story, 135K sq ft, 53 high-end-unit condo building.

Six year old rendering

“I was briefed by the developer about a year ago. I don’t know how outdated the information shared in that briefing may be now,” said Joe Schiavo, vice chair of OCCA’s developments committee. “I think it would be best if I reserved comment until after the presentation the 28th.  However, the refusal issued by L&I does tell a story.”

We’ll have more on this following the meeting.

–Lou Mancinelli