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Office building plan at 41st and Market gets a push in City Council

A bill introduced in City Council on Thursday would change the zoning of a parcel of land at 41st and Market streets in West Philly to make way for the proposed 3.0 University Place office complex.

The building is a sequel to 2.0 University Place, an office building constructed on a nearby lot at 41st and Filbert few years ago. Like the earlier building, 3.0 University Place would be certified LEED Platinum, the highest rating a building can get for sustainable design and energy efficiency.

The new building would replace a Pep Boys. The bill, introduced by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, rezones the property from an auto-oriented commercial district to CMX-4, a high-density commercial mixed-use designation.

Scott Mazo of University Place Associates, the developer of both 2.0 and 3.0 University Place, was not available to talk on Friday. Councilwoman Blackwell did not return a phone call.

The bill also rezones a number of blocks surrounding the 3.0 University Place site, affecting the area bounded by 40th, 44th, Ludlow, and Powelton Avenue.

The rezoning grew out of the 2013 University Southwest District Plan, according to city planner Martine Decamp. It increases the permitted density at sites closer to the subway stop at 40th and Market, and decreases the density allowed at certain sites closer to 44th. Decamp said the long-term goal is to incentivize dense development adjacent to transit amenities along Market Street, drawing developments toward the 46th Street and 40th Street stations specifically.

The developers put 2.0 University Place up for sale last year. Mazo bought the Pep Boys property in December. He's hoping to establish a "Platinum Corridor" of environmentally friendly office buildings on Market between 38th and 42nd streets.

PlanPhilly is a project of WHYY/NewsWorks, covering design, development, and planning in Philadelphia. PlanPhilly was founded in 2006 as a project of PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Click here to join PlanPhilly's community.