Small Steps To Energize West Market Street

 

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“A rendering for the three-story addition to 1700 Market. The addition will fill in the existing plaza at 17th and Market with a small building housing three restaurants.” | DAS Architects

“A rendering for the three-story addition to 1700 Market. The addition will fill in the existing plaza at 17th and Market with a small building housing three restaurants.” | DAS Architects

  • Market Street, from City Hall to the Schuylkill, arguably offers the pedestrian the greatest discrepancy in Philadelphia between what a corridor ought to be and its reality. But as Inga Saffron writes today in her “Changing Skyline” column, “Philadelphia’s most boring street” is changing, albeit reservedly. As of late, new tower owners have been keen to enliven their ground floors by “upgrading their lobbies, and filling in arcades and plazas to enlarge their retail spaces and energize their sidewalk frontage.” While the work at Five Penn Center and the Independence Blue Cross building are underwhelming, forthcoming efforts to bring three sit-down restaurants and a fast-food franchise to a “glorified cut-through” of a plaza at 17th Street are more promising.
  • It took two years but the Philadelphia Land Bank is finally set to get its first parcels of land as early as next week, the vast majority (700/809) of which are located in María Quiñones-Sánchez’s 7th Councilmanic District. “The next step,” reports Plan Philly, “will be for the Redevelopment Authority to accept the transfers from the city, and then to transfer them to the Land Bank. The Land Bank will then market the properties for individual sale, package them for larger developments, or deed them over to homeowners as side yards.”
  • In his latest retrospective of the outgoing mayor’s performance, NewsWorks’ Dave Heller chats with two key players involved in Michael Nutter’s quest to make ours “the greenest city in America.” Commending the mayor with an “A” grading, Mark Alan Hughes of PennDesign discusses some of the lessons gleaned, such as the need to coordinate specific sustainability benchmarks. Katie Bartolotta, Philadelphia Outreach Coordinator for PennFuture, leaves room for improvement for Jim Kenney, giving his predecessor an “A-” for his ability to ensure funding for sustainability efforts even after the advent of “an era of permanent fiscal crisis” early in his tenure. 
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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