236-apartment 'mixed-use' plan for 1900 Arch

Plans for 236 apartments over a restaurant, offices and 150-car underground garage at 1900 Arch St., controlled by Philadelphia developer Ronald Caplan of Philadelphia Management Corp., will be reviewed (no action scheduled) by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission at its monthly meeting next Tuesday Jan. 18, upstairs at 1515 Arch St.

The 14-story, 160-foot building, designed by architect Stephen Varenhorst, will include an open courtyard on 19th St., says the board's Gary Jastrszab. It would replace a surface parking lot on the site of a row of oldtime Philadelphia business buildings, knocked down over historical objections two years ago, in a neighborhood where Hill International of Marlton still hopes to build Philadelphia's tallest skyscraper to tower over the nearby Comcast Center and office and apartment high-rises, if Hill can find tenants.

Planners will also look at the latest PIDC Industrial Land Study, the sale of the city-owned regional Boy Scout headquarters at 22d and the Parkway to its longtime tenant, and the proposed 58th St. cycling lane linking Bartram's Garden with Cobbs Creek Park in West Philadelphia, among other business.

UPDATE: Planning Commission says it's dropping the Scout sale from Tuesday's meeting due to "ongoing litigation."

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