Real Estate Development

    • 601 Christian, Nov. 2015, looking northwest on Christian Street | Atkin Olshin Schade

5-story apartment building and restaurant proposed for vacant triangle property at 6th and Christian

Developers are hoping to build a 5-story apartment building with a ground-floor restaurant on a vacant, triangular property at the intersection of East Passyunk Avenue, 6th and Christian streets in Bella…

    • Society Hill Playhouse

Toll Brothers pursuing condo project at Society Hill Playhouse

Three groups of neighbors in the area surrounding 8th and Lombard streets in Washington Square West are staunchly opposed to a proposal that would see Society Hill Playhouse and a two-story…

    • 1300 Fairmount | Cope Linder Architects

Board approves supermarket and apartments behind Divine Lorraine

Philadelphia’s zoning board voted last week to approve plans for a major development at 1300 Fairmount Avenue, behind the Divine Lorraine. The project, from RAL Development Services of New York, would…



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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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



Logging in via Facebook

Log in

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Which weekly emails would you like to receive?