For decades, Mount Sinai Hospital at 4th & Reed has stood over the South Philly landscape the way Gulliver towered over the lilliputians. Built over an almost two decade period between 1921 and 1939 and designed by architects Magaziner, Eberhard & Harris, the art deco hospital closed in 1997 and has been a vacant and lurking reminder of what was ever since.

View of the hospital from 4th & Reed

Now, as renewal efforts across various South Philly neighborhoods continue to materialize, developers have presented a new proposal to make-over the enormous parcel and convert it into 236 new units in the form of 198 apartments in the old hospital surrounded by 38 townhomes. We spotted an orange zoning app posted at the site when we passed by the other day.

Looking down 4th Street, there's the orange sign

Upon further searching we found developers first appeared back in December before the Dickinson Square West Civic Association. More recently, they appeared before the Pennsport Civic Association in January with a second set of plans designed by Barton Partners that upped parking from 137 to 210 spaces, and tweaked other elements of the proposal like reducing the height of the townhomes from 44 feet to 36 feet, and eliminating front loading garages at 5th & Dickinson, according to the Passyunk Post. The project will also have a retail space on 4th Street, between Reed and Dickinson Streets.

Rendering of part of the project. Image from Pennsporter.

This proposal isn't the first bite at the development apple from developers for this site. In 2006, Mount Sinai was nearly converted into 201 condominiums and 27 townhouses. Manhattan-based development company Polygon Partners had a contract with owners to develop the property into "The Sophia." It would have featured condo units priced in the low $200,000s and townhouses starting in the low $500,000s.

That never materialized. Perhaps this new proposal will. Though given the track record of developer Gagan Lakhmna, we can’t say we’d be shocked if it didn’t. But if it does, this would be the biggest South Philly development this year short of a potential casino. And you can guarantee we'll be following.