Top development stories of 2015

In 2015, we followed some sizable development projects. There were quite a few meetings regarding the long-debated 9th and Wharton development, demolition beginning soon for a mixed-use project near Broad and Washington, talk of pedestrian improvements along East Passyunk Avenue and much more. While there’s plenty of note, these were the stories that sparked your interest the most in 2015.

Renderings of the proposed 9th and Wharton development.

King of Jeans sign being removed

King of Jeans

Early in 2015, we broke the news about the King of Jeans sign being removed on East Passyunk Avenue. This highly recognizable sign was a beloved memory of the past, but was taken down to make way for a new mixed-use development that will be built on this property. The sign now resides at Provenance Salvage in Northern Liberties. Since the King of Jeans sign was taken down in February, work has continued with the demolition of the building. Currently more dirt is being dug up from the property.

East Passyunk Gateway 

East Passyunk Avenue gateway

This year, the East Passyunk Gateway at Passyunk, Broad and McKean saw some changes. We first announced to you in April the two potential plans for the space leading up to the groundbreaking ceremony. The space, which was unveiled in September, includes a new pavilion, seating area, planters and upgraded lighting. This wasn’t PARC’s only project creating more community space on the avenue this year. The new-and-improved Mifflin Street triangle was also unveiled in July.

Updated Mt. Sinai plans

The Reed Street side
The Reed Street side

Plans for Mt. Sinai hospital at 4th and Reed changed quite a bit this year. Originally part of the original structure was expected to remain, which would included as many as 200 apartments. Now the new plans call for the demolition of the entire structure to make way for 95 townhomes. Demolition began on Mt. Sinai this fall, and the Civic Design Review gave feedback on the new plans for the structure over the summer.

Bok School plans to create ‘South Philly Stoop’ with grant money

Edward Bok Technical High School, via Wikipedia
Edward Bok Technical High School, via Wikipedia

The Bok School made it onto our list of top restaurant news for the year with Le Bok Fin, but the exciting developments for the property don’t stop there. In April it was announced that developer Lindsey Scannapieco received a $146,960 grant to remake the grounds surrounding Bok as a “South Philly Stoop” with plans to improve outdoor spaces and bring together the community surrounding this project. The plans for this former school are huge, with maker spaces, retail and other businesses beginning to move into the 340,000 sq. ft. property.

Funding secured for Columbus Square redesign

Proposed redesign looking from 12th and Reed. Rendering by the Community Design Collaborative
Proposed redesign looking from 12th and Reed. Rendering by the Community Design Collaborative

For two years now, we have been telling you about the plans for the redesign of Columbus Square. In September, the park finally reached their fundraising goal to move the project forward. Construction on the $2.8 million redesign of Columbus Square is expected to begin in the spring of 2017. Expect to see everything from refurbished dog park surfacing and an improved recreation center to new sidewalks and shorter fences at this park at 12th and Wharton.