ZBA Doesn’t Bite Request for Proposed Apts. Across Pat’s King of Steaks

What's next for the vacant lot?

Canno Architecture + Design | Renderings courtesy of Paul Mirabello

Canno Architecture + Design | Renderings courtesy of Paul Mirabello

Despite making some compromises to make his proposed mixed-use apartment complex across from Pat’s King of Steaks as appetizing to neighbors as possible, developer Paul Mirabello was on the losing end of the Zoning Board’s decision on Wednesday: they unanimously voted in favor of denying a zoning variance that would have allowed the project to move forward, reports the Inquirer’s Maria Panaritis.

What will happen with the vacant lot now that Mirabello’s plan has been removed from the table? For the moment, residents who opposed the development are just reveling in their win:

“I’m super-excited,” said Robert Stewart, 35, among a handful of residents who pleaded during the two-hour meeting to allow only single-family homes on the large lot at Ninth and Wharton Streets. “I feel like my voice actually mattered.”

“It made me feel better to see there’s still some justice in the city of Philadelphia,” [Gil] Lettieri said. “The Zoning Board of Adjustment did that for me today.”

Whether new concrete proposals for 827-29 Wharton Street have been formulating remains to be seen. Earlier discussion (see here) of this particular project split some readers into two camps: those who understood neighborhood opponents’s concerns and those who warned residents to not, for lack of a better word, fudge up a potentially good thing.

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