Central Northeast District Plan Focus Area Highlights
Three focus areas emerged from the Central Northeast analysis. One area , which is highlighted below, was the Cottman and the Boulevard Regional Center. The area emerged as an opportunity to broaden the range of activities and improve the public realm by increasing density, defining the street wall, improving transit amenities and creating a pedestrian-scaled environment.
Cottman and the Boulevard
The shopping area currently has strong anchor tenants and a good variety of stores.
Several major roadways, seven bus routes, and a trackless trolley provide excellent access for a regional as well as local base of customers.
Cottman Avenue has several good examples of mid-century modern architecture that give the street a special identity.
What Needs Improvement
The streetscape could be more attractive and welcoming for pedestrians and motorists.
Transit amenities are minimal despite high ridership numbers.
Large parking areas do not meet modern standards for landscaping and stormwater management.
Strategic landscaping on Cottman Avenue and within the shopping center’s parking lots can simultaneously increase pedestrian safety and create a more visually attractive destination for both drivers and pedestrians. Priority intersections are Cottman and Bustleton Avenues and Cottman Avenue and Oakland Street. All greening efforts should connect sidewalks to store entrances, thereby acknowledging pedestrian “desire lines.”
Mixed use Center
In the longer term, the district has the potential to evolve into a more diversified regional center. Across the country, centers of similar vintage are complementing their traditional retail attractions with compatibly designed and appropriately scaled residential, business service, hospitality, and public service uses. Centers are also incorporating enhanced public gathering spaces and transit access. The centrally located intersection of Cottman and Bustleton Avenues has sites that could accommodate a broader mix of uses.
For a more in-depth analysis and to learn about the additional focus areas, please download the full district plan here.