PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Market-rate town homes are under construction at 3300 Mantua Avenue. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell steered the lot to the project's developer. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Why Philly's councilmanic prerogative isn’t going away

Philadelphia’s 2019 municipal primary will be remembered for the sheer number of candidates running for spots on City Council. But it is also a political cycle in which broad themes like…

    • This rendering shows a perspective view of Liberty on the River's first phase of development. (Barton Partners Architects)

Developer to extend Delaware River trail for OK on extra-tall towers

A mega development coming to the Delaware River waterfront will include a swath of a long-planned river trail in exchange for permission to build taller towers than local regulations permit. Developer…

    • There was a full house at Janes Memorial United Methodist Church for a community meeting on the future of Germantown's old high school building. (Michaela Winberg/Billy Penn)

Germantown High reimagined as $30 million housing development — with a lot of question marks

At last, for Germantown residents, there was an end to the silence. Northwest Philly packed the pews of Janes Memorial United Methodist Church on Monday evening when, after two years, they…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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