Published on February 17 2015


DRWC offers prime, publicly-owned waterfront parcel for development incorporating the public space, public access and mixed-use requirements of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware

PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 17, 2015) – The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) released a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) for development of the Festival Pier site at the intersection of Spring Garden Street and Delaware Avenue/Columbus Boulevard.  This parcel on the Delaware River was identified as a location for a landmark, high-quality development by the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. The Festival Pier site is the second largest publicly-owned parcel on the waterfront (after Penn’s Landing). Development of this parcel represents an important opportunity to extend the growth and vibrancy of the nearby neighborhoods such as Northern Liberties, Old City and Fishtown to the water’s edge through transit-oriented, sustainable development, complete with public access, trail and park amenities. 

  • Festival Pier RFEI

DRWC believes Festival Pier is a prime development site with clear title and an environmental remediation plan for residential and commercial reuse.  It is zoned for mixed-use residential (CMX-3) and eligible for the City’s 10-year property tax abatement program. Festival Pier is also ideal for transit-oriented development, with excellent connections to SEPTA’s Market Frankford line and a multi-line bus hub, making the site accessible in a matter of minutes from 30th Street Station, Center City, and University City.

Festival Pier is at the nexus of one of the most promising sections of the waterfront. Much of the energy that can be harnessed for the redevelopment of this area comes from the Northern Liberties neighborhood to the west of the site, where an impressive amount of creative new development has occurred in the past 15 years. This development has brought with it an influx of new residents who enjoy the neighborhood’s character and amenities, growing the neighborhood population by more than 60%. At the same time, there is also an exciting amount of new development happening to the north and the south of the site.

To prepare for the development of Festival Pier, DRWC has undertaken extensive predevelopment work, resulting in a wealth of information about site conditions, including structural, geotechnical, environmental, and marine engineering.

DRWC has structured the solicitation as a two-step process, beginning with this RFEI to identify interested, qualified respondents. DRWC will use the RFEI submissions to create a shortlist of firms, who will be invited to respond to a detailed Request for Proposals (RFP).  The RFP process will include a due diligence period to allow interested parties to assemble the information necessary to prepare and finalize a development program, cost estimate, and financing plan.  DRWC will evaluate proposals based on its stated criteria, but will not be obligated to select a developer if proposals do not meet the principles set forth in the Master Plan. 

Thomas Corcoran, President of DRWC, said, “Festival Pier has long been identified as a key development site, both for its prime waterfront access and its position at the convergence of several thriving, vibrant neighborhoods.  We’re pleased to offer it for development at this time to build from the momentum of our high-quality public spaces like the Race Street Pier and Washington Avenue Pier, and place-making efforts like Spruce Street Harbor Park and Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, which have created an increasingly active Delaware River Waterfront. This project will be another leap forward to realizing the full implementation of the Central Delaware Master Plan.”

Complete details are available at