Headlines: Planning Gives Controversial Ori Feibush Project the Go-Ahead

It's now in the hands of the ZBA.

2010 Wharton Street | Google Street View

2010 Wharton Street | Google Street View

Controversy seems to follow developer Ori Feibush wherever he goes. The dude is like the Justin Beiber of the Philadelphia real estate development game. Yes, that is a thing.

Anyway, after many a fear-mongering flier and hotly contested neighborhood meeting regarding his project at 2010 Wharton Street, the Planning Commission gave their support this week to the development of 22 rowhomes on the site of what is currently a blighted warehouse. Feibush, who is running for City Council against incumbent Kenyatta Johnson, is in need of a variance to create the residential use on a parcel zoned for an outdated industrial use. With Planning’s approval, the redesigned project will now go before the ZBA on May 19.

PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that Feibush has sold off the rest of his development properties due to the campaign and plans to sell 2010 Wharton Street once the new zoning is obtained. Feibush said in an earlier interview that he’s been “afraid to sell it” due to the fact that any old developer could swoop in and throw up a gas station, thanks to zoning that he called “messed up.”

Point Breeze has rapidly become a battle ground of sorts due to rising gentrification in the area, and Feibush has been directly in the middle of it. Residents who opposed the project said it was out of character with the neighborhood and, much like the near-50 rowhome project adjacent to 2010 Wharton, was being built for people who don’t live there yet. Others wanted the site to be redeveloped into a business that created jobs for local residents, a point that Feibush said wasn’t financially viable. Even the 38-foot height of the homes, the legal limit under the zoning code, came into question.

If granted a variance by the ZBA, the 22 homes would contain a 1:1 parking ratio and each would feature a green roof with a roof deck.

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