Lower South Implementation
There are 112 recommendations in the Lower South District Plan. The recommendations are organized into the three forward-looking themes: THRIVE, CONNECT, and RENEW. These themes reflect the goals and strategies of the Citywide Vision. Many of these recommendations build upon one another, so it is important to prioritize recommendations for implementation. A number of factors were taken into account to determine the priority recommendations including previous master plans or feasibility studies, strong public support, and availability of resources.
A number of factors including previous master plans or feasibility studies, strong public support, and availability of resources determined which recommendations were prioritized. Priority recommendations are found on page 73 of the plan and cover a wide range of issues and areas.
Of the 112 recommendations, implementation is in progress for 16.
LS 14 Support the full build-out of XFINITY Live! in a manner that enhances pedestrian and vehicular circulation and provides a mix of shopping, restaurant, entertainment, and hotel uses – IN PROGRESS: In spring 2012, XFINITY Live! opened Phase I of its dining and entertainment district, located within the Wells Fargo Stadium Complex. The original building encompassed 60,000 square feet, along with a 40,000 square feet outdoor event space, and includes the “world’s largest multi-story sports bar”. After just three years of successful operations, XFINITY Live! began its $6 million Phase II expansion and renovation. Phase II included adding considerably more outdoor seating, as well as expanding an existing beer garden, and more space for dining. The expansion and renovations were completed by the end of 2015. Additionally in 2015, XFINITY and Cordish Company presented their plans for a casino, hotel and entertainment center. The Live! Hotel and Casino is also located at the sports complex. Plans for the development include a 260,000 square foot casino, a 300-room hotel, over 3,000 parking spaces and multiple restaurants. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission first reviewed the proposed project in August 2015, and then later approved the development’s master plan in October 2015.
METROPOLITAN AND REGIONAL CENTERS
LS 20 Update the Navy Yard Master Plan to reflect recent development, sale of the east end to the PRPA for the Southport expansion, and opportunities for future development, infrastructure, and environmental mitigation – COMPLETE: The Navy Yard has transitioned from a U.S. naval base and shipbuilding facility to an office and light industrial employment center with 6.5 million square feet of space in a campus-like setting. Implementation of the master plan has resulted in 12 LEED-certified buildings completed or under construction and over 20 acres of public open space.
LS 73 Apply for federal transportation funding using ridership numbers from SEPTA bus extensions and Navy Yard shuttle to advance the BSL extension to the Navy Yard to fund engineering and soil studies, ridership studies and construction costs – IN PROGRESS: In 2015, PennDOT was awarded a federal grant of $900,000 to fund a feasability study for the extension of SEPTA’s Broad Street Subway Line (BSL). The new study is meant to replace a 2008 feasability study. SEPTA is currently the project manager for the new feasability study. The study is looking at three proposed alignments for the BSL extension, along with their associated costs, effectiveness and ridership numbers. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
AIRPORTS, SEAPORTS & FREIGHT RAIL
LS 81 Study long-term solutions to the 25th Street viaduct, including repair and maintenance – IN PROGRESS: The 25th Street Viaduct was built in the 1920s and was designed to remove street-level railroad tracks from South Philadelphia. The viaduct, which spans 1.2 miles, has been in continuous service since its completion. The impact of weather and the elements over its 90+ year lifespan has greatly affected the viaduct’s surface. In 2015, CSX, the viaduct owners, announced in conjunction with Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office, that they would be undertaking a significant improvement project to restore the structure to its original appearance. Phase I will wrap the underside of the viaduct in netting and remove the five-foot parapet walls from the east and west sides of the deck. This phase is expected to be completed in spring 2016. Phase II, will also take place in 2016, and involves the repair and replacement of the decking’s drainage system, and the repair and waterproofing of the decking. Phase III will see CSX install new concrete panels to replace the removed parapet walls, sometime in 2017. Lastly, Phase IV, between 2018 – 2020, will resurface the exposed concrete of the viaduct’s underside, thereby restoring the appearance of the structure.
LS 93 Ensure long-term access from Lower South neighborhoods to the waterfront through trail extensions, bicycle connections, and an improved street network – IN PROGRESS: The Schuylkill River swing bridge was awarded a $3.265 million federal TIGER grant in 2015. The formerly abandoned bridge will serve pedestrians and cyclists and will connect the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail with Bartram’s Mile. It is also expected to connect to the Schuylkill River Trail in the future. Construction on the swing bridge could begin as early as summer 2016.
LS 94 Complete the Delaware River Trail through the Navy Yard to connect to the citywide trail network – IN PROGRESS: The Navy Yard Trail is located in the Navy Yard along the Delaware River waterfront and serves Navy Yard employees and visitors. The trail project was led by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). The trail was completed in the winter of 2013. It runs for approximately 1.4 miles and could in the future connect to the South Broad Street Sidepath. The South Broad Street Sidepath is a project to enhance the existing South Broad Street sidewalk into a multiuse sidepath between Oregon Avenue and the Navy Yard. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) completed a conceptual design plan of the sidepath in 2013. In summer 2015, the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) applied for multimodal funding for final design and construction of the sidepath.