Friends of 40th Street

28 July 2004

Friends of 40 th Street Inaugural Meeting
Meeting Memo No. 2

Date/Place/Time: 25 June 2004/3901 Market Street – Community Room/8:00 AM

Attendance: Glenn Bryan (GB) Community and City Relations (CCR), U of PA

Robert Christian (RC) University City Review (UCR)

Daniel Cope (DC) Penn Undergraduate Assembly (UA)

Maceo Cummings (MC) Metropolis Group (MG)

Robert Hoe (RH) Teres Holding Company (THC)

Ajamu Johnson (AJ) Peoples Emergency Center CDC (PECCDC)

Lucy Kerman (LK) President’s Office (PO), U of PA

John Leatherberry (JL) West Powelton (WP)

Mark Mills (MM) Metropolis Group (MG)

Ahsan Nasratullah (AN) Teres Holding Company (THC)

Stefany Jones (SJ) Office of Community Housing (CH), U of PA

Deborah Sanford (DS) 40 th Street Business Association (40ABA)

Lucia Shen (LS) Friends of Walnut West Free Library

Harris Sokoloff (Hso) Graduate School of Education (GSE), U of PA

Harris Steinberg (HSt) Penn Praxis (PP), U of PA

Matt Walker (MWA) Partnership Community Development Corporation (PCDC)

Matthew Wolfe (MWO) University City Republicans (UCRep)

Purpose: Monthly meeting of the Friends of 40 th Street

Items Discussed:

  • There was some confusion as to the location of the meeting, which was held at the Community Room of 3901 Market Street as opposed to the Rotunda. As a result of this, the meeting got off to a late start. We will try to hold all of our meetings at 3901 Market due to its central location and accessibility to the El. Please note that the next meeting (July 30, 2004) will be held at the Marketplace of 3901 Market Street at 8 a.m.
  • A review of the minutes from the previous meeting was made. The following issues clarifications noted:

a) Re: Item No. 10: With regard to working task forces established at the inaugural meeting of 28 May 2004, groups were formed to work with prospective developers along 40 th Street and to tackle quality of life issues at the intersection of 40 th and Market Streets. An arts program task force was not established at that meeting but will be organized by Lucy Kerman (LK) and Gina Renzi (GR). A group to work with the library during its transition into the newly re-modeled library building at 40 th and Walnut Streets has yet to be formed.

  • Matt Wolfe (MWO), representing the Development Task Force, reported on two meetings the group held with prospective 40 th Street developers during the month of June. He noted his enthusiasm for the projects and felt that they were apltly suited for 40 th Street north of Chestnut. He introduced Bob Hoe (BH) of Teres Holding Company, who with his partner, Ahsan Nasratullah, developed a 24-hour mixed use project at Temple University three years ago. They plan to develop both of the northern corners of 40 th and Chestnut Street. The other development team is the Metropolis Group with Mark Mills and Maceo Cummings who are developing scattered sites along 40 th north of Chestnut. The following presentations were made by the developers:
  • BH introduced the Teres Holding Company (THC), noting that they had taken part in the 40 th Street Community Forums and acknowledged the importance of the principles that grew out of the community process. The properties that they plan to develop include:
  • 104 S. 40 th Street (to the south of Nan)
  • 4001 Chestnut Street (Atlantic Insurance building)
  • 3945 Chestnut Street (United Bank building).

The following issues were discussed:

