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Plans for Callowhill Mixed-Use Development 'Just Not There'

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Plans for a major mixed-use development at 9th and Callowhill streets were called "unresolved" and "amateurish" at yesterday's Civic Design Review meeting, leading the committee to vote for the developers to present revised plans at a later date. The development at 900-934 Callowhill Street calls for 146 residential units, 79 underground parking spaces, 49 bicycle parking spaces, and about 14,186 square feet of commercial space.

"These plans scare me," said committee member and local architect Cecil Baker. He went on to note a number of red flags, including "no consideration to ADA standards."

While the courtyard entries were called "pleasant," the committee went on to point out some flaws in the design, including the fact that the living rooms had no windows. In addition, the 4-foot-wide sidewalks in the center courtyard would need to be at least 6 feet to be ADA compliant.

Developer Wing Lee Investment, LP and architects TC Lei Associates are behind the project, which is proposed as a 6-story, 65-foot building bound by Callowhill, 9th Street, Ridge Avenue, and Carlton Street. Currently, the .8-acre site is a mix of industrial uses and vacant land. Given its proposed maximum height, no zoning variances are needed for the development.

Vernon Lei, representing TC Lei Associates, said the project will be completed in phases, with the underground parking being the first. Construction of the core structure would follow.

Although the developers hoped to break ground this spring, the design committee's request for them to present revised plans at a later date may push the project's timeline back.

"It's just nowhere near what can be built," said Baker.

· 900-934 Callowhill Street [CDR]
· Almost 150 new apartments and fresh retail spaces proposed for callowhill complex [FKM]