PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Maria Quiñones-Sánchez | Emma Lee/WHY

Is mandatory inclusionary zoning the answer to Philly’s affordable housing question?

City Council’s attention of late has been focused on keeping rent and mortgages affordable for all in Philadelphia as steady, year-over-year population gains increase housing prices. But the bills introduced to…

    • Skyline from Drexel Park

“Quality of Life” is Philadelphia’s biggest selling point. Can it survive an Amazonian invasion?

Like nearly every other city in North America, Philadelphia is putting the final touches on its bid to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters here ahead of Thursday’s deadline. The…

    • St. Boniface Church demolition, Norris Square. April 2012.

Philly moves to regulate demolition

Philadelphia plans to tighten regulations on demolitions after a year of heightened fears of lead poisoning in construction-heavy residential neighborhoods. At Thursday’s City Council session two bills were introduced, both drafted…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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

  • Dec 14, 2017
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