Last week, Michael Samschick of Core Realty received conditional approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to build his proposed multi-venue entertainment complex on Delaware Avenue across from Sugarhouse Casino. He can’t begin building, though, until he shows evidence to the zoning board that he controls at least 500 parking spaces in the area.
An attorney for Samschick said last week that Core is pursuing an agreement to use a lot owned by PennDOT that would provide all the necessary parking spaces for the project to move forward.
In the meantime, Samschick has pulled demolition permits for two row houses on Shackamaxon Street near the corner of Delaware Avenue, where he owns another small parking lot. The developer purchased the two homes at 912 and 914 Shackamaxon along with another small parking lot at 918 Shackamaxon late last December, according to Office of Property Assessment records. All three properties were purchased on the same day for $525,000, according to the records. The entire small block—on which Samschick now owns every property but one, a three-story row home connected to the two that are slated for demolition—is zoned for heavy industrial use.
When the Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved the plan of development for the Canal Street North project last year, it asked that Core try to find 500 parking spots without demolishing existing buildings. Under “Work Description,” says the permit for 914 Shackamaxon, issued on May 28, “Complete Demolition to Create Vacant Lot,”
But the developer says he isn’t going to dedicate the propeties to parking only.
Michael Samschick told PlanPhilly Wednesday morning that he isn’t certain yet what he’ll build in place of the properties, but he hopes to use them for “boutique retail” or a coffeeshop with a parking element. He said that he sought to buy the lone property on the small block of Shackamaxon that he doesn’t own, but that the owner’s asking price was out of his range.