Uncategorized04 Jun 2019 10:52 am

1100 Wharton (Municipal Complex) Update


There is another opportunity for neighborhood residents to share their perspectives on the redevelopment of the municipal buildings on Reed Street between 11th Street and 12th Street.

Planning since 2012
Since 2012, PSCA has been engaged with City Officials to imagine a reuse of the City owned property across from Columbus Square. The land is currently occupied by the firehouse, a 38 space public surface lot with six additional car share spaces, and an historic (1913) building that serves as a municipal Fleet Maintenance facility.  In 2015, the Planning Commission released the South District Plan that reflected a community supported vision for mixed use development at the site. That plan relocates the firehouse from 12th Street to 11th Street, preserves the historic building, adds residential units to the neighborhood, provides new leasable commercial space, enhances pedestrian connections, and maintains access to public parking.

Developments since Fall, 2018
Last fall, the City released a Request for Proposals (RFP) asking developers, with strong track records of building mixed-use developments, to submit proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the site.  PIDC, on behalf of the City, presented at the PSCA November General Meeting. PSCA collected comments at that meeting and in the following weeks. Issues like ensuring some number of affordable units and the possibility of space leasable by the school district to address crowding issues at Jackson were surfaced thanks to advocacy from many neighbors. The RFP was amended to reflect these neighborhood desires. Due to the outpouring of neighbor outreach, Councilmember Squilla asked that PSCA representatives serve on the selection committee.

Next Steps
The next step in the process will be to select a Development Team to enter a negotiations phase. During the negotiations phase, the City will negotiate with the developer and the Development Team will come to the community to present in detail their concept for the site. Ultimately Councilmember Squilla will have to introduce an Ordinance authorizing the sale of the site. We anticipate that he would not do that in the absence of broad community support for the redevelopment.

The City received two proposals for mixed-use (residential and commercial) buildings summarized below. Non-disclosure agreements preclude the release of financial information and the names of development teams. However, we can say that the issues which neighbors care about the most are the greatest distinctions between each of the proposals.

Let the PSCA Board (municipalcomplex@passyunk.org), Councilmember Squilla (Mark.Squilla@phila.gov), and Mayor Kenney  (James.Kenney@phila.gov) know which proposal you’d like to see advance and what specific concerns you have. Your feedback resulted in PSCA being included in the RFP Selection Committee, a rarity in city land sale processes, so let’s keep sharing our views with our elected officials.

Public Engagement Opportunity Timeline
2035 Plan Development Numerous meeting 2012-2015
RFP Release Meeting November 2018
Developer Selection Summer 2019
Site Specific Proposal Meetings Fall 2019
Site Sale Council Ordinance Fall 2019/Winter 2020

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