PlanPhilly

Real Estate Development

    • Caution tape surrounds an area at the Chester Hall apartments where a third floor balcony collapsed, critically injuring two men.

Two men critically injured in West Philly balcony collapse

Two men were critically injured Tuesday in the collapse of a third-floor fire escape landing in West Philadelphia, police said. It wasn’t immediately known why the men were on the landing…

    • An artist's rendering of the redevelopment proposed for South Philadelphia Shopping Center at 23rd and Oregon Avenue. (Cedar Realty Trust)

Fears of displacement are fueling a fight against the redevelopment of an old strip mall

A New York developer Cedar Realty Trust is partnering with Philadelphia’s Alterra Property Group to remake a suburban style strip mall on 23rd Street and Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia, with…

    • Thomas Sinnison, the owner of Nam Son Bakery, behind the counter of his South Philadelphia shop. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

New homes to replace one of South Philly’s pioneering Vietnamese shopping plazas

Nam Son Bakery is a cult landmark. Tucked into the Hoa Binh shopping plaza on 16th Street and Washington Avenue, the bakery is known for its delicious, cheap banh mi sandwiches…

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ABOUT REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT

Though it often has a negative connotation, development represents the absolutely crucial element of demand to use the urban form. Once completed, the development project ends up helping to define the built environment for future generations. Without development, there would be no city to plan. Despite the stigma often attached to it, development can meet both community needs and earn a profit when its design and program contributes to the larger urban framework.

It is important that development be regulated so that it supports the public health, safety, and welfare of a neighborhood, though this can be difficult to achieve today given the pressures facing the public sector due to rising social services needs and decreasing tax bases. Private developers often have leverage in these cases, which can lead to some unhealthy compromises that negatively affect our built environment. It is possible for development to be over-regulated, which often discourages investors from investing in particular cities. Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process. However, the re-zoning process currently underway by the Zoning Code Commission should go a long way in addressing this.  The goal is to set standards that encourage a balance of public good and private development.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT

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