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  #14621  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 1:58 AM
3rd&Brown 3rd&Brown is offline
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Originally Posted by jsbrook View Post
On the whole rezoning of the Delaware thing, I waffle. I get that the motivation here was not to preserve "neighborhood character" as there are few neighborhoods and little character along the waterfront.

The motivation behind this zoning was to spread out development so there wouldn't be one isolated tall building with a few token stores and nothing else for blocks before hitting another tall building with no connection to other city neighborhoods and nothing surrounding it either. Rinse, repeat. Along the whole stretch. That said, in order to "spread" development, there has to be an interest in the first place. Because most of the river is so cut off from the rest of the city, there is little such interest. So I think I'm coming around to the view that we should just dispose of limits and let things grow organically (though this particular project is fanciful and this particular developer a joke). It may just take some time before we see infill between these isolated developments or things like the 11 acre parking that will cover I-95 and Columbus between Walnut and Chestnut making the adjacent riverfront desirable.

For all its good intentions, I'm not sure the current plan is actually helping the Delaware riverfront develop faster or better.

I get the sense you're like 22 or something.

The plan that exists is intended to guide development for the next generation or two.

Sorry that isn't fast enough for you.

But worthwhile urban neighborhoods aren't built in a day.
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  #14622  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 1:58 AM
jjv007 jjv007 is offline
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Originally Posted by jsbrook View Post
On the whole rezoning of the Delaware thing, I waffle. I get that the motivation here was not to preserve "neighborhood character" as there are few neighborhoods and little character along the waterfront.

The motivation behind this zoning was to spread out development so there wouldn't be one isolated tall building with a few token stores and nothing else for blocks before hitting another tall building with no connection to other city neighborhoods and nothing surrounding it either. Rinse, repeat. Along the whole stretch. That said, in order to "spread" development, there has to be an interest in the first place. Because most of the river is so cut off from the rest of the city, there is little such interest. So I think I'm coming around to the view that we should just dispose of limits and let things grow organically (though this particular project is fanciful and this particular developer a joke). It may just take some time before we see infill between these isolated developments or things like the 11 acre parking that will cover I-95 and Columbus between Walnut and Chestnut making the adjacent riverfront desirable.

For all its good intentions, I'm not sure the current plan is actually helping the Delaware riverfront develop faster or better.
Precisely. Under other circumstances, I would be inclined to trust the city's "process" but I don't see it as very effective/necessary all things considered. I too find this particular project though to be pretty much pie in the sky.
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  #14623  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 1:58 AM
acenturi acenturi is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
19th and Ludlow

Will be a POD Hotel. 252 rooms.
That's a great location for this type of Hotel, minimal competition, yet close to everything not historic. IMO, they have just about the most convoluted booking engine I've ever experienced. The people who invented it should be sent to a competitor.
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  #14624  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 1:26 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
I get the sense you're like 22 or something.

The plan that exists is intended to guide development for the next generation or two.

Sorry that isn't fast enough for you.

But worthwhile urban neighborhoods aren't built in a day.
Your ad hominen aside, I haven't seen any evidence or facts from you that would suggest the current zoning would develop the area better or faster or is any more likely to achieve its longterm goals.
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  #14625  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 1:39 PM
Larry King Larry King is online now
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Your ad hominen aside, I haven't seen any evidence or facts from you that would suggest the current zoning would develop the area better or faster or is any more likely to achieve its longterm goals.
Delaware master plan is pure fantasy. We're in the 8th inning of a boom market in town and all that happened there was a townhouse community surrounded by a 10 foot wall and a AAA store. Need highly amenitized high rises to entice people to move across 95/columbus.
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  #14626  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 2:13 PM
McBane McBane is offline
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I always go back and forth on the Delaware riverfront.

On one hand, I get what the city is doing. Recognizing the limited demand (because our waterfront is not Miami) for this area, planners placed a height cap to spread development horizontally in the hopes of eventually creating continuous development coupled with various schemes to "close the gap" between the city and the waterfront. This is a noble and good idea.

