Penn's Landing Feasibility Study: DEVELOPMENT
Pier Park, first tested as a public space at the beginning of the design team’s work, is envisioned as a site with mixed-use development that still preserves the end of the pier for public space. You can read more about the public space here. A mixed-use development here, at the foot of the extended South Street Pedestrian Bridge and adjacent to the Marina Basin development, functions as an anchor and destination and ensures adequate density and activity for the surrounding public space.
Since the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, the Marina Basin site has been envisioned as a place for mid-rise, mixed-use development, and the likely first phase of private development at Penn’s Landing. The buildings frame the Marina Basin and all have active ground floors that create a vibrant basin and Harbor Park area. The development schemes for the Marina Basin site propose building setbacks on upper floors. These setbacks open up views to the river while allowing the buildings to relate better to the scale of the pedestrian promenade that runs along the basin north to Market Street. Site and market analysis led the team to determine that lower densities are a better fit for the Marina Basin, allowing the buildings there to relate to the upland neighborhoods; the Market Street site can support higher densities. DRWC and the team also believe that the Marina Basin site is the likely first site to be redeveloped and interviews with developers indicated that mid-rise, stick-built construction is the most feasible for this location in the near term.
The Marina Basin site includes a hotel at the southernmost portion of the site, with mixed-use residential buildings on the remainder of the area. The team believes that the site will likely be developed in phases within a 10 year period, with the center buildings constructed first, followed later by the remainder of the buildings. The Marina Basin development also includes Harbor Park, which you can read more about here.
DRWC and its design team have met several times with the Seaport Museum and its architect to discuss their plans for a new museum building. While no design has been finalized, any new proposal would give the Seaport Museum a more appropriately sized building for their needs and greater access to the basin to allow for more water-based activities. Redeveloping the parcel as a mixed-use development with a residential component will create a variety of activity and bring more people to the waterfront. Any new Seaport Museum mixed-use development will maintain the north-south promenade so crucial to the physical connectivity of the entire Penn’s Landing site, while creating an edge along the southern side of Penn’s Landing Park. DRWC will continue to meet with the Seaport Museum staff and board members as their plans progress.
The Market Street site is currently a surface parking lot and under-used transportation infrastructure. Both the market and design analysis the Hargreaves team did confirmed that this site can handle more density and building height than the Marian Basin site while still maintaining river views and public space. The western half of the Market Street site would have residential towers with active ground floor uses. They would likely be set on top of a parking podium to provide some onsite parking for residents while also allowing the buildings to rise to the level of the Chestnut-Market Loop road so the ground-floor retail can activate the street. Smaller townhomes will line some of the taller buildings, providing housing and architectural variety while referencing Philadelphia’s urban fabric. As noted in the public space section, this Chestnut-Market Loop road will be a vibrant urban street and will create a sense that this site is more than a waterfront development; it will feel like a neighborhood.
These residential buildings will step down towards the river. The water-facing side of the buildings will be lined with active ground-floor uses with outdoor seating. These ground floor uses can spill out onto the waterfront promenade, bringing people right to the river’s edge. The Market Street site will feature neighborhood-scale public open space, as well as additional green space as an amenity for residents in the development.
Due to the density and market conditions, it is envisioned that this site will be built out fully within 20 years. The buildings closest to Penn’s Landing Park would be developed within 10 years and those on the northern half of the site after that.