The Fishtown Neighbors Association held a community zoning meeting on Tuesday, April 5, over Zoom regarding the potential development of 627 E. Thompson St.
The meeting, which was hosted by FNA zoning committee chairman Will Dungan and attended by a few dozen residents, featured a presentation of the latest design plans by Kevin O’Neill of KJO Architecture. Community concerns and questions were also addressed over the course of the meeting.
The project plans presented by O’Neill had been revised based on the community feedback they received during their previous presentation in November. The original plan would’ve seen the development of eight single-family homes, four facing Thompson Street and the other four at the back of the property, with eight parking spaces and a roundabout at the end of Wilt Street. The newest proposal would instead see seven single-family homes developed, four facing Thompson Street and three courtyard units behind them, with three parking spaces accessible by Wilt Street, one loading space and a pedestrian path leading to the courtyard area between the units that features green space.
“We feel that we’ve hopefully addressed the concerns of the Wilt Street users and people that live on Berks Street,” O’Neill said. “And anybody who lives around there I think would agree that having more green space and being able to hopefully preserve some of these trees in the process makes it just a better project overall.”
O’Neill said that delivery services would use Thompson Street while trash pick-up would be carried out on Wilt Street for the three courtyard units and on Thompson Street for the other four units facing Thompson.
Still, many community members in attendance expressed concerns about the potential safety and quality-of-life issues that could come with the proposal. That included accessibility for emergency services, the risk of an increased build-up of trash in the adjacent alleyways and the further upkeep of Wilt Street.
O’Neill said that he and his team are more than willing to continue working with the community to further develop their proposal.
“We’re open to suggestions and we’re open to collaboration with the adjacent property owners,” O’Neill said.
Should the project get approved, O’Neill said he would expect construction to last between 6-12 months.