Johnson sponsors zoning change for Lincoln Square project at Broad & Washington

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced two bills on Thursday that would allow Alterra Property Group to build a nine-story, 356-unit apartment complex and grocery store at the northwest corner of Broad Street and Washington Avenue, across the street from the vacant lot where Bart Blatstein is hoping to build a 32-story tower with a fourth-floor retail village.

One bill would rezone the property from I-2 industrial to CMX-3, a commercial mixed-use category. The other would exempt the property from a number of requirements in the Washington Avenue West Overlay, allowing an eating and drinking establishment, increasing the permitted occupied area, and allowing non-accessory parking.

The proposal currently calls for 356 apartments, a 300,000-square-foot grocery store, 360 parking spaces for residents and customers in a connected parking structure, and seven other retailers including a possible liquor store. The developers had anticipated seeking a legislative rezoning, according to the Inquirer.

So far, the project has received a great deal more neighborhood support than Blatstein’s proposal across the street. Alterra got positive reviews during a presentation to the South of South Neighborhood Association Wednesday night, according to the Passyunk Post.

Last summer, Johnson’s office introduced a bill that would exempt the Blatstein parcel across the street from a handful of zoning restrictions, though that property is already zoned CMX-5, the most permissive commercial designation. Because the community response to Blatstein’s proposal has been mostly critical, Johnson didn’t bring that bill to a vote. Blatstein’s project is scheduled to go before the zoning board later this month.

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