Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Don't Make It A Superblock

For a variety of reasons Philly hasn't been the victim of too many "superblock" projects, in which the normal city street grid is disrupted in favor of megaprojects. This lot is currently empty, but is actually a superblock of empty. If the new owner gets serious about developing it, most of the locals will be concerned about density because parking. I'm one of those locals, though density and parking won't really be my concern. It's on a subway line. It should be a big project, and it shouldn't have too much parking. If you build the parking the cars will come. The more important thing from a NIMBY perspective should be that it isn't isolated from the neighborhood, that if it has retail it has some neighborhood serving retail. It should welcome pedestrians. And while it will of course have some parking (even I can't claim it shouldn't), if you can't put the parking underground it shouldn't have all that much parking. Also, too, residents should be charged market rate (reflecting implicit costs) for that parking.