Friday, November 1, 2019

Delaware River Waterfront Corp. Issues RFP for 11-Acre Philly Waterfront Parcel

by John Jordan
The Delaware River Waterfront Corp. announced on Thursday the release of a Request for Proposal seeking teams to develop 11 acres on the central Delaware River waterfront.

The development opportunity features two parcels currently used as parking lots: the nearly eight-acre Market Street Site and the nearly four-acre Marina Basin Site. Both are zoned for high-density, mixed-use development and feature views of the river and Philadelphia skyline.

The chosen developer will design, build, and maintain a sustainable, mixed-use development consistent with DRWC guidelines. Teams are invited to respond to the RFP to develop one or both sites by Feb. 7, 2020.
Upon selection of one or more of the respondents, DRWC will execute a sublease with the chosen respondent(s). The sublease will provide for a term ending no earlier than 2075, with the potential for two 50-year options in favor of the developer, the RFP states.

According to the RFP, The Marina Basin Site is bounded by Spruce Street, Lombard Street, Columbus Boulevard, and the Penn’s Landing Marina Basin. It has approximately 875 feet of frontage along Columbus Boulevard, a major city arterial road, and 850 feet of frontage along the Penn’s Landing Marina Basin. The site is used as a surface parking lot and contains a building owned and used by DRWC for operations and maintenance. The sublease will require the developer to demolish the building as part of the redevelopment of the site.

The Market Street Site is bounded by Market Street, Chestnut Street, Columbus Boulevard, and the Delaware River. It has approximately 750 feet of frontage along Columbus Boulevard and 680 feet of frontage along the river. The site is used as a surface parking lot and for DRWC’s seasonal attractions, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and Winterfest. The Blue Cross RiverRink and some of the associated amenities will be incorporated into the new park that is part of the Park at Penn’s Landing project, according to the RFP. The site is bisected by a viaduct road that connects Chestnut Street to Market Street. There is also an existing large concrete tram tower on the site, which DRWC intends to demolish within the next two years.
“The waterfront has become a top destination for residents and visitors of all backgrounds, and an increasingly attractive site for private development. Now with the new Park at Penn’s Landing moving into final design, the time is right to focus on redevelopment opportunities around it in order to maximize the synergy between these significant investments,” says Joe Forkin, president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Over the past decade, DRWC has improved the waterfront by building public parks and attractions, streetscapes and trails. A new 12-acre, $225-million public park adjacent to Penn’s Landing will open in 2024.

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