But, is it realistic to extend the urban grid to the waterfront, to truly integrate it, and transform it into a cohesive neighborhood? Is having one area of the city dedicated to Waterfront Square type of development really a bad thing? Let me re-phrase: is having this type of "anti-urban" development better than what some would argue is an unattainable dream? There does seem to be a market segment that wants city living without giving up their privacy and highway access (plus views from the waterfront are killer!).

While I really don't have an answer to these questions, I definitely am against the up-zoning of this parcel in South Philly simply because this is a money grab from a small time developer that will never ever put a shovel in the ground. If the project was fully financed and needed just this one piece of legislation to start construction, I'd be singing a different tune. But as it stands now - no, no, no.
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  #14627  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 2:18 PM
1487 1487 is offline
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Originally Posted by McBane View Post
I always go back and forth on the Delaware riverfront.

On one hand, I get what the city is doing. Recognizing the limited demand (because our waterfront is not Miami) for this area, planners placed a height cap to spread development horizontally in the hopes of eventually creating continuous development coupled with various schemes to "close the gap" between the city and the waterfront. This is a noble and good idea.

But, is it realistic to extend the urban grid to the waterfront, to truly integrate it, and transform it into a cohesive neighborhood? Is having one area of the city dedicated to Waterfront Square type of development really a bad thing? Let me re-phrase: is having this type of "anti-urban" development better than what some would argue is an unattainable dream?

While I really don't have an answer to these questions, I definitely am against the up-zoning of this parcel in South Philly simply because this is a money grab from a small time developer that will never ever put a shovel in the ground. If the project was fully financed and needed just this one piece of legislation to start construction, I'd be singing a different tune. But as it stands now - no, no, no.
the thing is there is no evidence there is pent up demand for hi rise living along the river. It's not like developers are pressed to build 30 story towers along the river but are stymied by the zoning. WS never even got to it's originally planned 5 towers.
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  #14628  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 2:46 PM
br323206 br323206 is offline
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[QUOTE=PhilliesPhan;7808927]
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Sorry if this seems unrelated to your post, but do you know if the 38th Street south of Lancaster Avenue is zoned above CMX-3? Although widening 38th Street was a mistake in my eyes, it does appear that it would make for a nice little highrise corridor within University City. I know that 3737 Chestnut was constructed and 3800 Market is proposed, but those projects abut arterial corridors.
The east side of 38th Street from Lancaster to Sansom is all CMX-4 so highrises are possible. The west side is a mix. RM-1 between Lancaster and Filbert (Penn Presbyterian), then CMX-4 down to Ludlow (parking lot), CMX-4/RM-4 (narrow strip of CMX-4 along front and RM-4 behind, the frontage is Santander and Star of India) down to Sansom.
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  #14629  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 3:07 PM
jjv007 jjv007 is offline
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Originally Posted by larry king View Post
delaware master plan is pure fantasy. We're in the 8th inning of a boom market in town and all that happened there was a townhouse community surrounded by a 10 foot wall and a aaa store. Need highly amenitized high rises to entice people to move across 95/columbus.
+1
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  #14630  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 3:11 PM
jjv007 jjv007 is offline
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Originally Posted by McBane View Post
I always go back and forth on the Delaware riverfront.

On one hand, I get what the city is doing. Recognizing the limited demand (because our waterfront is not Miami) for this area, planners placed a height cap to spread development horizontally in the hopes of eventually creating continuous development coupled with various schemes to "close the gap" between the city and the waterfront. This is a noble and good idea.

But, is it realistic to extend the urban grid to the waterfront, to truly integrate it, and transform it into a cohesive neighborhood? Is having one area of the city dedicated to Waterfront Square type of development really a bad thing? Let me re-phrase: is having this type of "anti-urban" development better than what some would argue is an unattainable dream? There does seem to be a market segment that wants city living without giving up their privacy and highway access (plus views from the waterfront are killer!).

