City Council passes one of two ordinances needed for the construction of a medical office tower at 8th and Walnut

City Council Thursday passed one zoning ordinance that makes it possible for Liberty Property Trust to build a 153,000 square-foot medical office building on top of a current parking garage at Walnut and 8th streets.

But no vote was taken on a second ordinance Liberty Property Trust also needs to build its project as planned.

Ordinance 110184, introduced by First District Councilman Frank DiCicco, allows the proposed structure to exceed current commercial district height restrictions.

The bill not voted on, Ordinance 110231, would allow the tower to have a marquee and a building facade that encroach upon the sidewalk. DiCicco, also the sponsor of that bill, said after the council meeting that the developer and nearby residents were still working on an agreement, and that he anticipated the bill would be voted on at council’s next session.

At the Rules Committee hearings on the legislation, representatives of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and other medical facilities testified that they had concerns that the tenants of the new office building would eat up parking space that their facilities use, and that patients might be confused about which building to go to and where to park with so many medical facilities in one place.

A representative of the St. James apartments said residents there are concerned about the sight of the roof-top mechanicals and an encroachment toward their building.

See previous coverage.

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