The Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG) and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) devoted the majority of their first meetings toward reviewing on-going waterfront projects.
DRWC is the agency that oversees the Central Delaware Master Plan and manages public land on the Delaware River and work by private developers. Representatives of waterfront neighborhood civic groups and other organizations comprise CDAG which was created to advocate for the Master Plan – which means they spend much of their time analyzing the work done by both DRWC and developers.
At its January meeting, CDAG members appeared to be pleased with both. They praised DRWC’s progress on parks and trails, and future projects that include private development.
CDAG members noted private projects, including two townhouse developments – one group on the 400 Block of Front Street in Rivers Edge by developer David Perlman, and another soon-to-be-under construction community of 75 townhousesby US Construction at 735 S. Columbus Boulevard in Queen Village. They said both would help realize the city’s goal of extending neighborhoods down to the waterfront.
“Sometimes, I think projects of that scale don’t get the recognition they really deserve,” CDAG Vice Chair Joe Schiavo, who lives in Old City, said of the Rivers Edge townhomes. “It’s very much in keeping with the intention of the master plan of bringing the scale of the Philadelphia neighborhood to the river.”
That’s not to say that CDAG didn’t have some concerns.
Marsha Bacal, who represents Society Hill Towers, had earlier Thursday heard a presentation to the Design Advocacy Group on a huge master plan project – the redevelopment of Penn’s Landing, including, among other things, capping part of I-95 to directly connect Society Hill to the riverfront. Bacal said Hargreaves’ Mary Margaret Jones presented more details than were aired at the public meeting on the project held in October, and Bacal was concerned that the project would move ahead without additional public input.
The Penn’s Landing project and Hargreaves study was a topic at the DRWC meeting, as well. Planner and Project Manager Karen Thompson said Hargreaves is “entering into the final phase of their study” and is “looking to be substantially complete in February.”
More project updates can found at: http://planphilly.com/articles/2014/01/13/waterfront-agency-advocacy-group-review-projects