PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Emanuel Lutheran Church, more recently Phat Quang Buddhist Temple, on 4th Street in Queen Village. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Buddhist monks cash out with ‘secret’ sale of historic South Philly church

A 150-year-old Queen Village church turned Buddhist temple is on a path toward residential reincarnation. The pending metamorphosis is no shocker from a real estate perspective — sacred spaces across the…

    • A view of St. Laurentius from Palmer Cemetery in 2015 | Michael Klusek, EOTS Flickr Group

Fishtown's St. Laurentius church cleared for redevelopment

A Pennsylvania judge issued an opinion on Tuesday that could bring an end to an acrimonious two-and-a-half year struggle over the redevelopment of St. Laurentius, a crumbling Catholic church in Philadelphia’s…

    • A rendering of 2100 Hamilton St. behind the Rodin Museum.

Parkway condo opposed by Rodin Museum, Rail Park wins key city approval

A condo building that opponents say could disrupt plans to extend the Rail Park and endanger Rodin Museum holdings has won the final city approval needed to break ground. The Philadelphia…

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ABOUT REAL ESTATE 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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT

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