Development Opportunity Sites (Winter 2013)
PSCA has created a list of “development opportunity sites” within the neighborhood that are either for-sale, recently purchased, and/or represent significant developable land that could have a major impact on the neighborhood once developed. PSCA seeks to link these physical sites with goals and recommendations established through previous plans (www.passyunksquare.org/planning) or best practices seen elsewhere. In general, PSCA prefers mixed-use and transit-oriented design features, along with green building and site designs, which enhance the existing fabric of the neighborhood.
PSCA encourages developers to incorporate these goals and recommendations in their proposals, which, if seeking a zoning variance, are subject to review by the PSCA Zoning Committee, as PSCA is a local Registered Community Organization through the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. PSCA welcomes developers who have by-right zoning to present their development proposals to the civic association at our regular general membership monthly meetings.
Please let us know your ideas for these specific sites in the comments section, or suggest other sites to add to our inventory. Information is current to the best of our knowledge as of January 2013. The goals contained herein are a guide, and are not intended to substitute for community input. The “Images of Recommended Infill” show scale and types of uses; opinions on aesthetics and market feasibility will vary.
Click here to access the inventory Development_Opportunity_Sites_Jan_2013. To see an interactive Google map of the sites: http://goo.gl/maps/lPJML
View PSCA Development Opportunity Sites in a larger map
Neighborhood Signage Project (Fall 2012)
PSCA installed 30 “Welcome to Passyunk Square” aluminum signs on key blocks throughout the neighborhood in the late fall of 2012. PSCA initiated the project based on the results of a neighborhood survey that found support for signage that provides an overall image for the neighborhood. The signs serve to let residents know about their local civic association and its website: www.passyunksquare.org as well as mark the edges and entry points into the neighborhood.
Working with Councilman Mark Squilla’s office and the Streets Department, PSCA came up with a plan to replace many of the outdated “No Parking due to Street Cleaning” signs with the new Welcome signage. PSCA has fully funded the signage project through fundraising efforts.
“The signs give a face to the neighborhood, and help support local businesses and residential investment, by demonstrating that there is an active civic association”, said Karin Morris, a board member of PSCA.
The 12 X 18 inch aluminum signs are at pedestrian height on existing poles on most major streets, except Broad Street, Washington Avenue, 11th Street, 9th Street, and Passyunk Avenue, which have their own business-related signage or already have an abundance of traffic-related signs. The signs are mostly mid-block, avoiding signage-filled intersections.
Business Directory (Spring 2012)
You told us in our member survey that supporting local businesses is important. The Passyunk Square Civic Association has compiled a local business directory, listing businesses located between 6th to Broad, Washington to Tasker. Click on this link for the directory.
While the directory contains almost 150 businesses, we are certain that there are more. If you see something missing, or own or operate a business yourself, please send your additions to email@example.com.
Adopt-a-Rack Program (Spring 2012)
PSCA canvassed area businesses to “adopt a rack” (bike rack) through the City’s Streets Department. The program provides a city installed u-shaped bike rack to community groups and individuals that accept maintenance responsibility for the rack. PSCA was able to request bike rack installation at Columbus Square playground 12th and Wharton), Theatre Exile (12th and Reed), Annunciation BVM School (12th and Wharton), Black and Brew (E. Passyunk and Cross), Fitness Works (714 Reed) and 617 Reed (condo building), all of whom were approved and received racks in the spring of 2012. As of January 2013, the Streets Department is no longer accepting applications, pending installation of the current round of racks.
Recent Plans include:
1. A Vision for Passyunk Square: The Philly Phork (May 2010)
Graduate students in City Planning at University of Pennsylvania, working with the Passyunk Square Civic Association, produced this plan for the subarea of 8th to 11th Street from Washington to Tasker. Three major goals of the plan are:
- Create a comprehensive neighborhood sustainability plan and greening program.
- Address features in the built environment that create a negative experience for pedestrian, bicycle and automobile traffic in the neighborhood.
- Institute a branding and gateways strategy that will transform Passyunk Square into the newest food, art, and culture destination in Philadelphia.
The plan can be downloaded here: http://www.box.net/shared/h0c3ipm9nt
2. Lower Italian Market Revitalization Project (August 2008)
The PSCA Planning Committee applied for and won a grant from the City of Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative to study and provide options for revitalizing the Lower Italian Market. The study area centered on South 9th Street from Washington to Wharton, extending to 8th Street to the east and 10th Street to the west. PSCA hired Interface Studio LLC and Econsult Corporation to prepare the Lower Italian Market Revitalization Project.
The neighborhood’s vision for the corridor is to promote and improve conditions for existing businesses, while attracting new development to create a vibrant street life for businesses, residents, and visitors. The Plan addresses green elements, public art, and contemporary concepts that specifically apply to this dense urban area
The American Planning Association (APA) has selected the Lower Italian Market Revitalization Project for its 2009 National Planning Excellence Award for a Grassroots Initiative. APA’s national awards program, the profession’s highest honor, recognizes outstanding community plans, planning programs and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals for their leadership on planning issues. The plan was featured in the April 2009 edition of Planning magazine. More information about the award and a short video about the plan can be found here: http://www.planning.org/awards/2009/index.htm
3. SoPhi: A Downtown Plan for Washington Avenue, South Philadelphia (May 2006)
Graduate students in City Planning at University of Pennsylvania, working with the Passyunk Square Civic Association, produced this plan for Washington Avenue, from Broad to 6th Street.
Washington Avenue is a major east-west thoroughfare that is lined with an eclectic mix of uses, ranging from warehouses to ethnic retail. Development, however, is occurring on the Avenue with little consistency. New construction and redevelopment includes high density luxury condominiums and low density retail. Broad swaths of empty land and other underutilized parcels signal opportunities for future development. The Avenue’s width, traffic, and lack of pedestrian friendly amenities are also perceived by neighborhood residents as a barrier to the cohesion of the neighborhoods to the north and south.
The plan recommends dense building massing on the west side of Washington Avenue with a gradual transition to a lower neighborhood scale in the approach to 6th Street. Additionally, the plan suggests the greening of Washington Avenue, including streetscape redesign and a raised median. Other areas addressed by the plan include streetscape design, key site designs, general design guidelines, and zoning proposals.
Other plans that may be of interest to the neighborhood include:
Broad Street Subway Ridership Study (June 2009), Philadelphia City Planning Commission: http://www.philaplanning.org/plans/broadridership.pdf
Philadelphia Rowhouse Manual: A Practical Guide for Homeowners (May 2008), Philadelphia City Planning Commission: http://www.philaplanning.org/pubinfo/rowhousemanual.pdf
Passyunk Square Village Center Recommendations (January 2007), Philadelphia City Planning Commission: http://www.philaplanning.org/plans/passyunk.pdf
Developing Around Transit: Transit-Oriented Development Plans for Ellsworth/Federal, North Wales, Warminster (November 2006), Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission: http://www.dvrpc.org/asp/pubs/publicationabstract.asp?pub_id=06034
Neighborhood Design Guidelines (June 2004), Philadelphia City Planning Commission: http://www.philaplanning.org/plans/neighdesign.pdf
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