With overlay in place, future of Central Delaware is in private hands

Zoning map
Zoning map

With the adoption this spring of the Central Delaware Waterfront zoning overlay, the comprehensive visioning process begun six years ago is now as concrete as it’s going to get. Those who hope to see this underused waterfront turn into vibrant, publicly accessible space with well-designed buildings and an active mix of uses must trust the overlay–and the individuals who own the property.

For the rest of the summer, PlanPhilly will be taking a closer look at some of these properties and their owners to try to get a better sense of what the real possibilities are for the waterfront’s development in the near future. The parcels range in size from the nearly billion square foot Conrail property at the northern edge of the overlay to small plots holding single-family houses. They are owned by private individuals, current and former industrial companies, city agencies, and inscrutable LLCs. Their development over the next few decades will be a test of how effective zoning can be as a tool to guide private development.

The attached map shows (almost) every non-residential property in the overlay, which stretches from Oregon Ave. to Allegheny Ave., and Interstate 95 to the Delaware River. These properties were identified on a parcel map of the city and cross-checked with data from the Office of Property Assessment current as of January 2013. Take a look around and let us know what tracts pique your curiosity.

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