Planning Commission favors zoning changes that would allow former AAA building to become apartments, retail

    • Commissioners take a look at the model of the AAA building proposal
      Commissioners take a look at the model of the AAA building proposal
    • Showing the PCPC the model
      Showing the PCPC the model
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City Planning Commissioners said Tuesday that the Zoning Board of Adjustment should grant the changes needed for a mixed-use residential and retail development to rise from the former AAA building at 2040 Market Street.

Developer PMC Property Group and Stephen Varenhorst Architects has made a few changes to the apartment development since an information-only presentation was given to the commission last month. For one thing, planner Larissa Klevan told commissioners, the proposal is now 13 stories tall instead of 12, allowing for 282 residential units, up from 275. A wall separating the sidewalk from the building will also be removed, and a curb cut on Ludlow Street has been eliminated, so the project will have just one.

Residents will have first dibs at the 207 parking spaces, which at least at first will be valet-only, as a car lift will be used to access them.  It is anticipated that residents won't want all the spaces, and so some will be used for retail customers, Varenhorst Studio Director Neil Garrioch said.

Even though the double yellow line on Market Street says such a move would be illegal, Commissioner Patrick Eiding was concerned about some parkers trying to access the garage with a left turn.

Klevin said planning staff is talking to the streets department about ways to reduce such occurrences, perhaps with signage. Commission Vice Chairman Joseph Syrnick said the problem would likely be significantly lessened by the fact that most parkers will live at the building and get into the habit of approaching the garage so that no left turn is needed.

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About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates

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