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Developer scales down Old City project to six-story building

From 19 to six stories

Ambit Architecture

It was originally going to be one of the few high-rise hotels in Old City, but a mixed-use project planned for Race Street has undergone some serious changes recently.

The building, which is being developed by Andy Kaplin of Revolution Development Group, will now stand at six stories and 65 feet tall on the corner of Race and Second streets. It will have 6,000-square-feet of commercial

space on the ground floor and 49 residential units above, Kaplin said.

It’s a far cry from the original plans for the space, which Kaplin discussed in an interview with Curbed Philly last year. The previous iteration of the building was 19 stories sitting at over 200 feet tall. It included a 117-room hotel and 24 luxury residential units.

Both the previous and current proposals include plans to restore and use an existing three-story landmark building that sits at the corner now. The Philly Inquirer first reported on the new proposal.

The change in plans came after a community meeting earlier this year when Kaplin says he received pushback from residents regarding the height of the building. The legal height limit for buildings in Old City is 65 feet tall, so Kaplin would have needed a variance for the 212-foot structure.

Kaplin said he was aware of the height limit and the potential need for a variance when he proposed the project, but pointed to other buildings in the neighborhood which exceed the 65-foot restriction, and said that he believed the project would be a boon to Philly.

”I thought the city as a whole needed more hotel rooms,” he said.

The dynamic of the new project is different from the hotel proposal, but Kaplin said he’s excited about its future.

”This corner at race street is one of the last remaining sites that is undeveloped in the district with old dilapidated buildings. I know this is a project the community will support and it will be a great addition to the neighborhood.”

Race Street

Race Street, , PA

Old City

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