If people want to save Little Pete’s, they might want to speak up Wednesday morning. It could be their last chance.
Philadelphia’s City Council rules committee is scheduled to discuss a bill that would rezone the Little Pete’s property, which now consists of the restaurant and a parking garage, into the multistory Hudson Hotel. Before the the Rules Committee considers which action to take, they’re conducting a public hearing for the property, along with several others.
The rules committee meeting could easily be the last straw for the famed Center City diner. Rezoning processes move from the Planning Commission to the Rules Committee to City Council. The Planning Commission already approved the rezoning bill last November. If the Rules Committee recommends the bill, it moves to City Council for vote. And the Rules Committee consists of eight of the 15 City Council members. Council will probably be cool with whatever the Rules Committee recommends.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced the rezoning bill last October. It was originally scheduled to go in front of the Rules Committee last December, but he pulled it largely because of labor negotiations.
— John Hodgman (@hodgman) January 30, 2015
Hey @LittlePetes, I am coming down today as another “little Pete” to show support! I will chain myself to a wrecking ball, whatever you need
— Danny Tamberelli (@dtamberelli) November 6, 2014
Rumors abounded about the fate of the hotel during the last few months, but Vince Powers, a spokesperson for the developer of the Hudson Hotel, told Billy Penn in a statement the redevelopment was on track. He did not respond to a request for further comment. Calls to the project manager, as well as to Little Pete’s owner Peter Koutroubas, went unreturned.
As of last year, the plans for the Hudson Hotel called for it to be 13 stories tall and feature 310 rooms with a price tag of $125 million.
Internet love for Little Pete’s has so far been stronger than any actions taken by the community. In January, the Center City Residents Association held a public meeting for people to voice concerns about the hotel project. Parking and a bunch of development buzzwords like skyplane and corrective legislative zoning came up, but not the storied greasy spoon.
Danya Henninger contributed to this report.