The residential high-rise at One Water Street on the Delaware River waterfront is pretty much move-in ready. But future residents won't be able to move in until the developers do as they promised back in 2014: Include 25 affordable units.
So what's the hold up? PMC Property Group apparently wants out of the affordable housing deal they made with the city, which allowed them to receive a density bonus to build the high-rise 48-feet taller than is normally allowed by zoning, as long as they included affordable housing units.
The request to duck out of the deal means that the developers have to go back to zoning and request another variance for their now too-tall building.
That's not going happen, if the Department of Licenses and Inspections has anything to do with it. The L&I plans to withhold the certificate for occupancy from the developers unless they deliver on their deal to include the 25 below-market rate units, PlanPhilly reported yesterday.
There are some other ways that PMC Property Group could appease the city. Philadelphia Inquirer's architecture critic Inga Saffron wrote:
Seeking to clarify the city's position, David Perri, who heads the Department of Licenses and Inspections, said Monday that PMC would be excused from the low-income housing deal only if it could provide other amenities of equal value to compensate for the 48-foot height bonus. Under the waterfront zoning rules, PMC could potentially gain 24 feet for ground-floor retail and 12 feet for public art.
The developers have remained mum on why they made such a last-minute request.
The Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations wrote a letter to Mayor Jim Kenney yesterday that urged him to hold PMC Property Group accountable. Read whole letter here: