Planning Commission OK with land-swap that would allow zoo to build parking garage with retail

It’s OK with the planning commission if  Parks and Rec transfers property the Philadelphia Zoo uses as a parking lot to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development – a step in the zoo’s plan to build a parking garage with ground-floor retail on the spot.

The parcel, located at the southeast corner of Girard Avenue and N. 38th Street across from the I-76 access ramp, would be home to a garage with about 700 parking spaces.

Planning Commission Chairman and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Commerce Alan Greenberger said the zoo hopes the garage will resolve the problem of people parking “all over the place” on busy zoo days. The retail would depend on zoo patrons for most of its support, he said.

City Council is scheduled to consider the property bill, introduced April 7 by Third District Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, at this week’s meeting.

Contact the reporter at kgates@planphilly.com

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