  • THC’s goal is to develop the sites into mixed-use retail and residential projects. BH presented an aerial photograph taken from the top floor of one of the high-rise dorms at Penn to indicate how a 6 to 7 story building at the corner of 40 th and Chestnut could fit comfortably within the existing urban context. Several buildings along Chestnut Street near to the intersection similar in height.
  • BH presented renderings for new buildings proposed for the Atlantic Insurance and United Bank sites. These buildings are conceived as gateway buildings with up to 3 levels of retail (one below and two above grade) with the remainder residential (4 stories above the retail). They are considering tenants for the retail spaces that would reflect the principles and activate the streetscape.
  • Retail spaces will be flexible so that some tenants can have multi-level spaces of differing sizes. The second floor is being considered as ideal studio spaces for dance studios or professional design offices. The buildings are being designed with indentations and undulations so as to create spaces along the street edge for spontaneous street life after-hours.
  • The residential units will be a mixture of types including 4-bedroom units, bi-levels and 1-bedroom units. This final mix is still in the design phase; with the thought being that they will appeal to a variety of markets – students, graduates, young professionals, etc. It was noted that these properties are not within the Penn Alexander School catchment area.
  • Materials under consideration for the gateway buildings include stone, brick and glass on the ground floors. On the upper floors, the developers are considering a Spanish wood veener panel that would be a rain screen (an exterior building cladding that allows water to drain behind the façade) that can be realized in a variety of colors. They are considering metal panels for the penthouse. The two buildings will be “cousins” and not identical copies. The developers hope to have the buldings LEED certified ( - a national green (sustainable) building certifcation and compliance program.
  • 104 S. 40 th Street is a different type of property with different challenges. Internally, the existing building has a set of stairs that cuts through the center the building parallel to the street. The interior will be gutted in order to make a better interior layout for retail on the first floor and residential above. The alley to the north of the property will be infilled as entrance space to the residential units which will be accessible from the rear of the property. The existing façade of the building and its ornamental storefront will be preserved and restored.
  • Stefany Jones (SJ) questioned how rents will be determined for the project; wondering if they will be market rate or controlled for the residential units. Ashan Nasratullah (AN) responded that the retail will drive the project and that the residential modules are not yet fixed. The rents will be somewhere in between current University City rates and those at the Left bank – reflecting the location.
  • The developers are discussing the possibility of the retail and residential tenants using the parking garage at the FreshGrocer’s at 40 th and Walnut Street.
  • In order for the projects to be built, the current tenants will have to leave during constrction. The developer’s hope to begin construction in September 2005 with occupancy ready for July 2005. All existing tenants are Penn tenants.
  • Mark Mills (MM) of the Metropolis Group (MG) introduced his partner Maceo Cummings (MC). MM noted that the goal of Metropolis is to maintain and enhance the existing urban form and they pay particulalr attention to mixed-use commercial corridors such as 40 th Street. The properties that they plan to develop include:
  • 4009 Chestnut Street
  • 4015 Chestnut Street
  • 29 to 30 S. 40 th Street
  • 31 to 33 S. 40 th Street
  • 34 S. 40 th Street
  • 4002 Ludlow Street
  • 4004 Ludlow Street (vacant property currently)
  • 4006 Ludlow Street

The following issues were discussed:

  • MG’s goal is to renovate, maintain and enhance properties in order to “turn the lights on upstairs” and bring residential life back to the street. They aim to create commercial spaces that will attract people to spend time on the street. MM presented examples of pedestrian-scaled commercial corridors in Philadelphia that they view as models for the work that they plan for 40 th Street. These included signage, storefronts, outdoor café seating and lighting from examples from buildings in Old City.
  • MM noted that their project aims to serve the entire community – seniors, Penn-related people, those living in affordable housing, etc. – in order to achieve a balance between new and existing tenants in the retail portions of their properties. He praised the principles created during the forum process and noted the intent to use them to help guide their work.
  • With respect to existing tenants, they plan to work with those who are interested in staying in their properties. MM noted that their renovation and revitalization concept is based upon the Main Street Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation ( in which working with existing tenants, when possible, is a goal of the program. MM hopes to start renovation work in December 2004 with completion scheduled for July 2005.
  • MM anticipates approximately 23 apartments, noting that 4009 Chestnut Street might be renovated as a house as opposed to apartments. He noted that the apartments will be priced in accordance with current market rates
  • Matt Walker (MWA) of the Partnership CDC reported on the progress made by the 40 th and Market Street Quality of Life Task Force. He reported that the group has met twice and has begun to define the issues on the as follows:
  • Drugs
  • Loitering
  • Trash
  • Vending
  • Taxi hacks
  • Parking on the median strip
  • Safety – particularly in the El station.
  • Glenn Bryan (GB) is working with MWA on coordinating with Councilwoman Blackwell’s office to help invite representaive of the following agencies/departments together to define a plan for the intersection: Septa police, the 16 th and 18 th Philadelphia Police Districts, Penn Police, University City District, Streets Department, Parking Authority, L & I, the DA’s Nuisance Task Force and others.
  • The next meeting is scheduled for July 30, 2004 at 8:00 a.m. at the Marketplace of 3901 Market Street . The group agreed that the standing meeting day would be last Friday of each month with the exception of August and December. Meetings are open to the community and members are urged to invite neighbors and friends to participate.

Submitted by:


Harris M. Steinberg
Penn Praxis

cc: Those in attendance
Sharrieff Ali
Cory Bowman
Claudia Christian
Joe Fischer
Andy Frishkoff
Eric Goldstein
Lela Jacobsohn
Tyler Martin
Melissa Long
Lisa Lord
Jim Lilly
John McGarry
Gina Renzi
Jennifer Rodriguez
Esaul Sanchez
Ravi Srinivasan
Alison Williams
Kevin Vaughan

© 2004, 40th Street Community Forum and Serendip