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South Kensington Residents Feel Duped By Developers

Some South Kensington residents are feeling played after plans to build a 320 unit apartment building in the vacant lot at Front and Master changed from those previously agreed upon. When City Council adopted the zoning change, residents and community groups believed that the plans included a public pathway linking 2nd Street to American. These plans were created by the developer Canus Corporation, who since the approval has sold the site to a subsidiary of the Klein Company. The new developers have decided to gate off the apartment complex and keep the inner courtyard of the building private.

“This actually is a gated community, and it doesn’t belong in our neighborhood,” said Leah Murphy, a local resident, while reviewing the project with the Civic Design Review Committee

The new developers don’t seem to understand what the residents are so upset about. Clay Chandler of The Klein Company was quoted as saying the path would go,

“from nowhere to nowhere.”

Murphy believes the developers have failed to understand the neighborhood and that the public courtyard was one of the few aspects that appealed to residents.

Aside from removing public access, the plans are more or less the same as the original. Committee members advised that the developers should push back their entrance stairs as to not encroach beyond the property line, make the public plaza as inviting as possible to everyone, and remove an upper-story walkway that connects the buildings. The developers said that they would take this into consideration, although they are not legally obligated to.

Full article at Philadelphia Inquirer
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