SOURCE: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

October 04, 2012 10:04 ET

DRWC Creates Design Review Committee to Evaluate Development Proposals on the Central Delaware Waterfront

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Oct 4, 2012) - The Executive Committee of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) today authorized the creation of a Design Review Committee (DRC) to review and comment on proposed public and private developments within the Central Delaware. Acting on behalf of the DRWC Board of Directors, the DRC will interpret the intent and impact of development proposals in relation to the Master Plan for the Central Delaware and evolving conditions including market, program, building form, and design. The committee is expected to make recommendations emphasizing urban relationships, connectivity and contribution to the public realm on the Central Delaware. 

The DRC will consist of three DRWC board members each appointed for expertise in urban design and development. To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, Board members who are serving ex-officio as public officials or involved in the public approvals process will not be eligible for membership on the DRC. The Design Review Committee will initially consist of Board Members Michael Hauptman, Mario Zachariasz, and Marilyn Jordan Taylor, who will serve as initial chair.

"The Master Plan clearly establishes design objectives for development and provides additional information and guidelines about the expectations of the DRWC. Our intent is to conduct design review on an informal basis to communicate the recommendations of the Master Plan, offer constructive comments to developers and offer support in public forums for the projects that advance the intentions and objectives of the Master Plan -- as well as constructive criticism of those that do not," said Marilyn Jordan Taylor, who in addition to being a board member of DRWC is Dean of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She added, "Design review by the DRWC will provide a useful critique to developers early in the design phase, as projects are being identified and proposed. It will also be a part of the DRWC's responsibilities and commitments to advance the Master Plan and to advocate for good design and for the public interest consistent with the intent of the Master Plan."

Design Review Process

DRWC expects the following process for DRC review of development proposals:

  • The DRC will invite, and accept requests from, public entities and private developers to review projects proposed for the Central Delaware. This will likely take the form of information-sharing, followed by one or more meetings, ideally beginning in the pre-design start-up phase with updates as appropriate during the design process. The Committee plans to invite, on a case-by-case basis, other parties of interest who are qualified to participate in an advisory capacity in the design review process; these parties should be qualified design professionals and/or experienced real estate developers with a knowledge of design.
  • DRC, with the authority of the DRWC board, will offer comments and recommendations to proposing parties.
  • DRC will be authorized to provide comment representing the DRWC at informational public meetings and at formal public approval proceedings.
  • DRC will convene meetings regularly as determined by the Committee Chairman and DRWC staff and necessitated by development proposals.
  • It is expected that the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and other public entities aware of proposed projects in the Central Delaware will refer applicants to the DRC for review.

"DRWC's goal is to attract development that provides a high quality of life and strong sense of place on the Central Delaware. The Design Review Committee will provide a venue that will positively affect development proposals as they work their way through the city's approval process," said Tom Corcoran, President of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.

The DRC will be separate from and complementary to DRWC's Planning Committee, which will continue to work with staff and consultants in the definition and design of DRWC-funded projects. DRWC-funded projects that require public approval may also be reviewed by the Design Review Committee, at its discretion. 

About DRWC

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is a nonprofit corporation organized exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. DRWC acts as the steward of the Delaware River waterfront to provide a benefit to all of the citizens and visitors of the City.

The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop and manage the central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia between Oregon and Allegheny Avenues. DRWC intends to transform the central Delaware River waterfront into a vibrant destination location for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia. DRWC will serve as a catalyst for high quality investment in public parks, trails, maritime, residential, retail, hotel and other improvements that create a vibrant amenity, extending Philadelphia to the river's edge.

Since the completion of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront and its approval by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission on March 6, 2012, DRWC has continued its work to implement the plan, including creating new public spaces, acquiring waterfront piers for future wetlands areas and public parks and trails, and presenting programming and events on the Central Delaware. Learn more at

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