Developer to abandon Woodhaven Road hotel project

A planned Millbrook hotel appears to be dead, but a different proposal to build one in Bell’s Corner is being advanced.

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A developer is dropping a controversial plan to construct a 138-room hotel on Woodhaven Road near Knights Road. 

Meanwhile, a different plan, which figures to be similarly contentious, is on the table to construct a five-story hotel on Bustleton Avenue in Bell’s Corner. 

Ronald Patterson, an attorney representing the Woodhaven developer, told 10th District Councilman Brian O’Neill’s office and the Millbrook Civic Association in a June email that his client is planning to abandon the project.

O’Neill provided a copy of the email to the Northeast Times.

Neither Patterson nor Posh Properties, the Bethlehem firm that had hoped to build the hotel, responded to a request for comment.

It’s unclear why the project is no longer being pursued, but community pressure may have played a role. Residents objected to the plan when it was first proposed last fall and have also raised concerns about it in recent months.

“We were 100 percent opposed to it, and it fell apart, thank God,” Millbrook Civic President John Kradzinski said. “We consider that good for the neighborhood.”

Neighbors were worried about room rates and parking. Renderings included a sign advertising rooms for $279 a week. 

The four-story extended-stay hotel would have been constructed at 4000 Woodhaven Road on part of the shopping center property adjacent to the Philadelphia Building Trades Council building.

WoodSpring Suites was presented as the operator of the proposed hotel in zoning documents. 

Initially, Posh Properties proposed a 60-foot-tall building, which would have required a variance, but later revised its plan, lowering the height of the hotel to 38 feet. That allowed the firm to build the hotel “by right.”

The Department of Licenses and Inspections granted a zoning permit for the project in March. A month later, the department ruled Posh Properties would have to present in front of the Civic Design Review Committee after a challenge from O’Neill’s office.

CDR committee members can offer non-binding design suggestions, but the body does not have the authority to stop the project.

The process does trigger a mandatory community meeting, and Patterson was, at first, planning to come to the Millbrook Civic on June 25 before going to CDR, according to the email chain provided by O’Neill.

Several miles away, word has been spreading about a separate hotel project.

The owner of a parking lot at Bustleton and Tustin avenues, across from the former Jack’s Deli, has filed a zoning application to build a 63-foot-tall semi-detached building with commercial space on the ground level and “visitor accommodations” on the second, third, fourth and fifth floors.

Property records indicate the lot was purchased last year by 8430 Bustleton LLC for $300,000.

The Rhawnhurst Civic Association is scheduled to consider the project at its meeting Thursday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church, 7701 Loretto Ave. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com.