Over the weekend, we were enjoying a not-oppressively-hot afternoon at Race Street Pier and were reminded about the One Water Street project. Numerous plans have come down the pike for 230 N. Columbus Blvd. over the years, so you can forgive us for being pessimistic when PMC Property Group presented plans for this address back in the spring of 2014. Despite our negative attitude, the project is very much under construction.
In case you've forgotten, the project includes 250 apartments, 73 parking spaces, lots of green space, and no commercial uses. Varenhorst did the design work, as they've done for other PMC projects.
It's very exciting that this parcel, vacant for as long as we can remember, is finally getting developed. With the wonderful Race Street Pier and Fringe Arts building just steps to the south and Morgan's Pier right across the street, this project further cements this section of the Delaware waterfront as a place to live and gives us hope that other parcels nearby will change for the better sometime soon.
Because it's us, we still do have a couple of critical points. First, we still don't understand why the project couldn't include at least some small commercial aspect. Wouldn't that make some sense? Our bigger issue though, relates to the "affordable housing" offered in the building. Remember, we told you that the developers got a height and density bonus in exchange for designating 10% of the units as affordable. But we weren't sure about price point. According to Inga Saffron, the expected rent will come in around $942/month. While this is a great price for a new construction one-bedroom unit, we would contend that this doesn't really do a heck of a lot to create additional affordability.
On the one hand, we don't necessarily see the logic in giving those bonuses in exchange for some "affordable" units. On the other hand, we're happy to see this thing as tall and dense as possible, so if that's what it takes then we'll live with it.