Roman Lumber makes way for “Roman Square” at 11th & McKean

By Sandy Smith for the Passyunk Post

What was a series of low-slung commercial buildings in the 2000 block of South 11th Street is now an empty lot. Soon, that lot will be filled with eight brand-new four-story townhouses called “Roman Square.”

View looking southwest from 11th & McKean Streets, April 25, 2018. Photo by Darren Fava.
Same view after demolition, July 2018. Photo by Darren Fava.

“Within the next week, weather permitting, we hope to begin excavation” on the development at the southwest corner of 11th and McKean streets, said Bob Shaw, director of development for P & A Associates.

Each of the eight units in this project from Canno Design will have four stories plus a roof deck. All will have three bedrooms and three bathrooms; all will also have a powder room on the street level, except for the unit with two garages on the street level. Access to the garages will be via a central driveway that uses an existing curb cut on South 11th Street.

Roman Square rendering. Canno Design.

Six of the houses will have garages on their street floors that can accommodate two cars. The two units on 11th Street closest to Emily Street will each have a one-car garage located on the street level of the northerly unit.  The southerly unit will have a den and a flex room on the street level.

When the project went before the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association for approval in March of 2018, neighbors had two principal objections. One was the loss of a parking space on 11th Street. The developer pointed out that a curb cut existed to access the warehouse torn down to make way for this project, so no legal spaces would be lost.

The other objection related to the buildings’ height, which was three feet over the height limit for its zoning district. The EPX Civic Zoning Committee recommended approval of the zoning variance for this project with the stipulation that it remain at the height limit, but the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the variance for the project as designed.

Shaw explained that the extra height represented a compromise in order to meet both neighbors’ and buyers’ desires. New construction homes typically have ceiling heights of at least nine feet, he said, but “we made the first floor eight feet, which is pretty low for new construction standards. We felt we could do this because the first floors were largely taken up by the garages.

“The fourth-floor ceilings are also a little under nine feet,” he continued. “We did the best we could in order to fit the parking in, which was something the neighbors also wanted, and this is where we ended up.”

The houses are not yet listed for sale, but Shaw expects they will be shortly. He estimates that the homes will be pre-construction priced around $699,000.

Editor’s Addition:

Promotions for the homes posted on the, Redfin, and Trulia websites describe the homes as having a living area of 2,765 square feet.

The images and descriptions below are included in the promotional postings. Let us know what you think of the designs in the comments below.

An open concept second floor features 10 ft ceilings and oversized Pella Windows allowing maximum flow of natural light throughout the living room, dining room and kitchen. Whether cooking or entertaining, you will be at home in the Gourmet Kitchen equipped with every modern amenity including French door refrigerator, 5 burner gas range, dishwasher, canopy hood and slide out microwave, all clad in stainless steel.

Retire after a long day into the entire 3rd floor owner’s suite which boasts a huge walk-in closet and a beautiful bathroom with double sink vanity and a large stall shower with a frameless glass shower door. Keep everything cozy with dual zone gas heat and gas, tankless hot water heater. Energy efficiency and quality is evident throughout.

The 4th floor is equally as impressive with 2 junior suites each with a well-appointed bathroom. Space for a washer and dryer tucked in a laundry closet conveniently located just steps away. An expansive roof deck with amazing views tops off this quality filled home.

Additional features include hardwood flooring and recessed LED lighting throughout all living areas and bedrooms, quartz countertops and more. Inprint your signature on your new home by selecting finishes. 10-year tax abatement and one year builder warranty included for added piece of mind.