Monday, August 26, 2013

Whole Foods, Best Western plan gets nod

by Natalie Kostelni-Staff Writer, Philadelphia Business Journal
Philadelphia planners gave a nod to Neal Rodin’s proposed mixed-use development that would include apartments and a new 63,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store.
The project at 501 N. 22nd St. in the Art Museum area of Center City would also have 293 apartments and 494 parking spaces in a partially below-grade parking garage, something the Logan Square Neighborhood Association wasn’t too happy about. A restaurant is also part of the plan. The development will replace a Best Western hotel that currently operates on the site.
The developer is seeking several variances including extended curb cuts and ceiling heights on the garage.
The community design review and neighborhood group didn’t think the above grade parking was appropriate, that the project lacked urban space on Pennsylvania Avenue and needed additional pedestrian sidewalk lights. While the developer plans to bring in more lighting, the building complies with many of the suggested recommendations and is consistent with the Parkway Plan.
“We feel the building meets the requirements,” said Jim Voelzke of MC+A Architects of Bethesda, Md., which designed the structure.
The plan will go before zoning board Aug. 28.

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