PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Corn Exchange National Bank & Trust Co., 3rd and Arch Streets

Office conversion of Corn Exchange / Real World house in Old City edging forward

To a certain generation, the former bank at the corner of Arch and North 3rd streets is MTV’s Real World house. More recently it was an event space, but now plans…

    • Jewelers Row

Frustration, opposition from Jewelers’ Row at community meeting on Toll Bros. plan

On a good day, the Washington Square West Civic Association’s zoning meetings attract a crowd that just barely breaks into the double digits. Sometimes the zoning committee outnumbers the attendees.…

    • Jewelers Row

Past mistake: Preservationists hope city will learn from Jewelers Row threat

A developer’s proposal to replace five properties on Jewelers Row with a 16-story, 80-unit luxury condominium has Philadelphia’s small preservation community up in arms. While preservation advocates aren’t ready to concede…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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