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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What should be done with Penn's Landing??? This has been an issue since the '50's and since project after project after project has miserably failed, we're left with nothing more than a parking lot, and an empty lot. My proposal is to build an upscale mall on a third of PL (northern side), and the reason why is because I want to attract high end retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, to come (no Macy's in Phila!!! I can accept them in KOP and WG, but not in the city!!!) Another reason is becuase all the Gallery is just nothing really than a passageway full of low-end shops and restaurants. While there is a need for these shops, we don't really have any high end shops (with the exception of Walnut St and Chestnut St, which I think should be our answer to a high-end corridor, like Fifth Ave in NYC, Michigan Ave in Chicago, and Newbury St in Boston). However, I think trying to fit Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus into the tight buildings around those two streets would require probably destroying them. I would rather have a mall on Penn's Landing than raze some of those historical houses. Those buildings could be used by smaller retailers. And, of course the money would help CC develop into a marketplace, as well to do business. Would you rather drive up 76 in deep traffic for 30 to 45 minutes, or would you take 5 minutes just to walk to the Mall of Penn's Landing. As for the car traffic, I was considering using an underground garage for all those cars rather than build another high-rise garage or a lot, with a subway extension from 2nd St to Penn's Landing. My mall would use the northern third of PL and Pier 1. Penn's Landing would also be an entertainment venue, a waterfront park, and a marina. I really want to help with the development of this city!!!
 

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I went to two of the three public charrettes held for the Penn's Landing proposals in 2003. There was a pretty good consensus there that a mall in the traditional sense was a bad idea. However I personally couldn't get away from the fact that there needs to be something to draw people to the place - and malls unfortunately are what people want to go to.

You'd have loved the "Atlantis" proposal for Penn's Landing. Imagine Las Vegas and Six Flags packed into a 40 story building with "steaming grottoes" and you'll have something of an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
founder's square propasal

I liked the Founder's Square proposal the best. I didn't see the Atlantis proposal, but I didn't like the Penn's Cove project because the looked like an over-glitzed casino, something which I don't want in this city (especially a casino). I can see Unity Hall, and the Highmarket with Pier One to make up a real good upscale mall in CC, unlike the Gallery, and I would also like to see I-95 between Dock St and Market St covered and made into an accesible park.
 

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Alright, diggint through the annals of SSP, I found the three original Inquirer proposals from the 2003 charrettes, which they sponsored:

1) A Respite From The City





2) Independence Harbor





3) A Vibrant New Neighborhood





And three of the corporate proposals (from phillyskyline.com)

Bart Blatstein/Penn's Cove



Bower Lewis Thrower



Atlantis....HAHAHAHA!!!



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
mall at penn's landing

That's the name for my mall, as it will join Unity Hall (from the Founder's Square proposal for Penn's Landing). Unity Hall will have light retail and a food court, while it will be connected to a skywalk to Pier 3 to a glass-enclosed upscale mall with Neiman Marcus and a Nordstrom anchoring it. It will be Phila's yin to the Gallery's yang(not a real mall, just a passageway connecting Market East to Strawbridge's, K-Mart, & the Convention Center. We need those shoppers from KOP to spend their money at CC Phila. That's one thing this city is missing: upscale shopping!!!
 

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Wanderer you want upscale shopping at Rittenhouse and a new upscale mall at penns landing? Thats tough to do, imo the investment to bring upscale shopping to Philly should be concentrated downtown. It's not wise to have 2 neighborhoods 2 miles apart competing for limited shopping dollars.

Housing and light retail investment is the safest soundest answer for Penns Landing.

A Kelly Drive type park immediately along the river with Townhouses, condo towers and extension of Soceity Hill set back from Delaware River.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cruces1 said:
Wanderer you want upscale shopping at Rittenhouse and a new upscale mall at penns landing? Thats tough to do, imo the investment to bring upscale shopping to Philly should be concentrated downtown. It's not wise to have 2 neighborhoods 2 miles apart competing for limited shopping dollars.

Housing and light retail investment is the safest soundest answer for Penns Landing.

