12.09.2008

AMERICAN COMMERCE CENTER

A belated congrats to the developer team behind the American Commerce Center, which got clearance last week from City Council's Committee on Rules to build at a much higher density on its site than the current zoning code allows. My firm is on the team and gave testimony, so I have been relatively mum on the subject in this space, but wanted to pass along this information. A full Council vote awaits; as do the tricky next steps for the developer of landing tenants and securing financing, not easy in this economy. But good to see that, while without controversy, the project is proceeding through the various regulatory steps.

In a day and age, and a city, in which opposition for new development can be fierce, it appears the broader public sentiment is twofold: 1) we need more jobs, economic activity, and tax revenues within the City, not less, and 2) we need development to be more dense and transit-oriented, not less. The fact of the matter is that, however prolonged our local and national economic woes are, at some point things will turn up, and when they do, do we want lots of activity centralized within a building in Center City that will be connected to one of the busiest transit nodes in the region, or do we want all that activity decentralized across the region in multiple, largely auto-dependent locations?
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