Rex Ave. plans earn high praise

by Tom Beck
Posted 3/14/24

The CHCA’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee voted unanimously in favor of developers’ plans to rehabilitate the H. Louis Duhring Residence.

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Rex Ave. plans earn high praise


The Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee voted unanimously in favor of developers’ plans to rehabilitate the H. Louis Duhring Residence located at 208-10 Rex Ave. at a Thursday night meeting. 

The development team, led by the HOW Group’s project development manager, Mike Stanton, intends to turn the home into four new units, and add a fifth in a rear addition to the building. Plans also include two single detached single-family homes with single car garages on the side and rear yards of the large site.

“We've been working on this project for almost two years,” said Stanton at the meeting. “We’ve been working with near neighbors to come up with a plan and scheme that they’re on board with, and generally we're pretty much at the final negotiation points.”

The development team’s proposal drew strong support from the LUPZ committee, which agreed that the project was greatly improved from previous proposals that included townhouses and a 17-unit condo building.

“This is a long way forward from that,” said Rex Avenue Neighbors Association chair Jeff Gelles. “We think it's much more respectful of the historical property”

LUPZ board member Craig Schelter called the proposal “terrific.”

“I think this project has come a long way,” he said, “and I think I just recommend approval.”

The development team needs three variances from the city’s zoning board before the permits can be issued. One is for building multiple buildings on the same lot, and the other two are for building on a steep slope and building a multi-family building in a zoning district that forbids them.

The development team’s proposal is scheduled to appear before the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s architectural committee on March 26. If it earns the committee’s approval, it will then go before the full historical commission at a later date, which also must greenlight the project before it can be built. 

No residents spoke during the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting.

“That would be a first,” said LUPZ co-chair Steve Gendler.

The HOW Group’s next step for the Duhring Residence project will be to present its plans in front of the CHCA’s Development Review Committee on Tuesday, March 19. The meeting will be held on Zoom at 7 p.m.