Time Is Right To Redevelop Festival Pier, Says Waterfront Corporation

 

“Master Plan for the Central Delaware’s Festival Pier Rendering, showing the redevelopment of the entire 11-acre site.” | Courtesy of Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

“Master Plan for the Central Delaware’s Festival Pier Rendering, showing the redevelopment of the entire 11-acre site.” | Courtesy of Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

  • Feeling the time is right to finally begin the mixed-use redevelopment of Festival Pier at Spring Garden Street, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is soliciting formal “requests for expression of interest,” reports the Philadelphia Business Journal. According to vice president for operations and development Joe Forkin, the DRWC regards the 11-acre site—surrounded as it is by a rush of private investment in recent years—as arguably the best place to catalyze further development and realize its vision of a dynamic waterfront that “feels like a natural extension of the city.”
  • A housing report released by the Center City District yesterday speaks to the improving fortunes of downtown’s residential market, as nearly 2,000 units were delivered last year. “In addition,” says a press release, “there are 3,681 more units in progress in Greater Center City, with the mix of units closely resembling what has come on line in recent years: 75% apartments, 15% single-family homes, and 10% condominiums.” For these and other findings, peruse the report HERE. 
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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8 Comments


  1. I guess it is just me, but I think the Divine Lorraine is one “butt” ugly building! Like I said, I’m sure it is just me.

  2. What I’d like to see at festival pier is a world class pier for cruise ships to dock at. Why isn’t Philadelphia a major stop for these cruise lines ?

    • Because they can’t sail, under the Walt Whitman Bridge which was designed too low for the now overlarge cruise ships. I remember picking up a friend from the QE2 years ago – it had to dock below the WW which is not exactly an attractive gateway to the city.

    • The short answer is the same reason we lost out on freight shipping via sea in the late 19th century: we’re too far up the Delaware. New York is right on a huge tidal estuary and Baltimore is likewise very close to the Atlantic.

      Here, ships have to come 30-odd miles up the river under (as mentioned) some bridges and then turn around and do it all again to get back out to sea. It doesn’t make economic sense, which is the big passenger lines all ran out of NYC and expected people to take the train up there.

      The upside? we’re well-protected from major hurricanes and other weather events. They only way for us to get a Sandy-type storm would be for it to hit the mouth of Delaware Bay, and that’s long odds.

  3. The city had a cruise facility at the naval yard but they closed it when no ships came. Sad and embarrassing compared to Baltimore’s many cruise sailings. (Washington DC’s affluent consumers?)
    Philadelpha is low on international airlines too. There is a perception/prejudice that Philadelphians just aren’t travelers. I’m not sure why Philadelphians would be different than others.

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