Delaware River Waterfront Corporation establishes Design Review Committee to evaluate development proposals for the Central Delaware
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Thursday formed a committee that will review development proposals for the Central Delaware Waterfront and evaluate how well the proposals fit with the Central Delaware Master Plan.
The Design Review Committee will consider not only concrete things such as building height, waterfront setbacks and the presence or absence of active uses on the ground floor, but will ponder more subjective questions, for example: Has a developer who wants to build higher than the 100-foot limit the master plan calls for provided enough public amenities to warrant a taller building? The Committee will also evaluate building form and design.
The new committee is chaired by Marilyn Jordan Taylor, who also chairs the DRWC’s planning committee and is dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. The Committee’s support or opposition to a project, and its reasons, will be presented to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission before the PCPC decides whether or not to approve a project’s plan of development.
Taylor said DRWC board members began to feel the need to take on this role of advising developers and advocating for or against projects when a flurry of waterfront development proposals began going before the planning commission.
“We have a responsibility to stand up and be an on-going advocate for the plan,” she said. “We were not carrying forward with our full responsibility if we just said, ‘here’s the plan. And that’s enough.’”
RFP goes out for Spring Garden Connector project, plus other riverfront project updates
The Delaware River Corporation is seeking a designer for the Spring Garden Connector project – improvements with the goal of making walking or biking from Northern Liberties to the waterfront a more pleasant experience.
The work will stretch from Delaware Avenue/Columbus Boulevard to 2nd Street, with much of the project focused on the area beneath the huge I-95 overpass. The design will have to take into consideration that the overpass is going to be redone in about five years as part of the Revive 95 project. DRWC is hopeful that many of the elements can be stored for inspection, and then put back once the highway work is completed.
The RFP will remain open for bids for four weeks, after which the “short list” of candidates will be interviewed. DRWC Planner Lizzie Woods said the goal is to bring the staff recommendation to the board for a vote at the December meeting. The design and permitting process will likely take about six months with construction to begin next summer.