Canal Street North OKd by Planning | thinking big about bike share | Hotels for 15th and Chestnut | Economic impact of Philly CDCs

Good morning, Streeters. It’s 12/12/12 today, if you’re into that sort of thing. (And if you’re really into that sort of thing, you can hear a lecture at the Penn Museum about the ancient Maya prediction that time would end tonight.) Here’s your Wednesday morning Buzz:

The Planning Commission gave conditional approval to Canal Street North, developer Michael Samschick’s planned entertainment complex at the old Ajax Metal Works across from SugarHouse, reports PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey. Before Samschick’s Core Realty can move forward his company must: prove support from all area Registered Community Organizations, control of a minimum of 500 parking spaces in the area, consider closure of parts of Canal and Allen streets or sidewalk widening, discuss traffic and loading with the Streets Department and Planning Commission, and confirm that all signage will be accessory to on-site uses.

Philly’s late arrival on the bike-share bandwagon gives us an opportunity to learn from other cities that have bike-share programs. An Inquirer editorial today suggests that Philly shouldn’t be afraid to consider a bigger bike-share system than the one proposed last week. Philly’s limited share area – from Center City north to Temple and west to University City – may be too small to be successful. “While the city’s bike-share system is still in the planning stages, it’s worth exploring whether a larger system makes sense. At least, it would be prudent to build the capacity to expand quickly if it becomes clear that bike-sharing, as expected, becomes the next cool Philly thing.”

The empty corner of 15th and Chestnut streets will get a luxury W Hotel and Element by Westin extended-stay hotel, reports the Inquirer. Cope Linder will design the dual-branded 50-story hotel, which is expected to break ground next year.

Over the last two decades Community Development Corporations have directly contributed $2.2 billion to the local economy and $1.1 billion in local spending, according to a report released today by the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that PACDC’s findings are based on a study by EConsult, and funded by Citi Community Development. Among the other findings: CDCs created 11,600 local jobs, raised city property values by $680 million through construction and anti-blight activities, and contributed $4.3 million in local taxes annually. ““You can imagine how much different Philadelphia’s neighborhoods would be right now if [CDCs] hadn’t been sweating all those years to start turning neighborhoods around before new investment was attracted,” Rick Sauer, director of PACDC said. Sauer and Donald Haskin also have an op-ed in today’s paper, making the case that money put toward CDCs is money well spent.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.


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