Board approves 113 apartments and shops at 24th and Washington

The Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved a handful of zoning variances for a mixed-use apartment complex at 2401 Washington Avenue, an irregular polygon of a property that’s been sitting vacant except for a freestanding billboard for years.

The project, as PlanPhilly previously reported, includes 113 apartments, 57 parking spaces, 53 bicycle parking spaces, a small public park, and retail spaces along the length of Washington Avenue between 24th and 25th. It will be built on a property currently zoned for industrial use. The Planning Commission and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office are currently working on plans to remap Washington Avenue.

The ZBA hearing on the project was delayed for two months while the developers had conversations about the proposal with local community groups. When the hearing was held last week, the project was supported by Councilman Johnson, South of South Neighborhood Association and the Washington Avenue Property Owners Association, but was opposed by North of Washington Avenue Coalition (NOWAC).

The proponents said the project would help bring more active commercial uses to Washington Avenue and bring eyes on the street to what feels like an unsafe block. But opponents said the project is too tall and would exacerbate parking congestion in the neighborhood.

Members of NOWAC also said they hadn’t received adequate notification about the plans as required by the zoning code. Zoning board Chairwoman Julia Chapman struck a skeptical note, saying the board often hears that same complaint from NOWAC, but not from other community groups.

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