Jehovah’s Witness Building Will Soon Be Apartments

In Passyunk Square, the former Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses building at 1235 Federal St. is part of developers’ plans to bring ten new apartments to the block. The property sold in December 2012 for $460K, after we told you the lot was on the market about a year ago. Developers appeared before the Passyunk Sqaure Civic Association Zoning Committee at its October meeting to present preliminary plans to renovate the former religious hall into a ground-floor handicap accessible unit, with nine bi-level apartments above, and six parking spaces.

The building

Early community feedback, according to Tina Geary of the PSCA zoning committee, is a desire for less density, and perhaps a cutback on the Annin Street side of the development. She said reducing the unit count by one might provide the chance for more varied design and a less dense project. “Every apartment is exactly the same,” said Geary, of the preliminary designs. “They’re not taking advantage of the space they have for such a unique opportunity in the neighborhood.”

This fall, Passyunk Square has seen a spike in zoning requests as various projects are slated to begin the development process. In more visible Passyunk Square news, right around the corner from this Federal Street project, the Armory Building on Broad Street is almost completely gone after demolition began in late September to make way for a six-story building with 60 apartments. And the large Latona Court project around the corner that replaced a large ugly warehouse is finally hitting the home stretch.

Makes us wonder what will be the next big project to come to this neighborhood.

–Lou Mancinelli