by Pete Mazzaccaro
A small commercial building at 8610 Evergreen Place was demolished several weeks ago to make way for a three-story, eight-unit apartment building with a small, 1,000-square foot retail unit on the first floor. The building was previously owned by the late, well-known Philadelphia jazz musician, Grover Washington Jr, where it was the home address to his music publishing business, J W Jr Music Inc.
Its current owner, Laurel Holdings, purchased the property for $503,500 in September 2016. Jon Mayer, owner of Laurel Holdings told the Local that the property was purchased from Washington.
Larry McEwen, an architect and co-chair of the Chestnut Hill Community Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee, said there was some concern about the design of the building planned for the site, but that the project was by right, meaning that all the zoning requirements had been met by Laurel Holdings and thus, without a need for a zoning variance, there was no obligation for Laurel Holdings to take the project before the committee.
Mayer confirmed to the Local that he had all the permits he needed, and he expected construction on the new building to begin in “a couple weeks” with construction lasting for about a year. According to plans filed with the city, the completed building will be a three-story rectangle and contain just under 10,000 square feet of housing and retail or office space.
According to Lori Salganicoff, director of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy, while the property was on a list of those “contributing” to the Chestnut Hill National Register of Historic District, it was not protected by a listing on Philadelphia’s Register of Historic Places.
Salganicoff said the conservancy’s records indicate the property was built between 1885 and 1889 as a barn for a Germantown Avenue house demolished long ago. It had been altered in 1962 for commercial purposes.
Pete Mazzaccaro can be contacted at 215-248-8802 or firstname.lastname@example.org