Eastwick development stalled | Marina View Towers approved by Planning | Pier 70 today | Wreck Centers | Latham refreshed

Korman Residential’s proposals for a 722-unit apartment complex next to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Eastwick was met with pushback in a Council committee hearing Tuesday, reports PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates. Eastwick residents and environmental advocates voiced concerns about flooding, lack of community notification, and threats to the refuge’s flora and fauna. But details revealed late in the hearing about an airport land swap, lawsuit settlement, and transactional zoning raised the ire of Councilman Jim Kenney who was vocal in his opposition, after which Councilman Kenyatta Johnson decided to hold the zoning bill in committee.

The Planning Commission approved the Plan of Development for the proposed Marina View Towers, an 11-story apartment building just north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on North Columbus Boulevard. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the commissioners still had objections to the bland design that does little to activate the street with ground-floor commercial use, but ultimately opted to approve the plan – the first since the adoption of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware.

NewsWorks checks in with a postcard from Pier 70, the waterfront piers behind the box-stores on Columbus Boulevard where fishermen, feral cats, homeless individuals, and intrepid explorers peacefully commingle. Soon Pier 70 will become a waterfront park, held by the Natural Lands Trust, and form the southern terminus of the waterfront bike trail.

Deferred maintenance and limited budgets have turned many of the city’s rec centers into crumbling wrecks.  What’s more parks and neighborhood advocates contend that inadequate funding for Parks and Rec facilities also contribute to the city’s problems with crime and childhood obesity. “We’re turning $500 problems into $500,000 problems,” Philadelphia Parks Alliance’s Lauren Bornfriend told the Inquirer.

The historic Latham Hotel’s guest rooms and public spaces were recently refreshed. JoAnn Greco checked in on the hotel’s renovated public spaces for PlanPhilly.


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