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What's Happening in:  Pennsport 

Developer proposes 10 high-rises, 100 townhomes for large stretch of Columbus Boulevard

Columbus Boulevard could be seeing some huge development if a zoning ordinance is approved. K4 developers presented to the Pennsport Civic Association last week, sharing the high volume plan to bring 10-story residential high rises and as many as 100 townhomes to a location on Columbus Boulevard.


Barton Partners rendering, via

Last year K4 purchased the 18-acre property on Columbus between Washington Avenue and Reed Street from the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19. The developers are also hoping to acquire another 8-acre property from the union.


Barton Partners rendering, via


The proposal calls for 10 residential high-rises and about 100 townhouses encompassing up to 2,000 units around a broad throughway that originates on Columbus Boulevard, across the street from an I-95 ramp. Two narrower east-west throughways to the north would provide more links for the public between Columbus Boulevard and the river. Shops and restaurants are planned for the ground floor of each residential tower, with several decks of parking on the floors immediately over that retail space.

The first phase of construction, which K4 said may begin as soon as the spring, involves a 22-story, 264-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail and a 23-story, 200- to 220-guest-room hotel, said Seth Shapiro, a principal with Barton Partners architects, which is designing the project.

This potential development isn’t the only big project in the works for Columbus Boulevard. Bart Blatstein has plans to build a commercial and residential complex between Reed and Tasker Streets.

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15 Responses to Developer proposes 10 high-rises, 100 townhomes for large stretch of Columbus Boulevard

  1. sean ohearn September 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    For the love of GOD BUILD IT!!!!!!!!! Our river line can use all the help it can get. And for sure, it cant be worse than what is already there!

  2. ProvWitout September 19, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    This might be a stupid question. But.. Should the building plans take into account the reality of sea level rise and rivers flooding their banks like we’ve seen around the country?

    But yes please do build it. Don’t get me wrong. Just build it smartly.

    • Michelle C. September 19, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

      Yes. As you can see from the new homes on the other side of Columbus, north of Washington, they do. I’m sure it’s not evident from these renderings, but any final plans would certainly take into account FEMA flood maps and insurance-related issues.

      • mjg58 September 20, 2016 at 9:16 am #

        Actually, FEMA floodplain maps to not take into account sea level rise. Most of the time FEMA floodplain maps (FIRMS) are old since FEMA doesn’t have the resources to constantly update them. So it would only be up to the discretion of the developer to integrate climate adaptation (to sea level rise) into its plans above and beyond the current floodplain.

  3. Dave September 19, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Great, that’s just what we need. More Condos and the douches who buy them.

    • SoCrisp September 20, 2016 at 8:32 am #

      Douches who buy condos also pay taxes and spend money on goods and services. So yes, that is just what we need,

  4. Ken September 20, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    Where is the down side? It is not infringing on any established neighborhood, it will not cause any parking problem in any neighborhood, there will be a beautiful walkway along the river open to the public, it will employ people, increase retail choices, and the eyesore of a huge weeded lot will be gone. Start building now.

    • SOUFILLY4LYFE September 20, 2016 at 10:06 am #

      Agreed. Build that pup asap. Bring some life to the South Philly waterfront.

    • Tractorr September 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

      The main downside I can think of is traffic. There are already few good options for driving north/south in the city. Columbus is one of the few roads that doesn’t have massive congestion most of the time. Considering the lack of good public transportation in that area, I imagine that the vast majority of people who would be buying in these buildings would be using cars as their primary means of transportation.

      • mike September 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

        Congratulations, you thought of a downside. I knew someone could do it! This is Philadelphia, after all.

      • Ken September 21, 2016 at 10:13 am #

        Of course there would be traffic. This is a city, there are people that move around the city in cars. If this bothers you perhaps a more rural setting would be better for you. As far as the traffic generated by this development the same false concerns exist as they did with the Sugarhouse casino. People assume incorrectly that casinos and retail/residential projects behave like sports arenas. They do not fill and empty in one big bunch. Cars randomly come and go and do not in any dramatic way increase congestion. I thought we had gotten past that after Sugarhouse opened and no traffic jams appeared.

  5. Constance September 21, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    Traffic is a problem in that section of Columbus Blvd. Have you ever been down there on a Saturday when lots of shoppers are going to Walmart, Home Depot, etc? Or on a Friday afternoon during the summer with drivers heading towards the Walt Whitman or the entrance to 95?

    • Ken September 22, 2016 at 5:48 am #

      Once again, this is a city. More than a million and a half people live here and there are times when a lot of them want to go to the same place at the same time. Forgot the cost of designing roads that would never have congestion, the fact is that those roads would take up an immense amount of real estate. If a situation arose where the congestion you are speaking of lasted 24 hour a day then a solution would be necessary. This proposed development would not in any way significantly add to the average amount of traffic on Delaware Ave. In America where public transportation is not a major way people get around like in Europe car traffic on the streets is a sign of a vital city.

  6. Constance September 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

    I’m not saying don’t build it but traffic patterns need to be taken into consideration.

    • Paul October 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

      Argeed — at least do a traffic impact study

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