Where construction is moving ahead (or is not) shows us how resources and interests are being distributed in both public and private arenas. It’s a glance into the future of a city.
So what does the future hold for Philadelphia, a city with the development at its core? Here are some of the projects we’re talking about in 2023.
The Park at Penn’s Landing
This is set on a highly anticipated public space that will reconnect the Delaware River waterfront to the city street grid.
The planned park includes a unique feature – a cap over a section of Interstate 95, an idea that has been under consideration for many decades. The park’s design encompasses a total of 11.5 acres of green space, stretching from Front Street to the river. Its strategic location will be right next to the Penn’s Landing Hilton and Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Initially scheduled for 2021, the groundbreaking for the Park at Penn’s Landing, overseen by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), faced delays due to the impact of COVID. However, the DRWC is now targeting the coming months to commence construction and has set the ambitious goal of completing the project by the U.S. semi-quincentennial in 2026.
The park boasts an array of planned amenities to enhance the visitor experience:
A central timber pavilion will stand as Philly’s first structure built in a carbon-neutral manner, showcasing the city’s commitment to sustainability.
For the convenience of visitors, a café and mobile food options, ranging from food trucks to carts, will be available, providing delightful culinary choices. The park will offer a stage and amphitheater located right on the water’s edge, perfect for hosting events and performances with a stunning backdrop.
A complex of gardens will be integrated into the park’s design, adding natural beauty and greenery to the surroundings. To cater to families, a play space inspired by the Pennsylvania woodlands will be provided, offering children an engaging and imaginative area to enjoy.
City-backed Homes for Municipal Workers and More.
The city’s Turn the Key program broke ground in December 2022on its first two dozen affordable homes, in the Grays Ferry neighborhood. The rest of a planned 1,000 units are slated to be completed in 2023.
Part of 2020’s bond-financed Neighborhood Preservation Initiative, the program aims to construct 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath homes on city-owned lots, then make them affordable to people making under 80% of the area median income.
Neighborhoods in line for Turn the Key construction in 2023 include Brewerytown, Grays Ferry, Ludlow, Port Richmond, and West Poplar.
More museums for the Ben Franklin Parkway
The African American Museum of Philadelphia and a $70 million museum dedicated to Philly-born sculptor Alexander Calder are landing on the flag-strewn thoroughfare, part of the city’s wider plans to redevelop the boulevard.
After decades in Old City, the AAMP will be moving to the former Family Court Building at 1801 Vine St., next to the Parkway Central Library. At 50,000 square feet, the museum’s new location offers triple the space, and is expected to boost yearly attendance past the current 80,000.
By Jordan Levy, BillyPenn at WHYY