PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Frankford Chocolate Factory at 2101 Washington Ave. ( credit: OCF Realty)

Neighbors bid a reluctant goodbye to South Philly chocolate factory, welcome new homes and shops

The Frankford Chocolate Factory looms over Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia, covering an entire city block, anchoring the roadway in the industrial uses that dominated it for the past century or…

    • 600  University Avenue

A mysterious zoning bill hints at a high-rise future for one of University City's last large undeveloped parcels

When drivers exit University City, headed to the Schuylkill Expressway, they breeze past a ghostly Mid-century Modern motel building at 600 University Avenue. Marooned at the edge of the University of…

    • Darrell Clarke | Emma Lee/WHYY

Darrell Clarke: I’ll 'entertain' Temple's stadium proposal if and when the community supports it

For the past couple months, protests against Temple University’s proposed 35,000-seat stadium have dominated the public comment period customary at every meeting of the City Council. Project opponents have called, repeatedly,…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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