A proposal for a mixed-use complex at 43rd and Baltimore on Clark Park presented during a recent Spruce Hill Community Association meeting was generally well-received, save for a few dissenting voices against its design. The project, which is set to include 132 units and 17,000 square feet of commercial space, is intended to attract young professionals.
The property’s owner, Clarkmore Group, has plans for a restaurant, owner-occupied condos going down 43rd, and taller apartment rentals further east on Baltimore, which would also house a 10,000-square-foot fitness center on the first floor. Underground parking (65 spaces) and indoor bike parking (50 spaces) would also be available.
No concrete decisions have been made on retail tenants, according to West Philly Local:
Informal talks have begun with retailers to find tenants for the 17,000 feet of commercial space, which will likely include a large fitness center and a full-service restaurant with outdoor seating facing Clark Park along 43rd Street. Other retail options include a a dry cleaner. [Omar] Blaik said Penn’s Vet School has expressed interest in opening a space that would be for a “neighborhood use.”
Clarkmore has hired U3 Ventures, which envisions a building made of glass, brick and stone, to design the complex. This had a few locals voice their concern for preserving the neighborhood's Victorian character, to which U3 responded, “Our opinion is that you build with the technology of today, not to build something today that tries to look like it’s from 200 years in the past.” (Shades of the argument over the design for the Museum of the American Revolution by Robert A.M. Stern.)
The proposed project must get variances in order to have retail and taller buildings.
In other news...
• Like the British, the Museum of the American Revolution is Coming [Naked Philly]
• The Fresh Prince of Point Breeze [Daily News]
• Park advocates question demolition [Philly.com]
• Trader Joe's expansion, parking garage planned for Suburban Square [Main Line Times]