We were traipsing through Manayunk the other day, and some new construction on Lyceum Avenue caught our eye. Doing some digging on the project, we found some info from the Roxborough-Manayunk Patch, the local website covering all things Manayunk and Roxborough. And according to the Patch, the project at 368 Lyceum Ave. involved slightly more drama than your average three home development. Where the new homes are currently being built, a single structure stood until last fall.
Fixed up some, last year. Image from Roxborough-Manayunk Patch
In November, developer Andy Thomas presented plans for this development to the community at a Central Roxborugh Civic Association meeting. He did this as a courtesy, since the project had already been approved by L&I as a by-right development. The plans were fairly…
A couple of years ago, we wondered about a vacant commercial space at the corner of 3rd & Catharine. Most recently home to a software company, this corner may soon be home to a new coffee and crepe shop, the third coffee shop in a roughly two block radius. Despite some opposition from neighbors, members of the Queen Village Neighbors Association (QVNA) agreed to support a variance for the shop with a proviso limiting operating hours from 6am to 8pm Sunday through Thursday, and until 9pm on Friday and Saturday. Trees will also be planted alongside either corner of the café as an additional proviso.
“There’s a couple of neighbors who aren’t real happy,” said Mike Hauptman, of the QVNA zoning committee. “But I think it’s because they don’t want any more commercial on the corner.”
A new coffee…
If you’re nuts about planning and/or development, you surely followed the process over the last few years that resulted in the establishment of a new zoning code last summer. Thankfully, our city leaders have had the wisdom and foresight to make some rapid amendments to the brand new zoning code, graciously ignoring their own directive to give the new code a year to work itself out before making any changes. Our favorite change to the new zoning code comes from 3rd district councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
City Hall will protect us!
Under the new code, neighborhood groups had been required to file for something called “RCO (Registered Community Organization) status.” And oh man, the requirements! RCOs were obligated to fulfill extremely onerous conditions, like holding regular public meetings, choosing leaders through elections, and having a stated mission that involves some aspect of land use. Can you imagine?…
Spring had just sprung last year when we last updated you on the long vacant lot on the northwest corner of 17th & South. At that time, developer Eugene Bukh had just presented his plans for the site to CCRA for the third time, proposing nine rental apartment units and a large commercial space on the first floor. At the meeting, one neighbor (shockingly) complained about the height, the density, and the lack of parking.
Despite the concerns of some near neighbors, the ZBA approved the application and it seemed that the developer would finally be able to break ground. But in June, three neighbors on Rodman Street appealed the decision to the Court of Common Pleas. A month later, in an effort to get the neighbors to drop the appeal, Bukh offered them $150K. But…
Right around Thanksgiving, we told you about a presentation for 33 residential units at the YWCA building at 1607 Catharine St., and the unfavorable response from the near neighbors. Last week, developers returned to SOSNA and made a modified presentation, which received nearly unanimous support from the community and the SOSNA Zoning Committee.
The reason for the change of heart from the community? The developer reached out to the organized group of neighbors, heard their concerns, and modified the plans to take some of those concerns into account. The number of units planned has shrunk from 33 to 28, with a unit for a building superintendant. With the removal of those units, the size of the remaining units will be greater. The original plan called for the demolition of a rear portion of the building, and the construction of…
When we last checked in on 1148 and 1150 S. 15th St. back in August, new fencing had recently gone up, indicating the possibility that work would finally begin on the site after months of delays. Which was a good thing, because these blighted properties were bringing down an already kind of rough block.
Over the summer
We passed by this spot the other day, and discovered that things were different here indeed. Gone were the old homes, replaced by two new construction triplexes. It looks like the homes should be finished and occupied in just a couple of months.
From the north
Now if only some developers would tackle the vacant lots immediately to the south, this block could really get moving. Maybe someday soon…