The was the first of two community meetings for 2101 Washington Avenue on December 16, 2019 at Union Baptist Church. It was an informational presentation by OCF Realty of the proposed plans for 2101 Washington Avenue (Parcel B - Mixed Use). Parcel A is made up of townhomes and has been approved by SOSNA and Community in 2018. 2201 Washington Avenue has also been approved by SOSNA and the Community.
Parcel B (mixed use) is currently zoned I-2 and developer wants to build using IRMX regulations as recommended by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC). This would allow residential use and 5 stories. The applicant stated that the proposal is less than what would be allowed by-right and offers 120 parking spaces (6 ADA, 21 compact, 6 electric) with 40 parking spots reserved for the supermarket during the day. The taller building (east side of block) is 72 feet and shorter (west end of block) is 60 feet tall.
There will be bike stands and bike storage on premises with 100 bike spaces. There was discussion of additional sidewalk to allow for trees. An additional three (3) feet will align with other sidewalks proposed on Washington Avenue and that additional 3 feet will have to be approved by councilmanic ordinance.
There are two commercial spaces for a total of 36,330 square feet. Confirmed tenants are CVS and Aldi Grocery Store.
The plans have 251 apartments on Parcel B (mixed use). It is 78% junior 1 bedroom apartments (~435 sq ft) and 22% 1 bedroom (~520-610 sq ft). 10% of the total apartments (26 units) will be affordable housing at 60% of the AMI for the Philadelphia Metro Area. Parcel A on the north side has 40 townhomes that have already been approved by the community and ZBA. Construction has begun at 21st & Kimball on Parcel A for 2101 Washington Avenue.
Plans retain SALT Design Studio for public areas - similar to Chester Arthur Schoolyard; and there will be a green roof over the garage.
Q: Will the open space be open 24/7?
A: Believe it will be open. There is controlled entry but will be forever open to pedestrians. Roof top areas are specific to residents but may be open during the day.
Q: Who are the commercial tenants?
A: The corner of 21st & Washington Avenue will have Aldi and the corner of 22nd & Washington will have a CVS. The retail at 2201 Washington Avenue is not programmed yet.
Q: What is the timeline for this project?
A: Zoning appeal in late Spring; Spring 2021 groundbreaking with an estimated 2-year build. There is a voting meeting for this project on January 22, 2020 at 6:30p at Shiloh Baptist Church.
Q: 40 spaces is not a lot of parking for an Aldi.
A: Aldi requested 40 spots and felt it would be an appropriate number for a 35,000 square foot commercial space. Developer will ask Aldi again for their rationale for 40 spaces for next community meeting. There will be no direct access to CVS from the parking garage.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT
Nolan Tully, the Vice Chair of SOSNA’s Board of Directors then went on to speak about the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) between SOSNA Board & OCF Realty. The CBA overall will provide neighborhood amenities, inclusive employment opportunities, and workforce housing on Washington Avenue. The CBA is contingent on community support for this project.
Features of the CBA include:
26 affordable units (10% of overall project) that are affordable to people with incomes at 60% of the area median income of the Philadelphia Metro Area;
A sidewalk width of 11 feet along 21st & 22nd Streets with efforts to work with SOSNA, City Council, and Philadelphia Streets Department to widen sidewalk on Washington Avenue;
Underground parking for 120 vehicles (6 ADA, 21 compact, 6 electric); 40 spots reserved during business hours for Aldi (commercial tenant)
Public bike racks and private bike storage;
Preference for 35% of building contractors to be certified minority and women owned businesses;
Employment preference for individuals living in the neighborhood and surrounding zip codes;
Provisions for street trees on 21st, 22nd and Washington Ave;
Installation of appropriate trash receptacles; and
Efforts to work with Philadelphia Streets to install protected bike lanes on Washington Avenue;
ADA accessible infrastructure on the property
Appropriate trash and recycling receptacles with private trash collection for both commercial and residential tenants;
Use of highly durable/professionally installed exterior building materials; and
Unobstructed windows that provide at least 85% visibility for commercial tenants
North of Washington Avenue Coalition (NOWAC) stated their concern about utilities not being included in the rent for affordable rental units. The developer said he will consider throwing in utilities and SOSNA stated that they are working with a nonprofit Affordable Housing Organization to facilitate affordable housing renters and can work with them on utility relief.
Q: Is there anything to prevent affordable units from being leased to students?
A: That’s the role of the affordable housing organization.
The second of two meetings for this project is on Wednesday, January 22 at 6:30p at Shiloh Baptist Church (2040 Christian). The applicant will present project plans and any changes implemented from the first meeting in December 2019. The community will vote on the proposed plans. SOSNA will also share information on the proposed Community Benefits Agreement components for the project.