A Kelly Drive type park immediately along the river with Townhouses, condo towers and extension of Soceity Hill set back from Delaware River.
What I meant was that I nedded a mall to compete with Penn's Landing. I get my words mixed sometimes, but the reson why I need a mall is because KOP is sucking our money out of Philadelphia into Montgomery County. The suburbs don't necessarily care about us so we got to do something about it. If you go to pennslanding.phila.gov, it will show you what I mean on the Founder's Square proposal on page 14: a park over I-95, office, retail and residential space, and a promenade. If we connect Pier 3 to Penn's Landing, we have enough space to build a mall and attract shoppers to CC rather than having them commute to I-76 to KOP for 30 minutes. The Penn's Landing proposal that I also like will also be accesible by walking through the park from Chestnut through Spruce Streets, by bus through the promenade (4 lanes), and by an extension of the subway system). I'm not all for light rail on Delaware Ave or a tram to Camden because I believe we have enough transit potential and infrastructure as it is, we just need to develop.
 

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wanderer, you have good vision but you need to temper it with a bit of reason.

There are several reasons why people are always going to go to KOP as opposed to anything built in Center City - free parking not being the least among them.

I loathe KOP with burning fury but it does serve a regional prupose. There are scores of malls all across the Delaware Valley and they all have their appeal. KOP happens to be the biggest. Nothing you can do about that. Unless you build the world's biggest mall on Penn's Landing you'll never really compete.

The smart idea is to have attractions of your own. Center City does have decent quality malls - The Shops at Liberty Place and The Gallery (regardless of whatever your personal opinion of it is). A third shopping complex on the riverfront is not a bad idea. Anyone that's been to Harborplace in Baltimore could tell you that - but do you think Harborplace does better than its suburban counterparts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can understand the signifigance of KOP, for I am not dissing it in any way, as a matter of fact I've been to that mall and admittedly it is a nice one as well as a big one, sort of a mini-city with it's overpasses and such, but all I'm saying is that if we're able to get a mall, and I'm not asking for the biggest, baddest mall but a nice waterfront marketplace with two high-end retailers in this city, than it will be a nice addition for the Delaware riverfront, and hopefulyy spur more development for the Delaware riverfront. I like Waterfont Square, Liberty Landing, World Trade Square (although I think that it shouln't be taller than William Penn's brim of his hat), 700 Delaware, and hopefully the W hotel at the Newmarket site, but the Gallery is ghetto and I don't know how a tourist is going to react once he or she gets up in there. I personally don't find anything wrong with the Gallery, as it and all the other shops on Market East serve it's purpose, but there had to be a crown jewel in this so-called world class city and a marketplace at Penn's Landing (with the Founder's Square proposal ) is just the thing.
 

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I rarely see people I'd identify as tourists romaing The Gallery or any big shopping area in Center City. They're more likely to stick with The Bourse and good on 'em because it's a tourist trap anyways.

You're right about something nice on the riverfront, as I said. High end retailers, though, I don't see for something like that. There are no Saks, there's no Godiva, no places like that in malls like Harborplace or Manhattan Mall - they tend to be stand alone stores when they're in downtown areas. As well, you'll also tend to find such establishments in high-end corrdiors anyway - they don't go to places where the neighbors don't have the money to shop there. That's why they're all out in KOP or on the Main Line - that's where the money is. By the same token, all of Center City's old money lives around Rittenhouse Square so it's no surprise that that's where all the high-end stores congregate.

As Society Hill becomes (or has already became) a place for people with means to locate, if something along the lines of a mall were to open on Penn's Landing, your dream of seeing such stores there might come true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
wanderer34

A Saks Fifth Avenue, a Bloomingdale's, and a Godiva isn't what I'm really asking for. The reason why I asked for a Nordstrom and a Neiman Marcus is because we don't have them here in CC Phila. They're in King of Prussia. Since we already have a Strawbridge's and a K-Mart in the Gallery (yuk-K-Mart), and a Lord and Taylor in the Wanamaker Building, we might as well have both of those anchors in the new mall, along with maybe JC Penney (we used to have them in the Gallery, now I am considering them in the new mall). It seems like we're the only city without either one of those anchors, with the exception of JC Penney in NE Phila. New York, DC, Boston, Chicago, SF, LA, and Seattle (Nordstrom's home) and Dallas (Neiman Marcus' home), so why aren't they here in Phila, not the suburbs, but the city of Phila??? The CC population is growing and a new mall is my centerpiece for the Delaware riverfront.
 

