Bill permitting new Center City hotel on hold until next year

A plan to build a 12-story hotel at 17th and Chancellor streets in Center City, currently home to a parking garage and the iconic diner Little Pete’s, is on hold after Councilman Kenyatta Johnson pulled back a bill rezoning the property during a City Council committee hearing Tuesday.

The bill, which lifts a number of zoning restrictions on the property, was introduced at the end of October. It was scheduled to be heard by Council’s Committee on Rules on Tuesday, but halfway through the hearing Committee chairman Bill Greenlee announced that the bill was being held at the request of its sponsor.

Immediately, a dozen or so hospitality workers with Unite Here Local 274 began to filter out of Council chambers. Johnson said after the hearing that he was holding the bill so that the developers and hospitality workers could continue negotiations. He also said that some people were concerned about the fate of Little Pete’s. 

No other information was forthcoming on Wednesday. Ron Patterson, a lawyer for the developers, Clemens Construction, declined to comment about the deal. Representatives of Unite Here Local 274 also declined to comment.

Because Council’s last session of 2014 is scheduled for next week, the bill can’t be heard until some time next year, likely in late January or early February.

The bill was recommended to Johnson’s office by the City Planning Commission.

Stephen Pouppirt of the development team has donated $5,100 to Johnson’s political campaigns.

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