Happy Ending for Controversial Development Proposal in Philadelphia

Once a developer provokes the ire of the community surrounding a proposed development and the word NIMBY gets bandied about, chances for a mutually beneficial solution are slim to none. Not so with the One Riverside project in Philadelphia.

“First proposed last summer, the [One Riverside] project at 25th and Locust has undergone a major redesign at the insistence of neighbors, who bitterly objected to the design - and even to the tower's very existence. Now the blank walls on the ground floor are gone. So is the aboveground garage. But the big surprise isn't just that the new version is superior; it's that both sides enthusiastically agree it's better. [Developer Carl] Dranoff says he will break ground in the fall,” reports Inga Saffron.

So how’d it happen? According to Saffron:

  1. “the opponents - a coalition of residents and the community garden - channeled their hostility into a friendly conversation that has produced a better building for the park, for the Fitler Square neighborhood, for Dranoff, and most important, for the city.”
  2. “Dranoff credits his architects at Cecil Baker + Partners for their creativity in reimagining the project.”

Saffron also points out that city planners were notably absent while the developer, architects, and community resolved their differences. 

Full Story: Changing Skyline: Harmony over planned riverside high-rise


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
building block set

Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.