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I could think of a few reasons why they're not in Center City:

-Unions
-BPT
-Wage tax

And things like that.

The reason these big department stores don't come into Center City is the same reasons lots of large companies don't come into Center City or left if they already were. The city's crushing taxation structure does nothing to entice them to want to be here. Yeah, I do believe that "if you build it, they will come" but even that would take momumental action on the part of a city government that I don't think has its head quite at that level.

Oh, my kingdom for Sam Katz...
 

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I was just talking with a friend of mine about some of the recent development in Philadelphia. One in particular is the "development" of Penn's Landing, which as a relatively new Philadelphian, I only recently discovered has been a pipe dream since the 1950's. First of all, I want to say I couldn't acgree more about the lack of an upscale department store in Center City. Particularly with the uprising population of yuppies that seem to be flooding into up and coming neighborhoods. Aside from the fact htat Philadelphia has one of the most corrupt and inefficient administrations of any city I've ever lived in (and I've lived in Wasington, DC veen during the Barry administration) I can't imagine why nothing has come of Penn's Landing. I read in the paper of a proposal to put slot casinos on the waterfront to which Street replied, "there's already too much traffic down there." Now I'm not crazy about the prospect of Philadelphia turning into a suburb of Atlantic City but traffic=money and traffic in an area that the city has been claiming a point of attempted development for five and a half decades could be nothing but a good sign. Aside from casinos, there are numerous other ideas that we could take from other cities who have redeveloped their waterfronts. Portland, OR comes to mind as a varitible orgasm of brilliant urban planning. The city of Portland actually voted to remove I-5 from the waterfront and turn it into a park, which bridged the gap between the skyscrapers and downtown districts and the Wylamette River. I'm not suggesting moving I-95 to New Jersey (although I feel that's where it belongs) but how about at least covering the recessed portion of the interstate and covering it with a grass, monument and fountain clad bridge between the eastern neighborhoods and the waterfront. This could open up the gates for pedestrian, bike and short cab traffic to the waterfront allowing businesses and residential properties to open without the excessive additional traffic. Another comment with regards to casino gaming is that it seems to be an inevitible we will eventually have to live with. I'd presonally rather have them semi-detached from the downtown region rather than turning East Market Street into Reno, NV. What better place for that than the water front? And casinos, particular in pre-existing urban areas tend to draw a more family oriented crowd than cities like Vegas and Reno, slot development in the water front region is bound to draw big scale business such as restaurants, hotels, maybe even a Cony Island-style park permanently staged on the Delaware River. How amazing would it be to see the skyline of Philadelphia from the top of a giant ferris wheel similar to the one that takes you above London. A vintage trolly line could be set up along Columbus Avenue taking people north and south throughout the evening similar to Seattle's waterfront trolly. All of these ideas are completely feasable if the administration would be willing to take the first step to set the development in motion. And an even more lavish, and perhaps less realistic proposal would be to take the rotting SS United States docked in South Philadelphia and move it closer to Center City, restore it to it's former glory and permanently fix it on the waterfront as a major gaming, hotel, dining and entertainment complex similar to the Queen Mary docked in Los Angeles. Progress and development result out of inspiration from the ideas of others. If we could look at what other cities have done and understand why it worked and how to implement it here, we could truley have a first class city. The do-it-my-way arogance that is evident in the administration and seems to trickle all the way down to our city's people needs to be left behind or we'll continue to grow in an unorganized, spuratic manner that will deem hiladelphia nothing more than a giant parking lo with bad traffic. I've lived just about everywhere and Philadelphia is truly the most fascinating city I've lived in. Most of that fascination comes from the potential I see in every aspect of the city, from it's architecture to it's people. I feel like the city is finally starting to peek out from behind the shadows left by the 70's and move around. Now is the time to take advantage of that interest but we have to do it in a productive and efficient manner.
 
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