City-owned parking lot in Pennsport headed for development? Some opponents are organizing

Thanks to the neighborhood tipster who notified us of this story. If you want us to get to the bottom of something, please email us at

A city-owned parking lot near the popular Herron Playground in a booming section of Pennsport will be “marketed for sale for future development within the next 30 days,” according to a notice posted at the site that’s dated Nov. 7.

Parking at the lot, which is comprised of 1406-1412 S. 2nd St. and 206-210 Reed St., all owned by the city, is expected to end by Feb. 15, 2014, the letter says.

The view from the 1400 block of 2nd Street, from Google
The view from the 1400 block of 2nd Street, from Google

Some neighbors are organizing to oppose development of the lot because its 20 or so spots provide parking for visitors to the playground. The neighbors are starting a petition and have spoken with Councilman Mark Squilla, who one tipster told us that Squilla “said he met with neighbors and is exploring solutions.”

Squilla confirmed that he’d heard from neighbors. “I will be meeting with the community to get their feedback.”

View from Reed side.
View from Reed side.


Pic of the letter and the lot's proximity to the playground provided by Dave Smith.
Pic of the letter and the lot’s proximity to the playground provided by Dave Smith.
Reed Street parking3
The playground across Reed.

Practically across the street from the lot, on the southeast corner of 2nd and Reed, a developer is building six townhomes. And less than a block away at 3rd and Reed, 12 townhouses are rising on the site of the demolished St. John’s Epsicopal church.

The playground also has some recently arrived commercial neighbors in Crossfit 2 Street and the Brown Chicken Brown Cow ice cream shop.

Is it better to have more housing to bring customers to these businesses, or should the city preserve the parking lot? Hmm?


13 thoughts on “City-owned parking lot in Pennsport headed for development? Some opponents are organizing

  • November 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

    We’ve never had a problem finding street parking when we’ve gone to the park. Plus, there’s lots of free parking under 95, two blocks away. Is this lot really used by visitors, or is it just a convenience lot for residents?

  • November 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Have heard residents say it would be a fantastic spot for senior center or senior housing.
    Good leadership would pursue funding this option first before unloading it.
    Dial down the pace of new residents awhile . Give the neighborhood a chance to assimilate recent increases.
    Need the new and old to congeal some and avoid too much culture clash.

    Always go for some facility that benefits the whole community first.
    When those options exhausted then think about selling it.
    You can never do as much good with the taxes as you can with the land.
    Don’t sell the lots .

  • November 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Ian, The reason you can find parking when you go to the park is because there is this parking lot available. Why would you want this lot to become more townhouses for developers to make more money off of the city? Next time you come to this park go park under 95 so that when residents get home from work they can park near their homes.

    • December 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

      There are large parking lots all along 95. I don’t think that the loss of 20 spots on this lot is going to make it impossible to park in the neighborhood. And if walking two extra blocks home is too much of a burden, I don’t know what to tell you (elderly and disabled excepted, of course, and they can petition for HC spots in front of their houses).

      I agree that most of what gets built has been garbage, and we should demand more. As an architect and a person who looks at buildings closely all day, most of this stuff is painful to be around. However, most of the housing in this neighborhood was built by speculative developers at one time or another; it’s they way it’s always been.

      Wouldn’t you rather have more neighbors and a fuller community, than a dingy-looking parking lot? Even at the expense of less-convenient parking?

  • November 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    This area can be a dumping ground for “unlimited parking” cars, used by non-residents living in the city with nowhere else to park 24 hrs a day. This can make the area difficult for parking. As the neighborhood’s population increases, we are anticipating the need for parking lots for residents.

  • December 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

    People in South Philly need to lose the attachment to their automobiles and the entitlement they have when it comes to parking. City living is changing/has changed to the point where this type of lifestyle is outdated and unnecessary.

    • December 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      That’s obviously the solution, thanks for the enlightenment AM.

  • December 2, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I couldn’t agree more with AM. Cities should be designed around people, not cars. Especially this day in age. Regarding “unlimited parking”: if you are concerned there are a vast number of non-residents parked on your street, petition the PPA to permit your block.

  • December 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    AM and SC. This neighborhood is filled with contractors and tradesmen. Can you please tell me how a carpenter is supposed to work without a vehicle “in this day and age”?
    I would love to know how to transport 500 lbs of tools to different jobs on a bus.



    • December 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm


      I don’t think they were suggesting that no one should have a car, but simply that with finite space, considerations to what the reality of parking in an urban neighborhood involve.

      The cost of parking is artificially depressed in the city and should be much higher to reflect its limited supply. Of course people need vehicles for work, but certainly not all fo them. As the city continues to densify and parking becomes more scarce people will need to evaluate if the need to maintain parking really exists. For a contractor the answer is obviously yes, for others it may be no.

      • December 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

        Exactly. AM and I are really just talking about the car ownership mentality that exists in this city, especially in South Philly. Owning and needing to park a work truck is one thing. Pretending like you live in the suburbs and it’s your god-given right to park as many cars as you want is another.

  • December 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    This city is nearly broke. We need all the tax base we can get. We don’t want to go the way of Detroit where they won’t live up to their promise of city pensions for hard working people. That is the alternative when chasing developers away.

  • December 6, 2013 at 8:18 am


    Detroit is not broke because of developers not purchasing city properties to fund the city. Detroit is broke because we shipped all of our manufacturing jobs overseas so that the owners of the companies can have extra profit. Apples and Oranges. If you want to make a comparison to Detroit you can compare the scum auto company owers to local developers by tearing down 200 year old churches and taking away local parking to make a profit, then you would be correct.
    We need to start caring about each other instead of “I don’t get any parking why should they” attitude.

Comments are closed.