Philadelphia waterfront plan gets boost from recent zoning change

    A long civic process has envisioned a new, vibrant future for the Central Delaware riverfront. That newly approved plan is about to get a reality test on the real estate market. Philadelphia’s Planning Commission has approved a zoning change for one of the riverfront’s biggest swaths of undeveloped land. Will the civic vision help attract developers to the property, or scare them away?

    A long civic process has envisioned a new, vibrant future for the Central Delaware riverfront. That newly approved plan is about to get a reality test on the real estate market. Philadelphia’s Planning Commission has approved a zoning change for one of the riverfront’s biggest swaths of undeveloped land. Will the civic vision help attract developers to the property, or scare them away?

    Listen:
    [audio: 090612ddwaterfront.mp3]

    Just northeast of Penn Treaty Park and the Delaware Power Station, paving contractor James Anderson owns 60 undeveloped acres. Pinnacle Entertainment wanted to put a casino there, but its bid for a license failed.

    The land had been zoned industrial. Now the Planning Commission has approved Anderson’s request to rezone it. Alan Greenberger is the planning commission’s executive director.

    Greenberger: The change to a commercial mixed use zone signals to the development community that we’re interested in hearing about these kinds of proposals and it removes one potential obstacle to their happening.

    Greenberger says the Planning Commission would be interested in many kinds of uses on the site, so long as they are consistent with the vision plan recently approved by City Council.

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