Auto sales proposed below new apartments in Northern Liberties

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Artist's rendering of apartment building with lower-story auto showroom space proposed for the southwest corner of Delaware and Fairmount Avenues.

Auto dealer Gene DeSimone wants his next car sales floor to be on the lower levels of a 16-story apartment building he’s proposing for the southwest corner of North Delaware and Fairmount Avenues in Northern Liberties.

Camera icon Coscia Moos Architecture
Artist’s rendering of apartment building with lower-story auto showroom space.

DeSimone’s plan for the 9,000-square-foot empty lot at 626 N. Delaware Ave. calls for 96 apartments over two stories of auto display space, according to a presentation posted to the website of Philadelphia’s Civic Design Review panel.

The showroom space will feature new vehicles of an as-yet undecided luxury brand, DeSimone said in an interview.

The CDR board is scheduled to review the plan on July 10. The panel is tasked with offering nonbinding suggestions on the city’s biggest development proposals as part of Philadelphia’s planning process.

The project also must appear before the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment to seek special “variances” because its size and lack of outdoor space don’t conform with area land-use rules.

Another auto-sales project, online car-dealer Carvana’s vending-machine-inspired garage, is rising a short distance away in Fishtown.

Note: This story has been updated to clarify that the showroom portion of this development will feature new vehicles, per the company’s owner. An earlier version quoted a company employee saying used vehicles would be sold at the site.

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