Developer Ken Weinstein’s growing presence along Germantown Avenue to be discussed at June 3 community meeting

4811 Germantown Avenue, part of the former Germantown Charter School Campus.

4811 Germantown Avenue, part of the former Germantown Charter School Campus.

Ken Weinstein of Philly Office Retail will host a community meeting about the redevelopment of the former-Germantown Settlement Charter School Campus on Germantown Avenue this Tuesday, June 3 at 7pm. The meeting is open to the greater Germantown community (not just near-neighbors) and will be held on-location at 4811 Germantown Avenue in the former St. Michael’s Church. (Download a PDF of the flyer shared by Ken Weinstein.)

Over the past few years, Weinstein has acquired a growing number of properties in the area, many of which are concentrated along Germantown Avenue, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare which features several business districts.

Ongoing development of the five building six acre Settlement campus has the potential to redefine a significant portion of Germantown Avenue nearby Wayne Junction Station.

At Settlement, the youth drama school Greatness Is In You will join New Directions for Women, a residential penal facility for female ex-offenders that has operated on the campus for over 20 years, and the for-profit adult daycare center Tori’s Garden of Eden, also under renovations. Two other buildings remain vacant.

After two contentious zoning meetings about the adult daycare in February and April, near-neighbors are eager to engage in a healthy dialogue with the developer and build a vision for the entire campus.

A diagram of the former Germantown Settlement Campus, courtesy of Ken Weinstein. Click to enlarge.

A diagram of the former Germantown Settlement Campus, courtesy of Ken Weinstein. Click to enlarge.

The Schaeffer School at 4701 Germantown Avenue. Photo taken on November 16, 2013.

The Schaeffer School at 4701 Germantown Avenue. Photo taken on November 16, 2013.

Weinstein also owns several other significant buildings in the immediate vicinity, including the former C.W. Schaeffer Public School at 4701 Germantown Avenue, adjacent to the Settlement campus. Together, these large scale properties front nearly an entire block of the Avenue, less than half a mile away from Wayne Junction Station.

Beyond Settlement, there is currently a rising debate about 5301 Germantown Avenue, a six-story property owned by Weinstein on a largely historic stretch of the Avenue. That building is less than one mile away from the Settlement campus and currently under redevelopment.

The property is said to feature a 1,600 sq ft cafe and restaurant space on the ground floor and 11 market rate apartments (one and two-bedroom units), as confirmed by the developer on a neighborhood Facebook group and advertised on the building facade. The primary use of the building is rumored to be a 100-bed shelter, managed by an unnamed non-profit.

When pressed about the unadvertised building use at a recent Baynton Hill Neighbors civic group meeting, Weinstein said that he could not legally disclose the name of the non-profit or the nature of the additional residential use.

Further along the Avenue, Weinstein recently toured Germantown High School – perhaps the largest vacant building on Germantown Avenue at 355,372 sq. ft. – and is considering purchasing the property from the Philadelphia School District.

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