Potential Festival Pier Developers Whittled Down to Three Finalists

Residential will be an "anchor" to the project.

Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Photo via the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

Master Plan for the Central Delaware | Photo via the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation sent out notice in February that they were looking for expressions of interests regarding the redevelopment of the Festival Pier, an 11-acre site at Spring Garden Street and Columbus Boulevard. Today, it looks as though they’ve whittled down the field from eight companies to three, each will be required to incorporate a residential component into their plans.

Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the DRWC has “shortlisted” these three groups:

  • Jefferson Apartment Group (McLean, Virginia) and Haverford Properties Inc. (Haverford, Pennsylvania)
  • RAL Companies (New York)
  • Toll Brothers (Horsham, Pennsylvania)

Kostelni reports that a “residential component will be the anchor” of the site and the DRWC “narrowed it down by considering experience and financial capacity to complete a large-scale, mixed-use project.” The development of Festival Pier is seen as a precursor of sorts to the process of redeveloping Penn’s Landing.

Each company now has until July 1 to submit a request for proposal for the project and the DRWC will take the summer to consider each plan.

The area surrounding the Festival Pier site is teeming with activity. On the river, Pier 35 & 1/2 was just sold to a developer planning residential. Pier 25 just hit the market. On Spring Garden Street, Finnigan’s Wake looks to be heading for new life. Destination Maternity moved out its large headquarters at 4th Street, with a project called SoNo aimed at bringing office space to the site. We haven’t even mentioned all of the action at Penn Treaty Village and also on nearby Frankford Avenue.

Interestingly enough, RAL Companies is the group that’s apparently behind a large mixed-use project adjacent to the Divine Lorraine at 1300 Fairmount, which we had heard about during a tour of North Broad Street in April. A spokesman from RAL contacted us late Tuesday and confirmed that they are involved in the 1300 Fairmount project. Toll Brothers, on the other hand, is just about to wrap up their 410 at Society Hill project at the New Market site next to Headhouse Square. “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this project,” said Michael Duff, marketing director at Toll Brothers on Wednesday.

Exclusive: Three developers shortlisted for Festival Pier development [Philadelphia Business Journal]

This post has been updated to reflect that RAL Companies is involved in the 1300 Fairmount development. The quote from Michael Duff of Toll Brothers was added as well.