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What does the future hold for Washington Avenue?

Washington Avenue has been seeing a lot of changes in recent years. Whether you’re talking about the new mixed-use development proposed for 9th and Washington, the recently-opened Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the mixed-use development just approved for 24th and Washington, or the Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken location opening here, there’s just so much movement happening on this street.

With new developments and changes happening all over this well-known South Philly strip, what exactly does the future hold? We’ve told you before about the potential for a new beginning here, but now Philly Mag has also tackled the topic.

More from Philly Mag’s article:

When New York City rezoned industrial sections of Brooklyn a decade ago, Williamsburg and Greenpoint boomed, becoming the expensive hipster meccas they are today. Some think the effect on Washington Avenue could be similar.

“This has the chance to be more than a neighborhood commercial district. It could be a larger commercial district,” says John Grady, president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. “It could also be a connector between the eastern and western parts of the city, which could stimulate investment. The more people are able to move around, the more attractive it is for employers to locate here.”

But in community meetings and on private Facebook groups, there is fierce debate over how — and even whether — Washington Avenue ought to change. Should it stay weird, or be gussied up? Does it really make sense to send industry packing to make room for still-more residential development? Will there still be a place for longtime residents — and low income ones — on this reinvented corridor? Can Washington Avenue evolve, and keep its soul, its inimitable character, intact?

You can check out the rest of their story here.



8 Responses to What does the future hold for Washington Avenue?

  1. Time For Change August 17, 2015 at 9:23 am #

    I really hope this gets the green light to change. Will be great for the evolution of this city. As for low income people even being considered….enjoy Camden.

  2. Angela August 17, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    As a homeowner 1/2 block from Washington Ave, I think about this a lot. Where I am (Italian Marker area), seems poised to change, but I just don’t have a good feeling about if it will happen. However, given center city’s push southward and Passyunk ave’s revitalization, I would say that Washington’s “commercial” (i.e. dirty) feel is keeping those two areas from merging.

  3. Dan R August 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    I really feel that this area should be made exclusive to low income housing. It is only fair that low income people should enjoy this great part of the city. I think we can all agree that adding more diversity is exactly what South Philly needs!

    • Aaron B August 18, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      Making a neighborhood exclusively low-income — or exclusively anything for that matter — means by definition that it won’t be diverse.

    • Atrios August 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

      There’s plenty of low income housing even at market prices in the area and plenty of diversity. There’s also plenty of poverty which means some people can’t afford anything due to their poverty. When you advocate for low income housing what do you mean? Subsidized? Tiny studios and bedsits with minimal amenities and no parking?

  4. James August 18, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    We need to keep the NIMBYs out of screwing up plans for residential construction on sites zoned commercial because a judge agrees with them to table a residential construction permit. Even better is to pressure City Council to change the zoning to allow residential construction to take place on Washington Avenue. I have not seen commercial businesses dying to want to relocate there as nobody is interested in siting a business there and the current zoning leaves Washington Avenue a dead zone.

    • Paul August 20, 2015 at 8:43 am #

      How ignorant are you???

      You must have a a personal FINANCIAL interest in seeing high density projects developing. What do you care if a developer, who doesn’t live in the neighborhood and is diminishing our quality of life, makes less profits by thoughtfully creating a project that “fits” and is needed. If you don’t financially gain from the project, then you should care about density, transient apartments dwellers, and PARKING (yeah, I said it!!! — that topic it’ll will never go away – never! ). If you live here, you know South Philly is already quite OK and does not need rescuing by anyone! So don’t imagine developers are going to improve your quality of live out of the goodness of their hearts.


      Come back when you understand when you thought out the problem — foolish little man!

      • SoCrisp August 21, 2015 at 8:04 am #

        You’ve brought this same rant here before. I’m sorry to tell you this, but Philly is growing, changing. And that means some parts of South Philly, especially parts close to Center City and parts with giant thoroughfares like Washington Ave, are going to become more dense. Frankly, it doesn’t make any sense to allow a street as vital as Washington Ave to continue to be the eyesore of construction stores gone wild and abandoned warehouses that it is today. As the article states, it’s the backbone holding CC and SP together. It deserves to be grander than it is today, and is the perfect place for modern retail and denser living.

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