An affiliate of Korman Residential is seeking to construct a $102 million apartment community in the Eastwick section of Philadelphia, giving a boost to a section of the city that has long been designated as an urban renewal area.
The proposal, which still needs to receive approval from various city agencies, calls for a 51-building complex on 35 acres at 84th Street and Lindburgh Boulevard across from the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. The two-story buildings would have 722 market rate apartments.
"We're basically creating a neighborhood," said Peter F. Kelsen, an attorney with Blank Rome representing the Korman Residential affiliate in the approval process.
Roughly 35 of 125 acres would be developed and the remaining 90 acres would be transferred back to the city for use by Philadelphia International Airport. In all, an estimated 1,000 residents could eventually live at the complex. No state or city funding would be used.
The developer is seeking approvals from the planning commission, the redevelopment authority and City Council on various aspects of the project. They are hoping to have those approvals signed off on before council recesses for the summer near the end of June. The plan goes before the planning commission today. Among other issues, the zoning on the property needs to be modified to allow for multifamily.
"We're optimistic city council will move favorably on this and grant the legislation," Kelsen said.
The project would be constructed in four phases beginning in June 2013 and ending in June 2018.
The development would have a significant amount of jobs and fiscal impact for the city, Kelsen said. During construction, 590 jobs, of which 373 are directly related to the construction trades, would be created. An economic opportunity plan has been arranged as part of it. Requirements have been established for minority, women and disabled worker participation as well as certain minimum percentages of work for minority and women apprentices.
"We think that is very cutting edge," Kelsen said. "In many project, there are not these economic opportunity plans."
The economic impact has also been projected to come in at $138 million during construction with upfront fiscal impact of $105 million in tax revenue. The ongoing economic impact for the city is $4 million a year until the tax abatement wears off and then it will come in at $2.6 million a year.