Video and text by John Davidson for PlanPhilly
The new development plan for Bart Blatstein’s property at Girard Avenue and Second Street includes 16- and 26-story residential towers, a total of 600 residential units, a 40,000-square-foot park, a new street (Van Horn), a grocery store and retail shops facing Girard, and parking that’s shielded from the street by buildings and landscaping. Architects and planners from Beyer, Blinder & Belle presented the plan Tuesday night to the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, whose members appeared receptive to the new plan, albeit with some concerns.
The main problem NLNA members had with the plan was the height of the 26-story tower. In a motion passed at the end of the night, members asked for a shadow study to be conducted on the proposed building because they were worried that a structure that size would dominate the neighborhood and change its character. Other concerns included the suffocation of Hancock Street, which would face a row of new, four-story townhouse-like residences, as well as increased traffic from trucks servicing the grocery store. The motion also stated that the development be LEED Certified to a Silver rating or better.