Fairmount Whole Foods Gigantastore Gets One Step Closer to Reality (But Only One)

On March 19, the City Planning Commission met to consider crunchy and delicious Bill 130136, which proposed to zone the 3-acre area bounded by Spring Garden Street, North 22nd, Pennsylvania Ave., Hamilton Street and North 21st as Commercial Mixed-Use–meaning, basically, that Whole Foods can now move in. But don’t get excited yet. This project has a looooong way to go.

Developers plan to have underground parking for the store as well as apartments on the same site. But the agenda is a bit vague. From PlanPhilly:

Commissioners ultimately approved the rezoning, but some wished that the developers had provided more information. Their site plan was conceptual only, and they couldn’t say precisely how many units the residential component would be. …

A member of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association asked the Commission to hold off on approving the rezoning until the developer has a more detailed plan. Commissioner Nancy Rogo-Trainer pointed out that the Commission was being asked to approve the zoning change—which is in line with Philadelphia2035 goals of bringing more active uses to areas near the Parkway—not the design of the project itself.

Yes, do stop focusing on the bulk almonds, will you? Anyway, as someone pointed out, “the project will be subject to Civic Design Review as it moves forward, and it is likely to go before the zoning board as well, as the developers expect to require relief even from the proposed new zoning designation.”

Translation: more meetings, more bills to be proposed, more commission debates…and a further delay in gigantastore access to bulk almonds.