PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • 'Philadelphia Delivers' submission to Amazon HQ2 RFP. Credit: DAG.

Big bits of unfinished business get little adjustments by City Council

At its second-to-last meeting before the summer recess, City Council made minor amendments only to its budget proposal and to construction-tax legislation, two of the biggest pieces of unfinished business on…

    • Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, whose parking bill was delayed in the Rules Committee

RCO insurance measure moves to next Council step; parking minimums hold

The array of controversial measures City Council will be considering before its summer recess has narrowed.  Legislation boosting mandatory parking minimums was held in the Rules Committee on Tuesday, marking the…

    • Scaffolding surrounds the proposed site of a Fishtown hotel, next to Frankford Hall. The sidewalk has been blocked off for years. A Shepard Fairey mural is painted on the side of the building.

Whither the proposed Fishtown hotel now that its variance has lapsed?

In the much-discussed -- and much-derided -- Forbes article christening Fishtown the “hottest new neighborhood in America,” developer Roland Kassis was a star character. The author rode with Kassis in his…

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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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