Midwood Investment & Development of New York has tweaked its proposal for an apartment building on Ninth Street in South Philadelphia’s Italian Market to include fewer units after some neighbors said the project was too big for the neighborhood.
Midwood’s latest plan for the site on the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Washington Avenue calls for a six-story building with 157 apartments, according to documents posted Wednesday to the website of the Philadelphia Civic Design Review Board. That’s down from the eight-story, 182-unit building proposed in October.
When nearby residents — led by the Passyunk Square Civic Association — agreed not to oppose a 2015 zoning change that permitted the project, Midwood’s plan had been for an even smaller building, with five stories and 70 units. So when the eight-story iteration was proposed in October, some balked at what they saw as a bait-and-switch by the developer.
Sarah Anton, president of the Passyunk Square Civic Association, said the new version assuages most community members’ concerns about the project’s height and density. But community members still oppose having the entrance to the building’s underground parking garage on Ninth Street, where they fear it could stunt the ongoing revitalization of what’s sometimes called the Lower Italian Market, she said.
Midwood’s project would occupy a three-quarter-acre site that’s now home to the Anastasi Seafood fish market and restaurant, which is moving elsewhere within the Italian Market, and surrounding vacant land. Much of the building’s ground floor is to consist of 15,600 square feet of street-facing shops or restaurants, with the building’s two-story, 120-space parking garage being built below ground, according to the plans.
Midwood also owns the nearby building at Ninth and Christian Streets that is currently home to the restaurant Monsu and is a large owner of property on South Street’s eastern end, where its holdings include the Sixth and South Street property where Federal Donuts recently opened.
Its Center City holdings include the glass structure at 15th and Walnut Streets that accommodates a Cheesecake Factory restaurant.
Midwood’s Italian Market project is scheduled to be presented April 2 to the Civic Design Review Board, which offers nonbinding recommendations on Philadelphia’s biggest development projects.