PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Reed Estates: looking east on Reed | JKRP Architects, January '17 CDR

Mixed design review for projects in Brewerytown, Pennsport, Roxborough, South Kensington, and Logan Square

January’s Civic Design Review kicked off 2017 with a bang. During the course of the almost three-and-a-half-hour meeting, the experts on the panel tried to shame a developer into building a…

    • reading viaduct city branch

Reuse of the City Branch for transit or trails unlikely, but proposed development isn't to blame

When plans for a new mixed-use development at 15th and Hamilton streets in Spring Garden were posted online in advance of this month’s Civic Design Review, the project caused a stir…

    • St. Mary of the Assumption, Manayunk, 2012 | Bas Slabbers for NewsWorks (file)

Redevelopment approach to St. Mary's site frustrates Manayunk neighbors

In a community as dense as Manayunk, any development proposal that will bring more housing units and fewer parking spaces faces a tough fight from longtime residents who feel the neighborhood…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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