PHILADELPHIA – Four proposed developments have the potential to transform the Callowhill neighborhood. The Civic Design Review (CDR) Committee will consider all four together at a special meeting on July 20.
The four proposed developments are all located in the East Callowhill Overlay between Old City and Northern Liberties. They are:
- 417-25 Callowhill St., 219 residential units
- 416-18 Spring Garden St., 329 residential units, 13,960 square feet of retail space
- 200 Spring Garden St., 360 residential units, 18,000 square feet of retail space
- 412 N. 2nd St., 397 residential units, 20,400 square feet of retail space
If completed the developments would add more than 1,300 homes and more than 52,000 square feet of retail to the neighborhood. They would replace four one- and two-story buildings with buildings of seven, twelve, 14, and 23 stories respectively.
“We rarely see four large developments so close together in both location and schedule,” said Michael Johns, CDR chair. “Reviewing them at the same meeting will enable CDR, the developers, and the public to consider how they work together, how they can leverage their respective strengths, and how conflicts might be resolved.”
Civic Design Review Committee reviews projects of a certain size or in certain locations. It considers the design elements of a project that the public can see or physically access. Those elements may include:
- Sidewalks and streets.
- Open spaces.
- Public access.
- Building height and bulk.
- Parking and loading conditions
- Building materials and transparency
CDR members include community representatives and design and development professionals. Members of the public may attend and make comments at CDR meetings.
CDR recommendations are advisory. The committee may require a second meeting with a developer if its suggested design changes are significant.
“We are not out to force a common look on these developments,” said Johns. “That’s not our role, and that’s not good design. In many ways these developments will create a real neighborhood where none exists today. We hope we can foster a conversation with the developers and among the developers about how that new neighborhood might look, function, flourish, and grow.”
The July 20 special meeting will begin at 1 p.m. It will take place remotely. Meeting information, including information and renderings for each development, is on the City Planning Commission website.