PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • screen shot 2018 02 02 at 11 36 14 am

A tweak to the city's plumbing code on tap to lower housing costs, but will Philly politics stand in the way?

On Thursday, the city took a first step towards modernizing the city's plumbing code in ways that development industry insiders say could lead to more affordable housing and lowered construction costs across…

    • Robinson building, 1020 Market Street | Ashley Hahn, January 2018

On Market East, an unusual fight in old battle pitting preservation against progress

By Ashley Hahn Market Street east of City Hall was one of Philly’s great shopping streets. After years of decline, the tide has shifted, bringing new development to parts of this…

    • 702 Sansom rendering, from NE | January 2018

Why is Toll Bros. designing a "background" building for an iconic Philly neighborhood?

By Ashley Hahn After a couple of false starts, Toll Bros. is advancing a scaled-back proposal for a condo building, replacing five buildings at the edge of Jewelers’ Row. Toll unveiled…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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