In this column in May, a more romantic month, we analogized the long vacant L shaped lot at 1907-1914 Walnut St. & 1906-1920 Sansom St to a lovely lass who had been dumped by a series of suitors - most recently Toll Brothers and, before that, Castleway, an Irish developer, with a bit of the blarney. Monday's Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the latest gentleman caller is a Rhett Butler sort - Southern Land Co. ,of Nashville, Tenn which is developing a 28 story, 368 unit tower, at 3601 Market St. According to the Journal, Southern will pay $30 million for the lady's hand, a tidy sum but almost $7 million less than the parcel's last sale in 2007. But Rhett's dowry would increase by $10 million if the bride had a facelift, a nip here a tuck there, in the form of more dense zoning. Presently, the zoning is CMX-4 which carries a 500 FAR meaning that for a parcel with 1000 sq. ft, the developer may erect a 5000 sq. ft. building. The only denser zoning classification in the Code, CMX 5, has an FAR of 12. The Journal reports that, without rezoning, Southern will construct 220 apartments, 50 condos, 27,500 square feet of retail, and parking. With rezoning, the Journal states that residential units would increase to 360 apartments and 65 condos.
The Business Journal's account of the latest tryst stated that Southern " . . . has met with city planners and the Center City Residents' Association and 'there appears to be support for a rezoning, as they both want the site developed'". It is true that CCRA would like to see the site developed. It is also true that, in November, CCRA's President and the Chair of CCRA's Task Force had an informal "getting to know you" meeting with Southern. Even so, CCRA has never advised anyone, let alone the Southern team, that the Association supports rezoning of this parcel, a point corroborated by Southern's attorney who, after reading the article, called CCRA President Jeff Braff to affirm that Southern acknowledges that CCRA has not taken a position on the parcel's zoning.
As for now, an anxious public asks "Will she (seek rezoning) or won't she?"
WANTED: BOARD MEMBER NOMINATIONS
The Center City Residents' Association Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for Board seats which open July 1, 2015. New Board members generally serve a term of 3 years.
The Board is a working Board. We are seeking energetic individuals who have a passion for living in our residential district; are interested in issues of quality of life and community service; and are committed to active participation on the Board, including actively serving on at least one committee (e.g., Membership, Events, Fund Raising, Newsletter, Zoning, Finance, Streets, Historic Preservation, Family/Education). Consistent with the foregoing, all candidates must pledge to devote a minimum of four (4) hours per month on CCRA activities, not including time spent attending, and preparing for, monthly Board meetings.
While CCRA membership is open to any individual, corporation, or organization, CCRA By-Laws require that Board Members reside in the area between JFK Boulevard south to South Street, and Broad Street west to Schuylkill River. Members are encouraged to forward a resume or summary of qualifications before March 6 of possible nominees (which could be yourself), to Committee Chair: Dilek Karabucak c/o Center City Residents' Association, 1600 Market St, Ste 2500, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or by email: email@example.com, with "Board Candidate" in the subject line.
2015 COMMUNITY GARDEN PLOT LOTTERY
Each year, five garden plots (four 10x10 and one 10x15) in the
Schuylkill River Park Community Garden at 25th and Spruce Streets are awarded to non-members of the Center City Residents' Association (CCRA) for a one-season term. Winners pay a one-time fee of $65 for a 10x10 or $85 for a 10x15 plot.
To enter the lottery, please submit your request by postcard, letter or email to the following address:
Center City Residents' Association 1600 Market Street, suite 2500 Philadelphia, PA 19103
Include your name, residential address, phone number and email address. Requests must reach us by March 2, 2015. The drawing will take place in early March and winners will be contacted by phone or email. One entry per household only.
CCRA MERCHANT MEMBERS DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Support our local merchants and save money too. These local merchants will provide a discount (described here) to any member who shows a current CCRA membership card (Di Bruno Bros. has its own CCRA card) and personal identification.
Uber - Limo service Uber provides $20 off a first ride, Good for new users only. Members use code CCRA14.
Philly Foodworks - Use the code "CCRA" when signing up for home delivery and receive a $20 discount on delivery charges.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND EVENTS
Albert M. Greenfield School Registration and Tour Information for 2015
Greenfield School, located at 22nd and Chestnut, serving grades K-8, is now accepting registration for children living within the school's catchment area: the south side of the Ben Franklin Parkway to the north side of Bainbridge St., and from the west side of Broad St. to the Schuylkill River. Only children living within the catchment will be admitted. When registering at Greenfield School, you must bring your child's original birth certificate or passport, his/her vaccination records, your own government issued photo ID, and your original gas and electric bill from the past month as proof of residence. Water or cell phone bills are not accepted as proof of residence.
Tours: Greenfield offers school tours on the 2nd Thursday of each month. All tours begin at 9:00 am. No need to pre-register. The next Tours will be: Feb. 12, Mar. 12, April 9, and May 14. Contact Amy Arcaro if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Greenfield website at www.greenfieldhsa.org.
CITY ABANDONED PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT ENDS SAT, 2/7, UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS, 320 S. BROAD ST, 5:30-7:30PM
LA BOHEME AT THE Acad of Vocal Arts, SAT, 2/7, TUE, 2/10, THURS, 2/12, AND SAT, 2/14, 7:30 PM, 1920 SPRUCE ST
This two-act opera will be performed in the original Italian with English supertitles. Jeanine B. Cowles Music DirectorChristofer Macatsoris conducts the AVA Opera Orchestra. The production is stage directed by David Gately. Tickets: $60 Adults / $50 Seniors / $25 30 & Under / $10 Students. For more information,click here.
Winter Group Show Thru 2/8, Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St
Twenty-Two Gallery represented artists will show their best original works in many styles and mediums. Mediums include: photography; oils; water color; sculpture; Sumi-e & print work. Many sizes and price ranges to choose from.
"OPULENCE" ART EXHIBITION BY LINDA SOSANGELIS, FRI, 2/13 THRU, SUN, 3/8, TWENTY-TWO GALLERY, 236 S. 22ND ST.
LOVE AT THE BARNES,Sat, 2/14, 6pm, Barnes Foundation, 2025 BF Pkwy
Koresh Dance Company presents six love duets to stir your soul and ignite desire. This Valentine's Day, Ronen Koresh's acclaimed contemporary company brings its raw, percussive athleticism and lyrical precision to the Barnes Foundation. Giving physical expression to passion, sorrow, and promises kept and broken, Koresh digs into the truth of human connection. Free champagne and chocolate will be provided. Tickets$35; Barnes members $28. For more information and to register, click here.
ICE SKATING AT THE NEW DILWORTH PARK, NOW THRU SAT., 2/22, CITY HALL
The Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park in front of City Hall is open 7 days a week. Costs are $3 for kids 10 & younger, $4 for adults, and $8 for skate rental. For hours and a list of special events, click here.