Used for many years as the City’s incinerator site and car impoundment lot, and later as an outdoor concert venue, the site known as Festival Pier--a collection of pier structures at the base of Spring Garden Street--was identified in the Master Plan for the Central Delaware as a priority site for a robust mixed-use development with well-designed public space that feels like a natural extension of the city.
In 2015, DRWC undertook a selection process to identify a private development partner for the site and in the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), identified several development goals for the site based on the principals of the Master Plan:
Waterfront Development Objectives:
- High-Quality Design
- Integration of Compelling Public Spaces and Amenities
- Public Art
- Economic Opportunity & Inclusion
- Mixed-Income Housing
Festival Pier Development Objectives:
- Maintenance of Spring Garden Street View Corridor and Waterfront Perimeter Path
- Active Ground Floor Uses Along Spring Garden Street Corridor and Columbus Boulevard / Delaware Avenue
- Extension of Multi-Use Recreational Trail along Columbus Boulevard / Delaware Avenue
In response to the RFEI, DRWC received seven submissions; two firms were short-listed and provided more detailed proposals before participating in interviews with the DRWC Board of Directors. In October 2015, the Board selected a joint venture between Haverford Properties and Jefferson Apartment Group to complete the redevelopment of Festival Pier.
Over the next few years, the developers worked closely with DRWC to secure regulatory approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the reconfiguration of the pier structures. With those approvals secured in 2019, the team then worked to develop a detailed plan for the mixed-use community and public spaces for the site.
After meeting with neighbors in Northern Liberties and with the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, the developers shared their plans for the site with the wider community: approximately 550 residential units in two buildings framing an extension of Spring Garden Street, with active retail uses lining the corridor culminating in a public park. The Delaware River Trail will run along Delaware Avenue and a publicly accessible walking path will frame the site along the water’s edge.