Things got heated at yesterday’s Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing yesterday, where the board ultimately rejected preservationists’ and merchants’ appeals against L&I-issued permits.
According to multiple reports, the hearings lasted 90 minutes and involved a number of heated exchanges between those testifying and Toll Brothers’ lawyer. The hearing was a continuation of last week’s hearing on the same issue, which also ended with some angry outbursts.
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and some merchants filed appeals against Licenses and Inspections, arguing that owners were not properly notified about demolition permits that had been issued for 702-710 Sansom Streets and 128 S. 7th Street, a string of properties along Jewelers Row.
The plan is for Toll Brothers to build a 16-story residential tower on the site with retail on the ground level.
PlanPhilly reports that the zoning board met briefly after the hearing and voted quickly to reject their appeals. Meanwhile, a representative for Toll Brothers told Philadelphia Inquirer that they were "pleased with the outcome" and "remain committed to delivering a residential building that is respectful of the history of Jewelers Row while rejuvenating it for the future."
Proponents of saving the Jewelers Row properties will now seek historic designation of 704 and 706-708 Sansom Street at the next historical commission meeting on October 21.
Trouble keeping up? Here’s a brief timeline of the Jewelers Row saga.