Peering Ahead To A New Festival Pier

 

The proposed restructuring of Festival "Pier's" piers. | Thornton Tomasetti

The proposed restructuring of Festival “Pier’s” piers. | Thornton Tomasetti

  • Eyes on the Street further contextualizes the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s motions, just now manifesting in earnest, toward the redevelopment of the Central Delaware Master Plan’s Festival Pier. Actually the amalgamation of several piers constructed during the 20th century’s first six decades, the riparian public space would require an $8 million investment just to make eight of the site’s eleven acres sound enough to build upon; substantial environmental remediation would also be required for this industrial legacy site. Although the DRWC likely will not hold any developer to the specifics laid out in 2012’s Master Plan (700 residential units, 55,000-square-feet of retail, dining, and entertainment and 55,000-square-feet of service retail), it will demand 50-foot-wide promenades along the entirety of the embankment and an unobstructed extension of Spring Garden Street to the riverbank.
  • In East Falls a retaining wall from the late-1920s stands—barely—as one of 78 common walls throughout the city that Street Commissioner David Perri says is structurally unsound. NewsWorks reports that the wall (affecting the 3400 blocks of West Penn Street and Midvale Avenue) isn’t even among the worst; it contributes a mere $500,000 to a $22 million problem. And so, says Perri, a holistic, long-term solution is needed, one that distributes property owners’ responsibility for repaying the City over time, perhaps through loans, a surcharge on real estate taxes, or supervision of payments by homeowners associations.
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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