City officials also agreed that developers did not have to provide parking for the approximately 2,700 Temple students expected to live there.
That didn't sit well with members of the Resolute Alliance in Yorktown, or TRAY.
The group, which in recent years has demonstrated and written letters demanding that city officials enforce zoning laws that restrict renting to students in Yorktown, went into action on the Wanamaker project.
Pam Pendleton-Smith, a TRAY trustee, wrote to City Council members and the executive director of the Planning Commission to complain that she had not had an opportunity to speak when the plans were approved.
She said that she had not been able to attend a community meeting the night before.
"They heard the razzle-dazzle at the community meeting, but I heard the devil in the details the following day at the Planning Commission," Pendleton-Smith said.
After Goldenberg officials learned of TRAY's opposition, they met with community leaders one night at Pendleton-Smith's home.
As a result, the Goldenberg Group and Bright Hope's Bridge of Hope Community Development Corp. agreed to change the building design. Goldenberg agreed to reduce the height of the 20-story tower to 15 stories.
Colin A. Jones, Goldenberg's executive vice president, said that the partnership also agreed to provide parking spaces to relieve congestion in the area.
"We're a developer that prefers to engage with local community groups," Jones said. "We've done it throughout the city."
"This is a renaissance," said the Rev. Kevin R. Johnson, Bright Hope's pastor. "This is a resurrection project. While Wanamaker will not be the same school that it was, it will be something even better."