32-Unit Project Near 2nd & Cecil B. Moore Needs a Variance

The buildings at 1731-39 Tilghman St. will be demolished for a mixed-use project is the developers are granted a variance

The intersection of 2nd and Cecil B. Moore Ave. is on fire. Last week, we told you that phase 1 of a 54-unit mixed-use project was under construction. We also recently told you about a 93-unit proposal on the northeast corner of the intersection. The old warehouse on that property has already been demolished. On the southeast corner of the intersection, we told you about three projects amounting to 43 units and multiple retail spaces. The largest of these three projects, a 24-unit mixed-use building at 1633-39 N. 2nd St., looks like it has already topped out. The other two projects have yet to commence.

Lets add another project to the mix near this bustling junction. Just north of 2nd and Cecil B. Moore is the diagonal Tilghman St. A few properties off of 2nd St. is 1731-39 Tilghman St., a 10,000 square foot Industrial Commercial Mixed-Use (ICMX) parcel. The property holds a series of industrial buildings and lots that are walled off from the street. CMA Refinishing Solutions has most recently occupied the property. CMA Refinishing Solutions manufactures paint strippers and other automotive and industrial refinishing products. We wonder if there is any ground contamination on the parcel that will have to be remediated before development can proceed at the property, which sits within a federal qualified opportunity zone.

Overhead view of 1731-39 Tilghman St.

In August, we saw a zoning variance requested for a mixed-use building on the site. A variance is needed as residential use is not allowed by right on ICMX properties. The variance is for a 60 foot tall building with 32 residential units, ground floor commercial space, and 11 bike parking spots.

The project will be presented before the South Kensington Community Partners RCO meeting tonight (October 23rd) at 7:00PM at 1301 N. 2nd St. If you are a nearby neighbor and support the project, we urge you to attend the meeting. The development team will then present the project before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on November 20th.

With all of the residential and mixed-use activity in this neighborhood, we do not see why the development team would have a problem getting a variance for their plans. Of course, the ZBA and neighbors could object to the building height or unit count. However, we are confident that some variation of this project will move forward at the site.

How do you feel about this project? Do you feel like this property is better suited for a mixed-use building than an industrial use?

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