SOURCE: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

January 29, 2010 08:30 ET

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Releases Year One Report

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - January 29, 2010) - Today, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) will host its first Annual Meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the Independence Seaport Museum. At that meeting, the DRWC will release a Year One Report, an accountability report for the first year of operation, highlighting accomplishments from Corporate reorganization with a new Board of Directors and President to establishment of Waterfront Planning and Development projects that involve extensive community input along with the continued commitment to Summer and Winter programming on the Central Delaware River Waterfront. 

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) was formed, one year ago, on January 30, 2009 in an effort led by Mayor Michael A. Nutter to establish a new direction for planning and coordinating the development of the Central Delaware River Waterfront in Philadelphia. 

DRWC was reconstituted to be a new organization with expanded boundaries and responsibilities and a new Board of Directors intended to be small and efficient with relevant professional expertise. In an effort to be open and accountable with transparent corporate governance, the new Board of DRWC immediately adopted the Sunshine Act. A full listing of the Board of Directors and all Corporate Governance regulations, as well as all of the minutes of all of the board meetings are readily available to the public on the DRWC website, www.delawareriverwaterfrontcorp.com.

"When I took office I wanted a waterfront development process that was open, transparent, professional, and ambitious. With DRWC I got what I wanted," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "In just one year not only has DRWC achieved a great amount, they have done it with an unprecedented level of public and community engagement and have set us on a clear path to a vibrant, accessible waterfront that can be enjoyed by all Philadelphians. Congratulations to Tom Corcoran, President, Donn Scott, Chairman, and all the rest of the Board of Directors and staff of DRWC. Here's to another great, productive year."

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is proud to list these achievements over the course of the first year for this new organization:

  • DRWC chartered and formed in January 2009 as an open and transparent organization
  • Donn Scott named Chairman
  • Tom Corcoran appointed new President
  • Awarded 501(c)(3) status
  • Funded, bid and awarded contract for new Master Plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront
  • Funded, bid and awarded design contract to create new public park on Pier 11, which will become the new Race Street Pier
  • Funded and bid project to green a new, one acre public space at the end of Pier 53
  • Funded and expanded 18 year regional New Year's Eve fireworks Celebration, adding earlier fireworks show at 6:00 PM in addition to the traditional show at Midnight
  • Funded and produced over 50 free summer events on the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
  • Reopened Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn's Landing for the 16th season

"DRWC is dedicated to the goal of transforming the Central Delaware River Waterfront into a vibrant destination location for the recreational, cultural and commercial benefit of Philadelphia's residents and visitors," said Tom Corcoran, President of DRWC. "The successes of this past year could not have been accomplished without the ongoing support of our very talented and dedicated Board of Directors, along with key partners including Mayor Michael Nutter and the City of Philadelphia, PennPraxis, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, GPTMC, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the William Penn Foundation."

SUMMARY OF YEAR ONE ACHIEVEMENTS

Race Street Pier

In February 2009, Mayor Nutter together with DRWC announced funding was secured for design and construction of a one acre public park on the vacant pier at the base of Race Street, immediately south of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

DRWC and the City of Philadelphia issued a Request for Proposals to provide design, construction documentation, and construction administration services for improvements to Pier 11 with the goal to develop Pier 11 into a publicly accessible riverfront amenity for residents and tourists. With public input and leadership the DRWC Planning Committee led by Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean, Penn Design, University of Pennsylvania and Alan Greenberger, Executive Director Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Commerce Director, James Corner Field Operations was selected as the Race Street Project team and is now in the process of full design development.

The new Race Street Pier is scheduled to open in late Spring of 2011. This project will serve as an early example of high quality open space along the Central Delaware Waterfront.

Master Plan for the Central Delaware Riverfront

In February 2009, Mayor Nutter together with the DRWC announced that a one million grant from the William Penn Foundation was secured to complete a comprehensive master plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront. The Master Plan will be guided by the principles set forth in A Civic Vision for the Central Delaware, developed by Penn Praxis led by Harris Steinberg with extensive community input from over fifteen civic associations that span the Central Delaware River Waterfront in Philadelphia, now known as the Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG). 

In December 2009, after an extensive interview process with key public input led again by the DRWC Planning Committee, the DRWC Board voted to authorize staff to finalize contract negotiations with the consultant team which includes Cooper Robertson & Partners, architects and urban planners, led by Alex Cooper; the OLIN Partnership, landscape architects, led by Lucinda Sanders; and Kieran Timberlake, architects, led by James Timberlake; as well as HR&A Advisors, who will be led by John Alschuler, Jr. to prepare the economic analysis of both public and private projects and who will be integrated into every phase of the master planning assignment. The contract and scope of services has been completed and Master Plan work has actively begun with anticipated completion by February of 2011.

The awarding of this contract sets new standards for business development in Philadelphia. Unique to this award is that this contract achieved a landmark goal of 30% participation from MBE/WBE companies with the inclusion of strategic wealth building opportunities for MBE/WBE owned businesses, extensive public input at key junctures in planning, great emphasis on high quality public space and the commitment to green and sustainable development.

In addition to the Race Street Pier Project and the Master Plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront, the First Year Report outlines DRWC's funding and bid of a project to create a one acre green public space at the end of Pier 53, as well as DRWC's operational support for the Delaware River Trail.

Programming

DRWC remains steadfast in its commitment to free public programming on the waterfront at Penn's Landing. This past summer Penn's Landing continued to serve host marquee events such as the Taste of Philadelphia, a high profile waterfront concert with fireworks, an Ice Cream Festival and the introduction of a free kayaking program created in partnership with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. All events produced by DRWC were free to the public.

Due to the continued commitment of Independence Blue Cross, DRWC successfully reopened the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn's Landing for the 16th season this winter. This annual program continues to welcome thousands to the waterfront each winter.

In November 2009, Mayor Nutter announced DRWC would produce not one but two fireworks shows on New Year's Eve. In addition to the traditional waterfront fireworks show at Midnight, the earlier show at 6:00 PM promised twice the fireworks, twice the fun for residents, as well as economic impact for businesses and attractions in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

Looking Ahead:

The Board and Staff of DRWC look forward to an equally productive year in 2010 with the opening of the new Delaware River Trail, the greening of Pier 53, the start of construction for the new Race Street Pier, intensive work on the new Master Plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront, the debut of the new waterfront performance stage on the Great Plaza, and continued work on cooperative programming efforts with the Cities of Philadelphia and Camden.

DRWC will continue to work with Mayor Nutter and the City of Philadelphia as well as all of our civic partners to make the Central Delaware River Waterfront a great economic, cultural, and recreational asset for the City of Philadelphia and the region.

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