This is a brief update on the land use issues surrounding 400 S. 40th Street.
Regarding a possible settlement, we were negotiating with Penn and in the Spring of 2014 we proposed a framework for reaching a solution. Penn has yet to respond.
Now we see Penn, next week, is going before the Historical Commission's Architectural Committee for final approval of the 5-story 122-unit apartment building that they propose to build on the site, in place of the historic mansion that they intend to demolish. Presumably they will then take it to the full Commission for approval in October 2014.
Our appeal of the demolition is now being taken up by the state Commonwealth Court. The lower court judge has recently provided her opinion explaining her decision, and so the Commonwealth Court will now schedule the case for briefing and argument.
As for the zoning case, as you may recall the same Philadelphia judge did not uphold the dimensional variances, at least not yet. She remanded the case back to the ZBA to get more evidence. We appealed to prevent that as we thought the remand was improper, however, the Commonwealth Court decided that our appeal was premature. Therefore the ZBA may hold another hearing focused on the dimensional variances in the near future.
We thank you all for your continued support in protecting the character of this historic block.