TierView Development was granted a demolition permit for one wall of the building that formerly housed the Mt. Airy National Bank at 7208 Germantown Ave. in preparation for an addition.
TierView Development was granted a demolition permit to demolish one wall of the building that formerly housed the Mt. Airy National Bank at 7208 Germantown Ave. in preparation for a two-story addition that will be added to the top of the building. The addition was initially approved by the Philadelphia Historical Commission in 2021.
Current plans call for the project to include a ground-floor commercial space and 19 apartments. TierView hopes to break ground this year and construction is expected to take 12 months.
According to the permit, demolition is only allowed to be performed by hand – not by using machinery.
The project is part of a larger trend that developers are taking advantage of in the wake of the city’s 2019 upzoning of Germantown Avenue-fronting properties from Allens Lane to Sedgwick Street. The new guidelines allow for larger, taller and more dense buildings. They also give developers the right to build larger projects without first seeking permission from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Before the 2019 rezoning, Philadelphia’s zoning code was set up in such a way that most developments taller than 38 feet in Mt. Airy’s business corridor would have had to go before the zoning board, a process which triggered an automatic notice to nearby neighbors. Now, that notice isn’t required unless a proposal is taller than 55 feet, so neighbors are no longer notified for projects of this height.
TierView’s plans for the development come in the wake of the recently created Central Mount Airy Commercial Historic District, designated in 2021, which extends two blocks along Germantown Avenue from Nippon Street to Mount Pleasant Avenue.
The newly created district, which was nominated for historic designation by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, is “maybe one of the first examples of the city encouraging that kind of oversight of a business district by the Historic Commission,” said Mt. Airy developer Ken Weinstein.