Apartments, preschool and offices to replace lot and vacant homes in West Philly

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Artist's rendering of New Market West project proposed for the 5900 block of Market Street in West Philadelphia by Mission First Housing Group.

Affordable housing developer Mission First Housing group is planning a complex of apartments, shops, offices and early learning classrooms that will cover an entire West Philadelphia block at 59th and Market Streets.

The New Market West project is to include 41 dwelling units, nearly 68,000 square feet of office space, 13,700 square feet of ground-floor retail and a 10,000-square-foot early childhood education center, as well as a 3,700-square-foot community room, according to a presentation posted online Wednesday to the website of Philadelphia’s Civic Design Review board.

Commercial tenants are to include social services provider ACHIEVEability, which plans to move from its existing location on 60th Street, north of Market Street, said Mark Deitcher, Mission First’s business development director. Narberth-based Montgomery Early Learning Centers chief executive Ann O’Brien said her company is in talks with the developer to occupy the classroom space.

The $63 million project, which is also designed to include an 80-space underground parking garage, would replace 1.5 acres of empty homes, an unused gas station, and a parking lot.

The Civic Design Review committee, which makes nonbinding suggestions concerning Philadelphia’s biggest development proposals as part of the city’s construction-approval process, is scheduled to consider the New Market West plan on Nov. 7.