While I really don't have an answer to these questions, I definitely am against the up-zoning of this parcel in South Philly simply because this is a money grab from a small time developer that will never ever put a shovel in the ground. If the project was fully financed and needed just this one piece of legislation to start construction, I'd be singing a different tune. But as it stands now - no, no, no.
Well stated. Waterfront Square-esque development isn't bad at all if demand can be met. The waterfront doesn't have to match the same sort of urban fabric as the rest of the city. The city's big "masterplan" is more worthy of Wilmington than Philly. Down zoning just for the sake of it is pointless. Let things grow organically; it's not like everythings gonna be a high rise anyway.
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  #14631  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 3:20 PM
3rd&Brown 3rd&Brown is offline
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Originally Posted by jjv007 View Post
+1
Which must be why towers 4 & 5 of Waterfront Square never happened.

Put simply, you assume there is some massive demographic subset of potential buyers who don't have an option they're looking for. That is, suburbanites who don't really want to be in the city and want a "resort" lifestyle on the river.

I'd argue that demographic is next to zero. This is demonstrated by the lack of towers 4 & 5 at Waterfront Square; the lack of demand at Dockside (units are still for sale from the original offering; etc, etc.

The reality is, that if you are going to accepts the "costs" of living in Philadelphia (i.e. wage taxes, etc), the only offset is to have a truly dynamic urban experience (i.e. not in a cloistered building behind closed walls).

The only thing that is going to make the waterfront more successful is to create an environment where that can happen; that is, to extend the grid from the core and make it as connected to Center City as possible. It's already happening in spades north of the Ben Franklin Bridge...we just need to figure out the mechanism South of the Bridge (maybe the cap will work).

Add to that, the last thing the southern end of Delaware Avenue needs is more cars.
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  #14632  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 3:26 PM
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Knight Hospitaller Knight Hospitaller is offline
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Originally Posted by jsbrook View Post
17th and Ludlow or 19th and Ludlow? Is this the hotel that's been planned across from the Enterprise? If so, it's 19th and Ludlow.
I meant 19th. Sorry. Fixed it.

Last edited by Knight Hospitaller; May 19, 2017 at 4:12 PM.
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  #14633  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 4:05 PM
1487 1487 is offline
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
Which must be why towers 4 & 5 of Waterfront Square never happened.

Put simply, you assume there is some massive demographic subset of potential buyers who don't have an option they're looking for. That is, suburbanites who don't really want to be in the city and want a "resort" lifestyle on the river.

I'd argue that demographic is next to zero. This is demonstrated by the lack of towers 4 & 5 at Waterfront Square; the lack of demand at Dockside (units are still for sale from the original offering; etc, etc.

The reality is, that if you are going to accepts the "costs" of living in Philadelphia (i.e. wage taxes, etc), the only offset is to have a truly dynamic urban experience (i.e. not in a cloistered building behind closed walls).

The only thing that is going to make the waterfront more successful is to create an environment where that can happen; that is, to extend the grid from the core and make it as connected to Center City as possible. It's already happening in spades north of the Ben Franklin Bridge...we just need to figure out the mechanism South of the Bridge (maybe the cap will work).

Add to that, the last thing the southern end of Delaware Avenue needs is more cars.

moving to a gated waterfront community is counterproductive for many folks looking to move into the city. There is still nothing over there so you have to get everything by car or by delivery. There is no real neighborhood along the river which is what the zoning overlay is hoping to change. They want to prevent the waterfront from being cordoned off in private developments that are totally separated from the city or the riverfront trails. I think it's proven there isn't a huge demand for segregated residential towers with huge amounts of parking.
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  #14634  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 5:04 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
Which must be why towers 4 & 5 of Waterfront Square never happened.

Put simply, you assume there is some massive demographic subset of potential buyers who don't have an option they're looking for. That is, suburbanites who don't really want to be in the city and want a "resort" lifestyle on the river.

