Plans for Italian Market’s biggest empty lot to be presented next week

Next week, the Passyunk Square Civic Association will get a preview of a proposal for a project on the biggest vacant lot in the Italian Market, between Washington and Federal streets and 9th and Darien.

The lot has been vacant since 2008, when the former Ice and Coal building was demolished. It’s covered on the 9th Street side by a wooden barrier, which has occasionally been used for murals, graffiti, and other art projects.

All we know about the project at this point is that it’s going to be a mix of residential and commercial, with retail on the ground floor and parking underground. Peter Kelsen, an attorney who will be presenting the project to the community next week, wouldn’t say who the developer is or share anymore details about the project, saying he wanted the neighbors to be the first to see the plans.

The property is owned by 9th Italian LP and American Saugus LLC. It was bought in 2007 for $1.85 million. It’s zoned CMX-2, a neighborhood commercial corridor classification that has a height limit of 38 feet. It permits residential units at a rate of no more than one per 480 square feet of lot area. The zoning also requires commercial space to fill in the first 30 feet of building depth on the ground floor, and limits lot coverage to 75 percent. The lot is around 14,000 square feet.* 

No word yet on whether the developers will seek zoning variances or try to build a by-right project. Underground parking usually implies a developer is making a significant investment.

Michele Gambino of the South 9th Street Business Association didn’t know any additional details about the project.

PlanPhilly will post an update after the meeting, which will take place next Tuesday, August 11th, at 7 p.m., at the Annunciation BVM Church Hall at 10th and Dickinson.

Note: This section has been updated for clarity and accuracy.

Italian Market South
Italian Market South

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.