PlanPhilly

Development

    • A publicly subsidized W Hotel is proposed for 15th and Chestnut streets in Center City

Twofer: Starwood to bring new details on W and Element Hotel project at 15th and Chestnut

Next month, developers will present their designs for the W and Element Hotels planned for 15th and Chestnut streets to the Center City Residents Association. The presentation is for information only:…

    • 1300 block of S. Chadwick Street - New OCF homes on left

Fate uncertain for tangled housing project in Point Breeze

Either Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is blocking a construction project proposed by developer Ori Feibush, who plans to challenge Johnson in next year’s City Council race, or Ori Feibush is refusing to…

    • A sign at 8200 Germantown Ave. indicates the Fresh Market will open in fall 2015. (Neema Roshania/WHYY)

Construction finally set to begin at 8200 Germantown Ave. site

For now, it looks more like an urban meadow than a grocery store, but a sign has sprouted in front of the six-foot-high grasses announcing that The Fresh Market is coming…

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ABOUT DEVELOPMENT

Though it often has a negative connotation, development represents the absolutely crucial element of demand to use the urban form. Once completed, the development project ends up helping to define the built environment for future generations. Without development, there would be no city to plan. Despite the stigma often attached to it, development can meet both community needs and earn a profit when its design and program contributes to the larger urban framework.

It is important that development be regulated so that it supports the public health, safety, and welfare of a neighborhood, though this can be difficult to achieve today given the pressures facing the public sector due to rising social services needs and decreasing tax bases. Private developers often have leverage in these cases, which can lead to some unhealthy compromises that negatively affect our built environment. It is possible for development to be over-regulated, which often discourages investors from investing in particular cities. Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process. However, the re-zoning process currently underway by the Zoning Code Commission should go a long way in addressing this.  The goal is to set standards that encourage a balance of public good and private development.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DEVELOPMENT

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