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Developers Break Ground on 149 Manayunk Units

Mayor Nutter, Councilman Jones celebrate apartment complex behind Ivy Ridge Train Station.

Continuing what Mayor Michael Nutter and called the move toward "transit-oriented development," builders broke ground Friday on 149 apartments behind SEPTA's Ivy Ridge Train Station.

On a sunny fall day, J.G. Petrucci Co. celebrated the groundbreaking for the Station at Manayunk, which promises luxury one and two-bedroom apartments, some of which may be available for the public in the summer of 2013.

In his former role as Manayunk's city councilman for 14.5 years, Nutter became familiar with the parcel of land between the Schuylkill River and Umbria Street. He recalled campaign days at the regional rail station and the projects that stalled at the Station site.

"There will be hundreds of people, not only working at this site, but living at this site... We've been wanting developement at this site for a long, long time. And we need this kind of foresight and focus," he said.

Nutter—who thanked Greg Rogerson, from the developer, for picking up the project and delivering what he called a viable and inspired project—said the apartments were funded without public money.

"Ultimately, this is about entrepreneurship and risk. It's about believing that the opportunity is right and the moment has come," he said.

The New Jersey-based J.G. Petrucci Co. described its goal in development.

"Forward thinking is critical to urban redevelopment. Taking an older industrial site with great infrastructure but is obsolete, and, maybe has environmental problems and bringing it back to a productive use, getting people off the roads and into our city is critical to future growth," Rogerson said.

The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the project Sept. 21, 2011, allowing building demolition, which already took place, and 168 total dwelling units.

According to city permits, the projects calls for 15 buildings, with residential buildings, clubhouse and fitness center—all of which will be LEED certified. In total, 199 parking spaces are planned with property access coming from Parker Avenue. Bicycle storage will also occur.

Jones called the project an example of Nutter's environmental leadership during his tenure.

"The idea of transit-oriented development is to more more people fewer miles and you become a green city."

The councilman said the collaborative effort between the developer, city and neighborhood, quoting 21st Ward Democratic Leader Lou Agre in saying, "Working together we can do extraordinary things."

The politicians hoped the project would bring young professionals into Manayunk to access Center City through the regional rail and walk to Main Street.

Pkpapa October 15, 2012 at 05:30 PM
There are no STOP signs on the cross-road of Parker Ave and Umbria St. Only a zebra crossing was painted recently, but drivers don't stop for people walking across the street. Some even speed up when they see you trying to cross it. Seen kids alsmot got hit by cars... So dangerous, DANGEROUS!!!. Complain by calling 311, no help! With the new apt, traffic is going to be even worst. Should put up stop signs on this cross road. PLEASE! Also, the SEPTA parking on this station is horrible. The scarcity of Parking spaces were not addressed over the past few years. The only change is 1 less parking space after they teared down the old station in the middle of the parking lot. With this new development, parking on the SEPTA parking lot should be the first issue to be resolved. Expending the the SEPTA parking lot should be the priorty.
Moe October 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I agree. That intersection is quite dangerous, especially during rush hours. Speed limits are meaningless these days. Traffic lights would be better than stop signs.
Debbie Thomas October 15, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I agree. A traffic light is needed not stop signs.
Roxe October 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I am all for urban development of neglected sites in the city and this project sounds like a winner. Can some thought be given to the degree of difficulty when trying to drive in/out of Manayunk/Roxboro area (especially on the weekend). It is a traffic nightmare especially during the warmer months when BOTH Kelly/MLK Drives are closed for "recreational" activities, leaving the useless outdated Schuylkill Expwy as the "alternative" or deal with bumper to bumper traffic and detours. With all of this "new"development in this area it will be even more maddening. Also, too many streets in this area that are two-way with parking on both sides......this was OK back in the day when there were only 5 cars parked on the street.
Marlene Schleifer October 15, 2012 at 08:51 PM
The stop sign at Umbria and Lemonte Streets, a block away, is barely a brake tap for most folks; take it from someone who has crossed at that intersection for the past 22 years and has almost been hit numerous times. Sadly, I suspect that the traffic at Umbria and Parker will only be regulated after a fatal accident occurs.
Roni October 16, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I can't believe how many more houses they are trying to fit in our already cramped neighborhood. 199 parking spaces is not enough for 149 units. If people have only 2 cars per apartment they would need 298 spaces! Where are residents going to park. Where are the people that take the train going to park their cars... they are already going up Parker and Paoli. The people that live on Umbria, Fountain and Ogle are parking on and around Parker Ave. The amount of traffic it is going to add is also going to be horrible. It is already dangerous for commuters, whether it is a driver, rider of public transportation, a pedestrian or a bicyclist. There is constant traffic on this road all of the time. Rush hour is unbearable. Nutter was never interested in the quality of life of the residents of Manayunk. We realized that when the mill on Leverington Ave was being zoned for apartments the neighbors did a walk with him expressing there concerns. Of course the apartment building was ok'd... and with not enough spots. And so it continues... years later! So I now have to rent a parking spot from the gym down the street. There should be research and devolpement to resolve our parking issues...
Debbie Thomas October 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Yes traffic is already a mess on Umbria Street, even early in the morning. That means that Main Street will be backed up too, because many of the vehicles go from Umbria to Main to get to the Green Lane bridge.
Ed Hagan October 18, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Who in their right mind would pay for luxury apartments next to a train stop? I live at the top of Fountain street on the other side of Ridge Ave. and hear the whistle all day long. I can't imagine paying big bucks to live right next to the source of the whistle. When Nutter had an office in Roxborough he always took the side of developers over the concerns of neighbors to build. If it was up to Mayor Nutter Roxborough/Manayunk would look like South Philly, concrete everywhere with no parking and people living on top of each other.

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