PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Garnet Street resident Alison Stohr introduces Betty Beaufort during a rally in front of Beaufort's home

In ongoing fight over Smith School site, RCOs get an F from both neighbors and the developer

Friday afternoon, around 30 Point Breeze residents gathered on the 1300 block of Garnet Street to air recriminations aimed at the developer converting the former Smith School site into nearly 100…

    • A protested eviction in Germantown, July 2012 | Bas Slabbers for NewsWorks

Gamblers, foreign money and struggling homeowners: Inside Philly’s sheriff sale boom

Above a nondescript dry cleaners in Center City sits a mysterious little office. The rare visitor has to walk through an unrelated tax preparation business to reach its three tiny rooms,…

    • 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…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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