Development Planned for a Vacant Lot on a Block of Annin You’ve Probably Never Visited

You've probably never visited the 1200 block of Annin Street. It's a skinny block that looks like it dead-ends at its western end (but there's actually a narrow path out to Federal Street). Architecturally, it's a very mixed bag, with a row of newer-looking garage-front homes with driveways, a couple of standard Philly row homes, and a bunch of former warehouses that have been converted, mostly into residential use.

Looking west on the 1200 block of Annin Street

Former warehouses converted to residential

More warehouse conversions

We actually lived on this block back in the day, in a building that was once a toilet seat factory but was converted, at some point, into five apartments with 1:1 parking. It was a fine place to live for a year, and it was kind of fun to come back to cover a proposed project for the block.

A lonely vacant lot

Developers purchased 1225-27 Annin St. last winter and earlier this year presented plans to the Passyunk Square Civic Association to build a single building with six apartments. This lot, despite measuring over 2,600 sqft, is zoned for single-family use, necessitating the zoning application and community meeting. We haven't seen the plans, but the community didn't care for the project because they felt it too dense and that it didn't fit in with the character of the block. According to Jared Klein, Zoning Chair for the neighborhood group, the developers withdrew their application and are proceeding with a two-unit by-right build. From what we see, the project is still scheduled to go before the ZBA next month. Maybe they'll formally withdraw it at that point. Or maybe they'll see if they can get approval from the ZBA despite community concerns.

What do you think? Is a two-unit project most appropriate for this location, or would six units be okay? It's worth noting that if the parcel were zoned for multi-family use, six apartments would be permitted by right, based on the size of the parcel. Having lived there once upon a time, we don't know that we would have cared about two units, six units, or even ten units. But we don't live there anymore, so our opinion doesn't count for much on this one.