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2012 a busy year for Philadelphia planning and development, P.2

12/26/2012 | Real Estate Blog

In our last post, we began to speak about the variety of planning and development activity that has taken place in Philadelphia in the last year. As we noted last time, it was a busy year, particularly with respect to the Delaware Riverfront and district level planning.

One large idea that came up is the development of the Delaware riverfront trail and publicly controlled parcels to encourage private development. Back in June, the Philadelphia Central Planning Commission approved a plan of development for Ensemble Real Estate’s Marina View Towers. Then in September, commissioners approved a plan for a 209-unit residential development at Piers 34 and 25, as well as an Ensemble project. Both of these developments, however are taller than the 100-foot maximum suggested by the master plan, and their approval is what led the Central Delaware Advocacy Group to push for a concrete bonus structure that establishes what developers must provide in order to be able to build at that height.

Mosaic Development Partners came up with a plan to turn the former Blue Horizon boxing venue into a boutique hotel with restaurants and a jazz club. A zoning change for the project was approved back in March and the change was made in May. Work on that project is expected to begin in 2013.

In casino news, developer Bart Blatstein hopes to redevelop the former Inquirer building and surrounding properties into a residential and commercial complex he hopes will include the city’s second casino. The state has already received six applications for that second license, and the applicants will be presenting their proposals in February at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

In addition to these planning and development events, the city also implemented its updated zoning code, which is, in turn, set to have a huge impact on development and planning.

Source: Plan Philly, “Planning and development, a look back at 2012,” Kellie Patrick Gates, December 20, 2012.