Philly's Too Complacent About Middle-Class Housing Affordability
(Image: Neighbors for More Neighbors)
The Wall Street Journal might have chosen a more sympathetic protagonist for their article about rising home prices in Philadelphia, but there's been a surprising reaction to the article by some of the online commentariat that reveals the true roots of the budding middle-class housing affordability issues in greater Center City.Read more
Three Ways to Reform the 10-Year Tax Abatement
(Rare by-right CMX-2 construction spotted in the wild on Frankford Ave | Photo: Jon Geeting)
Ryan Briggs reports that the 10-year tax abatement for property improvements may be in the Kenney administration's crosshairs in next year's budget.Read more
Wait for the Housing Plan to Debate Inclusionary Zoning
One of the more under-discussed moments at Monday's inclusionary zoning hearing was when Anne Fadullon, the Director of Planning and Development, testified that the Kenney administration has been doing pre-preparation work for a comprehensive Housing Plan for Philadelphia.Read more
Density Bonuses Are Still the Best Way to Pay for Inclusionary Zoning
(A dreaded mid-rise building in Seattle | Photo: Jon Geeting)
The Mixed-Income Housing Bill in City Council is being touted by its supporters as a way to preserve racial and socioeconomic diversity as Philly neighborhoods continue to appreciate. But it's gotten so watered down and off-track at this point that it would be a mistake to continue on with the amended bill as the baseline. In fact, the original bill wasn't that far off the mark.Read more
Ten quick hits about Amazon as we head into HQ2 radio silence
Two weeks ago, the City submitted its bid (two days early!) and now the waiting game begins. Smart money is on Amazon announcing a shortlist and letting those sites battle it out. In the meantime, here are ten quick thoughts on the bid, the shortlist, and what this all means for Philadelphia.
Softening Rents are the Future Zoning Liberals Want
(Image: Kevin Gillen, Lindy Institute at Drexel University)
Philly developers have been building a lot of apartments over the last few years, and the steady pace of construction has some people feeling anxious (or excited in some cases) about when the boom times will end.Read more
How Can the City Make Life Easier for RCOs?
(Photo: Jon Geeting)
Five years ago, Philly created the Registered Community Organization (RCO) system as the official channel for citizens to be involved in the zoning and land development process.Read more
Council Report Card: September 25th
In which Derek Green (At-Large) proposes to clean the detritus from out the City Code; Jannie Blackwell (3rd District) proposes extending the lives of eighteen West Philly Keystone Opportunity Zones as a carrot for Amazon; and Mark Squilla (1st District) and Darrell Clarke (Council President, 5th District) propose rezoning some large industrially-zoned properties in South Kensington and Olde Richmond (and notably neglect sprawl repair opportunities on Aramingo and York.)Read more
The ZBA Approves Industrial Conversions All the Time. Why Not the Quaker Building?
(Quaker Building | Photo: Post Brothers)
Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron uses her column this week to blast the Zoning Board of Adjustment for their transparently political rejection of Post Brothers' redevelopment plan for the Quaker Building at 9th and Poplar.Read more
ZBA Rejects Quaker Building Plan Despite RCO Support
(The Quaker Building | Image: Post Brothers)
Last week we wrote about how wards shouldn't be officially recognized as RCOs by the city, and discussed the example of the 14th Ward organization being assigned as the coordinating RCO to hear Post Brothers' zoning appeal for a conversion of the long-vacant industrial Quaker Building into a 350-unit apartment building at 9th and Poplar.