PlanPhilly reported on a meeting to discuss Dennis Maloomian's parking garage and retail space proposed for Arch Street across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center's expansion. The building, which would be designed by the local architecture firm Erdy-McHenry and would replace a surface parking lot, was blasted by community activists who spent the meeting spouting cliches about McDonalds, Starbucks, and Subway.
As someone who can personally speak on behalf of this neighborhood and proudly call it my own, I have to wonder where most of these rabble-rousers were coming from.
I'm usually not in favor of more parking, especially when it's so close to public transportation, but when it comes to the Convention Center, most people aren't coming in on SEPTA.
This center will require more parking, and this angry mob has done nothing but ensure more surface parking in the surrounding area. This neighborhood has proven repeatedly that it is a lot easier to tear down a handful of row homes for five parking spaces than it is to erect anything.
As for McDonalds, Starbucks, and Subway, what are these people smoking? It's a Convention Center, that is the kind of business that thrives in these types of areas and they do astonishingly well. We want more Starbucks and fast food joints around our convention spaces. Not everything has to cater to bike messaging hipsters and Rittenhouse foodies. Some of us want Fuddruckers.
This vocal minority has nothing better to do but go to town meetings and stomp their feet. They are dictating life in this town for the majority of us who are too busy to do much more than air our grievances on message boards and blogs.
I live in the shadow of this hulk and I've not heard any local opposition to this garage or any business projected to be brought by the Convention Center.
These are the same professional protesters who come into every neighborhood to stifle development, then they turn their back on us when the same developers decide to level my house for a surface lot because they drove out a parking garage just because it might come with a Burger King.