Philly to reconnect 2 neighborhoods by revitalizing industrial desert

Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Planning Commission officials spent the summer working out the details of a new zoning overlay for East Callowhill, in hopes of transforming the narrow area separating Old City and Northern Liberties from an industrial desert into a walkable neighborhood with new apartments and commercial projects.

Conversations about rezoning the neighborhood began around the time that Destination Maternity announced it would vacate its massive warehouse headquarters at 5th and Spring Garden streets last spring.

Recently, developers have proposed converting the former Destination Maternity site, a 7.5-acre property, into a “creative office space,” with a number of tenants.

The area has about 1.8 million square feet of property, and could support up to 9 million square feet of development under the terms of the proposed overlay.

A speculative build-out analysis prepared by the Commission (pictured above) shows one potential development pattern the overlay could encourage.

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