The lot that once held a historic, 19th century church, may soon see 38-foot townhomes.
On Wednesday, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) granted a zoning variance for the site at 1020 Christian Street, which used to be home to the historic Christian Street Baptist Church until the church was sold and demolished this summer.
The variance allows the land’s new owners, MRR Investments, to build six homes in two structures. The first structure will have four units, the second will have two, and the homes will all have roof decks. There will also be interior parking for four cars, according to the variance.
The news is the latest after a heated battle over the now-razed church, which sat at the site for 130 years. The church, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places last year, was owned and maintained by the congregation until last summer, when they found upkeep too expensive, and sold the building. It was purchased by Ori Feibush, owner and founder of OCF Realty, who announced plans to tear it down and build housing at the site. Feibush’s plan was met with pushback from community members and preservationists, who tried to rally support for keeping the structure alive, to no avail.
The church was torn down this summer and changed hands again immediately after. It was bought by MRR Investments, which is run by Margarita Yakubova, a Philly resident who has traded property in the city for over 20 years, Philly.com reported.
- MRR Investments [L&I]
- Bella Vista church re-lists in latest twist of preservation battle [Curbed Philly]
- Neighbors oppose plans to build residences at site of 19th century church [Curbed Philly]
- Developer Ori Feibush out at controversial Bella Vista church, as new owner takes over [Philly.com]