Permits Pulled for 25-Unit Mixed-Use Project Near Pat’s Steaks in South Philly

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The vacant lot next to Pat’s Steaks

It looks like a bunch more people will have the opportunity to live within smelling distance of the most famous cheesesteak intersection in the world. The vacant lot at 9th and Wharton has seen a bunch of attempts at development over the years. In the past, neighbors pushed back against a dense mixed-use project at the site, preferring a townhouse development.

The 7,850 square foot corner lot at 829 Wharton St. is zoned Residential Single Family Attached-5 (RSA-5), even though it sits along a commercial stretch of 9th St. Wharton St. in this area also has a bunch of storefronts. The RSA-5 zoning designation of the parcel is the reason the property has continued to sit undeveloped for such a long time. Developers are only allowed to build single family homes by-right on RSA-5 properties.

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Another vantage point of the lot
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The development is planned for the vacant lot on the top right of this image

With the zoning designation not making sense and with the property trading hands for $1.225 million in 2014, single family homes were not going to work out. The owners have been meeting with the community for years trying to get support for various versions of a mixed-use project along with a few townhouses on the lot. Neighbors finally gave their support for a mixed-use development in the middle of 2018.

The owners were granted zoning permits to subdivide the lot into 4 parcels in June. On July 16th, new construction permits were issued for the erection of a 46 foot high, 25 residential unit building with ground floor retail at 833 Wharton St. The project includes 12 bicycle spaces. We imagine that 3 townhouses will also be constructed since 829 Wharton was subdivided into 4 parcels.

We are happy to see more residential density and an additional storefront added along this bustling corridor. Most of the businesses along this stretch are restaurants or bars. So, we imagine the developers will create a retail space that is conducive to that type of user.

What type of business would you like to see open at this location? Is there room for another entrant in the cheesesteak market at this corner? With the way the neighborhood is turning, maybe we’ll see a vegan cheese(less)steak establishment open.

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