Appropriate Development On Tap For Vacant Lot Next to Ben Franklin Bridge

On Delaware Ave. (or Columbus Blvd., whatever), just past the Ben Franklin Bridge, you've probably noticed the collection of large vacant lots that have seen numerous proposals over the years but little progress. But now, it seems, the lot closest to the bridge is finally on its way.

Current view

According to Plan Philly, a new mixed-use project could soon be rising at this location. PMC Property Group has a plan for 230 N. Columbus Blvd. that includes 250 apartment units, 73 parking spaces, and a ton of green space. Interestingly, the project, dubbed 1 Water Street, includes no commercial uses. Design comes from Varenhorst, the same firm that designed the PMC building at 1900 Arch Street. Check out these renderings:

Project rendering

Aerial view

A couple of other projects had gotten approval for this site in the past, but this new one has garnered more community support. The Central Delaware Advocacy Group likes the project, which will be built by right under the Central Delaware Zoning Overlay. The developer is gaining height bonuses for including extra public green space and adding an affordability component for 10% of the residential units. We'll be watching closely to see just how much less expensive those units end up being.

This project, which seems like it's on a fast track toward construction, is a serious step in the right direction for a stretch that's remained persistently vacant despite proximity to amenities like Old City and the Race Street Pier. Hopefully, if the project is successful, the vacant lots next door could meet a similar fate. We just hope that density continues to rule the day on this section of Columbus Boulevard. Remember, less than a mile to the south, seventy-five town homes are being built on a similarly positioned parcel. In our minds, 1 Water Street blows that project away. What do you think, thoughtful reader?