I'd argue that demographic is next to zero. This is demonstrated by the lack of towers 4 & 5 at Waterfront Square; the lack of demand at Dockside (units are still for sale from the original offering; etc, etc.

The reality is, that if you are going to accepts the "costs" of living in Philadelphia (i.e. wage taxes, etc), the only offset is to have a truly dynamic urban experience (i.e. not in a cloistered building behind closed walls).

The only thing that is going to make the waterfront more successful is to create an environment where that can happen; that is, to extend the grid from the core and make it as connected to Center City as possible. It's already happening in spades north of the Ben Franklin Bridge...we just need to figure out the mechanism South of the Bridge (maybe the cap will work).

Add to that, the last thing the southern end of Delaware Avenue needs is more cars.
Demand is quite anemic for the Delaware Waterfront, whether its for highrise living or townhomes or other development that is permissible under current zoning. That's the core problem. Obviously, zoning that allows highrise development doesn't PROHIBIT lowrise or midrise development that spans more of the riverfront. Is your objection that you think highrise zoning would necessarily inflate the price of land, regardless of demand, such that lowrise or midrise development would become cost prohibitive?
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  #14635  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 5:34 PM
3rd&Brown 3rd&Brown is offline
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Originally Posted by jsbrook View Post
Demand is quite anemic for the Delaware Waterfront, whether its for highrise living or townhomes or other development that is permissible under current zoning. That's the core problem. Obviously, zoning that allows highrise development doesn't PROHIBIT lowrise or midrise development that spans more of the riverfront. Is your objection that you think highrise zoning would necessarily inflate the price of land, regardless of demand, such that lowrise or midrise development would become cost prohibitive?
I think allowing this zoning to occur in spite of the overlay actually INCREASES the likelihood it won't be developed because it will increase the cost of the land for the next developer who actually might intend to build something, making development of the parcel increasingly more difficult.

If you buy land assuming it's zoned for a million apartments and propose anything less, it becomes financially unfeasible. Add to that, since we all agree there is no demand for high rise living behind Walmart on Delaware Avenue, then any bank is even MORE unlikely to permit financing because what neanderthal is going to agree to give out loans for high rise condominiums behind the Walmart in South Philly?

You see how this works?

If the developer making this proposal actually demonstrated the wherewithall to get something done (i.e. Toll, Southern Land, etc), then we can talk.

Until then, this is just an academic exercise.
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  #14636  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 5:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
I think allowing this zoning to occur in spite of the overlay actually INCREASES the likelihood it won't be developed because it will increase the cost of the land for the next developer who actually might intend to build something, making development of the parcel increasingly more difficult.

If you buy land assuming it's zoned for a million apartments and propose anything less, it becomes financially unfeasible. Add to that, since we all agree there is no demand for high rise living behind Walmart on Delaware Avenue, then any bank is even MORE unlikely to permit financing because what neanderthal is going to agree to give out loans for high rise condominiums behind the Walmart in South Philly?

You see how this works?

If the developer making this proposal actually demonstrated the wherewithall to get something done (i.e. Toll, Southern Land, etc), then we can talk.

Until then, this is just an academic exercise.
I was asking a different, more nuanced question. It's pretty damn clear that this particular project on this particular parcel is pie in the sky and not likely to happen. So, upzoning will just increase the value of land and keep it stagnant until a serious developer with the wherewithal to build a highrise here comes along. But this proposal is for global rezoning, albeit motivated by this specific project. So, is there evidence that the ability to build taller would elevate the cost of land for parcels across the riverfront, making lowrise and midrise development less likely on the riverfront globally?

Whether we should revisit the Delaware Master Plan and whether a zoning change for this particular project is warranted are actually two different issues. To me, the answer to the latter is clearly a no. Whether the Delaware Master Plan spells out the ideal zoning uses deserves more thought and perhaps a reassessment.

