Members of CDAG are hopeful that the plans of a developer who owns a significant swath of the Central Delaware Riverfront will line up nicely with the city’s goals.
As detailed in a previous PlanPhilly story, Michael Samschick is working on a master plan to re-develop several blocks he owns. The first phase of the first project, at the southern end of his holdings, is the conversion of two former auto storage buildings into rental apartments with high-end technology. The first of the Pennthouses at Penn Treaty Village has occupants, and work will begin on the second storage building conversion within months.
While completion of Samschick’s master plan is still a couple of months out, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group said at its meeting last week that his previous work – the reuse of the old storage buildings and other buildings he’s re-purposed in Northern Liberties – is a hopeful sign. So are his statements that he doesn’t intend to build high-rises, and the fact that he’s been talking about his plans with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation – the quasi-city agency that oversaw development of the Central Delaware Master Plan for the city. DRWC President Tom Corcoran recently told PlanPhilly that while he is waiting to see Samschick’s master plan before passing final judgment, the developer’s ideas could certainly fit with the Central Delaware goals. CDAG took a similar tone of cautious optimism.
Several board members who have had dealings with Samschick said he has the where-with-all to take on a project this large. CDAG members said this large a project, built with the Central Delaware Master Plan’s principles, could jump start future development that also fits.