There are a slew of projects, permits and construction going on in Philly right now. Philadelphia’s crime rate as of recent years has been painting the city as something it hasn’t always been and looks to get out of soon. With the economy slowly repairing as the virus reaches new lows since the start of the pandemic, the city plans to turn vacant lots and factories into something useful. Philadelphia YIMBY details a lot of infrastructure projects in the city including: “A four-story, 53-unit apartment building proposed at 701 East Girard Avenue in Fishtown, Kensington. The building, also known under its full address of 701-19 East Girard Avenue, will replace a small strip mall at the northeast corner of East Girard Avenue and East Berks Street. Designed by JKRP Architects and developed by OCF Realty, with OCF Construction as the contractor, the structure will span 58,260 square feet and feature 7,817 square feet of ground-level commercial space, elevator service, a fitness center, bicycle storage, full sprinkling, a 10,999-square-foot green roof, and a 1,855-square-foot roof deck. Permits list the construction cost at $9.3 million.” Kensington is one of, if not the most needed, many revamps in the city, so this should be exciting to see developers looking at the neighborhood for ideas. In West Philadelphia, “A zoning permit has been issued for the construction of Amy Gutmann Hall at 3317-23 Chestnut Street in University City, West Philadelphia. The structure will house a research facility for Penn and will rise six stories tall, with academic space on the lower floors and a research center on the upper floors. The development will also include 29 parking spaces…..The building will feature a modern exterior, with the facade mostly comprised of glass. The cantilever on the upper five floors will feature stylish diagonal columns and a small covered space at the street level, which will make for a pleasant pedestrian experience.” West Philadelphia has already seen a lot of construction and development over the years, and this just adds more to an already flourishing area. Probably one of the biggest projects to come into Philly is Penn’s Landing Park on the Delaware waterfront— but the project has seen some delays. WHYY reports, “Philadelphia will have to wait two more years for construction to begin on a highway cap over Interstate 95 at Penn’s Landing. PennDOT Engineering District 6 spokesperson Brad E. Rudolph said the pandemic and other factors had pushed back a timeline that originally sought a 2021 groundbreaking for the long-awaited transformation of the Old City highway trench into parkland. At this point, state officials expect to put the project out to bid late next year with construction starting in 2023.” Obviously, COVID-19 and clearance issues are the main reasons, but this has been in the works for a while. This is something the city wants to finish and it’s going to happen. The Delaware waterfront website reports the park will include “A 11.5 acre park and civic space between Chestnut Street and Walnut Street, Front Street to the river, connecting the city to the waterfront. This new park will include a new skating rink, water features, a café and a variety of other active and passive uses. An architecturally distinctive extension of the South Street Bridge that will bring pedestrians directly to the waterfront. The construction of the two mile on-road section of the Delaware River Trail, from Spring Garden Street to Washington Avenue. In addition to these significant public improvements, the project is expected to generate approximately $1.6 billion of new revenues benefiting the City, School District, and Commonwealth. Potential future development includes two parcels that could bring 1,500 new housing units, 500 hotel rooms, and over 100,000 sq. ft. of retail, dining, and entertainment to the waterfront.” These are three of many projects that are happening in Philadelphia right now, so as residents of Philadelphia and surrounding areas, we should be excited about the city’s imminent new look.
Isaiah Ireland is a first-year Media & Culture major. II978280@wcupa.edu