If all goes to plan, N3rd Street won't be the only tech hub in Philadelphia. Developers have their sites set on a large vacant lot on American Street in South Kensington. Their mission: To keep the city's youth from taking their inventions and ideas elsewhere—i.e. Silicon Valley. It's called Techadelphia, a proposed 46-unit mixed-use development at 1525 American Street, and burgeoning entrepreneurs will be able to rent the first floor workspace for free.
"We want to be able to tell kids to stay here and build the city back," said developer Sean Frankel to residents Tuesday night at a South Kensington Community Partners zoning meeting. It was the last of nearly a half-dozen meetings with the committee about the high-impact project.
The plan is to have startups pitch their business plans each year to Frankel and his business partner Sean Schellenger of Streamline Solutions. They will also award 40 scholarships to high-schoolers annually.
Techadelphia will make up just 12,131 feet of space on the first floor, which will also include commercial space and a restaurant. The second, third, and fourth floors will consist of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units. Each bedroom will have its own bathroom, too. A community roof deck, gym, and lounge will be on the fifth level.
The project, designed by local firm Harman Deutsch Architecture, also includes 18, three-story single family houses behind the apartment building, each with their own garages.
In total, there will be 44 parking spaces.
Currently, the area is zoned industrial, which means there has to be a variance in order to build residential. Although a couple of residents aired their concerns that the development was "too much density, too soon," ultimately the community voted in favor of the zoning variance.
The project will now go to the Civic Design Review next week on Tuesday, February 2.