Last edited by jsbrook; May 19, 2017 at 6:50 PM.
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  #14637  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 6:33 PM
Philadelcago Philadelcago is offline
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Originally Posted by 3rd&Brown View Post
I think allowing this zoning to occur in spite of the overlay actually INCREASES the likelihood it won't be developed because it will increase the cost of the land for the next developer who actually might intend to build something, making development of the parcel increasingly more difficult.

If you buy land assuming it's zoned for a million apartments and propose anything less, it becomes financially unfeasible. Add to that, since we all agree there is no demand for high rise living behind Walmart on Delaware Avenue, then any bank is even MORE unlikely to permit financing because what neanderthal is going to agree to give out loans for high rise condominiums behind the Walmart in South Philly?

You see how this works?

If the developer making this proposal actually demonstrated the wherewithall to get something done (i.e. Toll, Southern Land, etc), then we can talk.

Until then, this is just an academic exercise.

I agree. Why do we have to do this, as a city, backwards? It seems like every time X random developer comes along and demands zoning be changed to accommodate their plans, fine, as long as you can prove and show evidence that you have full financing in place to fully complete the development in all Y phases. Then let's talk about granting the spot zoning you seek. Otherwise, I think you better play by the rules.

I'm 100% pro development but I think we can all agree this sounds pretty shady.
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  #14638  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 6:36 PM
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[QUOTE=McBane;7809870]I always go back and forth on the Delaware riverfront.

On one hand, I get what the city is doing. Recognizing the limited demand (because our waterfront is not Miami) for this area, planners placed a height cap to spread development horizontally in the hopes of eventually creating continuous development coupled with various schemes to "close the gap" between the city and the waterfront. This is a noble and good idea. QUOTE]


It sounds to me that whoever put together the present zoning made no distinctions between highrise buildings and low-rise/townhouse developments, and no distinctions between apartment buildings and owner occupied buildings. Does anyone know?
I think the market for highrise condo construction would be very different from the market for townhouses. I think that each building type attracts certain buyers and not others. I can also easily imagine that the market for highrise apartments is much different from highrise condos.
But it sounds like the zoning has just lumped everything into one pot, and looks at all housing as 'housing'.
I think part of the problem might be that European type planning/zoning would be considered too socialist for this country. But very few people want a completely open marketplace based, anything goes anyplace, type set up either. So we end up with half baked attempts at social control through zoning, but the present (and proposed) zoning tends to look at all housing through one pair of glasses. That would be like saying on the commercial side of zoning that the corner store is the same as a big box store.

What makes me think of this is didn't the current zoning overlay come out of the last 'boom' cycle, one where highrise condos were much more the item then apartments. In this cycle it seems that apartments are being built 20 to 1 over condos. Where the present zoning was written with the idea of trying to somewhat control development that was assumed would be owner occupied buildings what we are getting is a huge build of apartments. My premise is a neighborhood, an area can change more rapidly through apartment construction the owner occupied buildings. I think most people 'buy' with the intent of staying there for at least 5 years, and there's a lot of money involved, where with apartments the relationship is much more fleeting; here today, gone tomorrow. Shouldn't zoning acknowledge those differences, if there are true?

But in any case, the present proposed zoning changes seem very much directed toward one project that doesn't have a snowball's chance of ever even getting to the drawing board, never mind actual construction. It all makes me wonder why the councilman is pushing for this. If it doesn't benefit any one community and its doubtful whether it would help the public at large, what's in it for him? Maybe his cousin is part owner of some land in the district.
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  #14639  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 7:39 PM
Flyers2001 Flyers2001 is offline
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Originally Posted by Knight Hospitaller View Post
I meant 19th. Sorry. Fixed it.
Isn't there a strip of "fake" houses along there somewhere, offering full body massages?

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9526...8i6656!6m1!1e1
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  #14640  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 7:45 PM
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With one bill, Squilla undermines a decade of waterfront planning
Updated: MAY 18, 2017 — 11:23 AM EDT
http://www.philly.com/philly/columni...-20170518.html
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