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Plan To Convert St. Laurentius Church To Multifamily Dealt Major Blow

St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown

It seems as if Fishtown's St. Laurentius Church won't be converted into a multifamily development after all. 

Developer Leo Voloshin's proposal to subdivide the church into 23 apartments while preserving its external structure was struck down at a neighborhood zoning meeting on Tuesday night by a vote of 167-105. The turnout was possibly the largest ever for a zoning meeting in the area, and at times became very heated between two competing community groups, according to Billy Penn.

The church was marked for demolition due to structural faults, and Voloshin's proposal represented the most realistic short-term hope of preserving the exterior. The Laurentian Faithful, the main group opposed to the redevelopment proposal, has expressed hope the Vatican will reopen the building as a church.

Voloshin still plans to take his proposal to the Board of Leasing & Inspections, but Billy Penn believes that without the zoning recommendation, it is an uphill battle. [Billy]