Earth Day Spotlight: PIDC Projects Contributing to Sustainability

April 20, 2023

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This year’s theme for the environmental movement, Earth Day, is “Invest in Our Planet.” PIDC has been doing just that by investing in sustainable projects that are working to protect the environment in many ways. PIDC invests in both sustainable and equitable projects by supporting job growth, economic growth, and preservation of natural resources. PIDC’s sustainable investment is in three main areas: green infrastructure investment, trails and green space, and brownfield cleanup.  Here are ways in which PIDC contributes to building a healthy city and economy by investing in the sustainability of earth’s natural resources through land development projects. 

Green Infrastructure Investment


Structuring Citizens Bank Park Stormwater Project  

Stormwater management projects help capture rainwater, decrease flooding and sewer overflows, and reduce pollution. PIDC structured the second largest shared stormwater management project in Philadelphia for the parking lots surrounding Citizens Bank Park. PIDC also structured the largest shared stormwater project in 2021 on the site of vacant warehouse a short distance from Citizens Bank Park.  This current project will manage roughly 60 greened acres around the Phillies’ home and will be constructed in phases over three years starting in 2023. When completed, it will manage 29 million gallons of rain each year. To put that in perspective, that equals nearly 44 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  

Planting Trees to Mitigate Neighborhood “Heat Island” Effect 

Working closely with the Office of Councilmember Gilmore-Richardson, the Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Philadelphia Commerce Department, PIDC was instrumental in developing legislation that will generate approximately $1.2 million to plant trees in portions of Philadelphia with little tree coverage by linking development of job sustaining investment on its industrial portfolio. This project will mitigate neighborhoods experiencing the “heat island” effect – higher temperatures than outlying areas.


Trails + Green Space Investment


Creating Bridesburg Riverfront Park 

PIDC structured industrial projects that created the 10-acre Bridesburg Riverfront Park, helping to produce significant open space on the river in Bridesburg, a neighborhood that has long been cut off from access to the Delaware Riverfront.

Improving the Blossom at Bartram 

Working with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), PIDC is helping to design and implement a project which includes upgrades to the streetscape along a crumbling one-mile stretch of arterial streets in Southwest Philadelphia. This will help create a safe transit corridor that will benefit residents, visitors, and future development. PIDC leads the project, carrying out improvements and continuing collaborative engagement efforts, helping ensure the project benefits residents as it brings historic levels of investment to the area. In addition to serving Southwest Philadelphia residents, this corridor will support planned investment in a 40-acre campus being positioned to support biotech manufacturing.   

Advancing the 61st Street Connector Project 

Statewide Local Share Account (LSA) funds of more than $560,000 will support PIDC’s efforts to create an essential link for Southwest Philadelphia residents to riverfront amenities, transit, job opportunities, health systems, and education in their community and other areas of the city. Current residents and future development users will benefit from this $4 million project that will eventually allow easier access to the airport and to Passyunk Avenue, which links developments on both banks of the Schuylkill River, including the Pennovation Center, the Navy Yard and other burgeoning areas of residential and commercial development.

The cleanup and revitalization of neglected and underutilized properties has been critical in bringing back investment, housing, and job opportunities to under-served communities and neighborhoods across Philadelphia. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants provide funding for a grant recipient to capitalize a revolving loan fund and to provide loans and subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites – former industrial or commercial sites where future use is possibly affected environmental contamination.  

Managed by PIDC, Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) – a public authority delivering real estate services, tax-exempt financing, state grant funding, and City grant funding – is using RLF funds to provide loans and subgrants to clean up properties in disadvantaged communities. According to the EPA, since 2006, PAID & PIDC have provided six loans and four subgrants totaling $2.85 million to four brownfields in Philadelphia. RLF funds through PIDC and PAID have collectively leveraged more than $200 million in investment, with more than $370 million more planned, creating more than 500 jobs. In 2020, PAID provided a $300,000 loan and $300,000 subgrant to Impact Services, a community action organization, to clean up a brownfield in the Kensington neighborhood. The site is a five-story, 140,000 square foot former historic carpet mill built in the early 1900s that has been largely vacant for the last several decades. The loan and subgrant funded remediation of asbestos, a PCB-contaminated transformer, and an underground storage tank. The sponsor provided $130,000 in equity for remediation and has since executed a $25.8 million redevelopment of the property, converting it into 48 units of affordable family housing below 60% of area median income that began accepting tenants in April 2023. The building will also house a 10,000 square foot commercial condo, with Impact Services occupying a portion of that space.


Visit the Earth Day website to learn how you can contribute to environmental protection year-round.

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