Thursday, March 23, 2006

Of building and development plans

  • Apparently a substantial skyscraper (twice the size of anything nearby) was approved for the Art Museum area of Philadelphia with virtually no warning to (let alone consultation of) the neighborhood. Hundreds of neighbors got together last night to express their displeasure, with state Senator Vince Fumo among them. They may have their license to build, but angering powerful interests in the area (City Councilman Darrell Clarke weighed in too) is bound to make your progress difficult, if not impossible.

  • Philly's ever more popular airport needs some revamping to keep up with business, and apparently (a) there are plans to significantly lengthen one runway as a short-term improvement, and (b) the airport has submitted two possible plans for expansion to the FAA, one of which would entirely rip down and replace most of the existing terminals, and the other of which would lengthen and add runways while retaining the current basic configuration. A response from the FAA is expected to take close to two years.

  • Meanwhile, Philadelphia's RDA (Redevelopment Authority) is under assault from several sides, facing not only an uncertain fate in the planned multi-agency reorganization (see prev. here), but accusations by Street that it spent federal funds without approval and a sense of implied threat against current chairman John Dougherty. There may be real efficiencies to be had from the streamlining, but I hope that the agency doesn't get lacerated in the cross-fire between mayor and union boss...


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