Project For NewMarket Site Moves Forward

City Council's Rules Committee voted in favor of a zoning change for the former NewMarket Pavilion, which would be redeveloped as a 15-story hotel, 33 condominiums and a restaurant. Council could consider the project during tomorrow's meeting and could vote on it next week.

The three-hour hearing highlighted the deep rift the project has provoked in Society Hill, with residents showing up to testify for and against the project, dubbed "Stamper Square."  The Society Hill Civic Association in late February deadlocked in a 12-12 vote on whether to support or oppose the project.

One resident at yesterday's hearing choked up while discussing the legacy of the late city planner Ed Bacon, another brought his attorney to warn Council that the zoning change was on shaky legal ground and a third complained about developers making political contributions before admitting that he too makes contributions.