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Mt. Sinai in S. Phila. may become apartments and townhomes

Plans for the former Mt. Sinai hospital in South Philadelphia call for nearly 200 apartments and dozens of townhouses.
Plans for the former Mt. Sinai hospital in South Philadelphia call for nearly 200 apartments and dozens of townhouses.Read more

The former Mt. Sinai Hospital in South Philadelphia may be transformed into 237 residences.

"The main hospital buildings will remain and be reused,"  said Richard C. DeMarco, attorney for developer 400 Reed Street, LLC.

Designed by BartonPartners architects and planners, the proposal includes 198 rental apartments, located in the existing buildings, and 37 owner-occupied townhomes on the border between Pennsport and Dickinson Narrows neighborhoods.

Some existing structures on the block at 4th and Reed would be demolished to make room for the townhomes, DeMarco said.

The project, which would take up the entire block, will be presented to the Pennsport Civic Association Monday night, said President Jim Moylan.

Moylan, who has had some discussion with the team, said the proposal includes meeting space, a gym and other services for the building and the neighborhood.

"We've been emphasizing that when developers want to do any projects, especially something of this size, commercial needs to be involved," he said. Restaurants and other businesses will help make this part of the city more walkable, he said.

DeMarco said the commercial portion of the project will begin with a restaurant on the 4th Street side. Depending on how that goes, other commercial property could be added.

The Pennsporter reports the developer presented to Dickinson Narrows on Thursday, and plans include both retail and a restaurant. Learn more details and see renderings in this story by James Jennings, who covered that presentation. Also see the architect's images here.

"I am most definitely in support of seeing this site become an active project, and become an active part of our community," Moylan said. The block "becomes more comfortable and walkable. Instead of a ghost of an enormous, empty building here, it would be a nice little neighborhood to walk to."

The reuse of such a landmark is also appealing, Moylan said. The hospital has been closed since 1997. "It's iconic from its history and its visibility. To be able to reuse what's there and maintain it's distinctiveness is great."

DeMarco said zoning approvals have been applied for. He expects variances will be needed, for the height of the townhomes, open space requirements, and multi-family use. The team is also waiting for its date with the planning commission's design review committee, he said.

Pennsport Civic's meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at 138 Moore Street.  is dedicated to covering design, planning and development issues in Philadelphia. The news website is a project of PennPraxis, the clinical arm of the School of Design of the University of Pennsylvania. It is funded by the William Penn Foundation.