320-unit housing project planned for parking lot near Temple University in North Philadelphia

A 320-unit apartment project proposed near Temple University’s campus in North Philadelphia will undergo the city’s Civic Design Review process as developers look to add more housing for students in the area.

The project at 1600 North 11th St. would replace a surface parking lot with a pair of three-story buildings running horizontally instead of vertically. Towers that have been built or are planned around the temple in recent years are usually preferred by city planners, but in this case, the zoning of the parking lot would not allow a tall building to the right without a deviation.

Designed by the VBC studio in Boston level requires 320 studios and four one-bedroom apartments between the two buildings as well as 36 parking spaces and 108 bicycle stalls.

Temple Apartments 11th TwoCourtesy / VBC Studio

Temple Apartments 11th ThreeCourtesy / VBC Studio

The proposal comes at an anxious time for temple students, especially those living in areas more on the outskirts of campus.

Last weekend, 21-year-old Temple senior Samuel Collington was fatally shot in broad daylight during an armed robbery along the 2200 block of Park Avenue, on the opposite side of Broad St., from which this apartment project is planned.

Another fatal shooting took place last month along the 1700 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue, in which 18-year-old Ahmir Jones was killed after another armed robbery. Jones was not a temple student.

While Philadelphia is struggling to curb a record increase in homicides – already 512 this year with a month left – Temple students and their parents have expressed growing fear of the climate around campus.

In response to the rise in violence, Temple announced Wednesday that it will happen increase its campus security strength by 50% and working with Philadelphia police to increase their off-campus presence. The University’s Campus Safety Services building is located at 1801 N. 11th Street, less than half a mile north of where the apartments are planned.

The proposal will receive non-binding CDR feedback later this month, but no timeline for the plan to move forward has been announced.

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