The Durst Organization has selected the Badger Group, a Black-owned Philadelphia development firm, to join its planned redevelopment of Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River waterfront into a district of residential towers, shops, and offices.
Badger, led by president and chief executive Paul Badger, will participate in the management of construction activities, selection and supervision of contractors and subcontractors, and community engagement, Durst said in a statement ahead of the partnership’s planned announcement on Tuesday.
Under the deal, Badger will also be given the opportunity to acquire a 20% stake in the project, Durst said. It did not disclose what the potential monetary value of that stake could be.
“We look forward to partnering with The Durst Organization on a world-class project that will help transform the Delaware River waterfront,” said Paul Badger. “As someone who has long led efforts for diversity and inclusion in the construction and development sectors in our city, a top priority will be to ensure inclusivity throughout this project.”
Badger’s selection helps Durst fulfill part of the commitment it made when it was awarded the project on city-owned land to work with a diverse group of investors, contractors, and other service providers. Its proposal included a pledge that “registered Minority Business Enterprise partners” would have an opportunity to make a big investment into the project.
Badger was selected with the help of Philadelphia consultancy the Urban Affairs Coalition, which was retained by Durst in December 2020 to advise the firm on diversity and equity matters. Badger’s other projects include work with the Goldenberg Group on an apartment and theater complex at the former site of a city health center on South Broad Street.
Durst is also in discussions with the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., which oversees Penn’s Landing on the city’s behalf, to implement an “Economic Opportunity Plan” that ensures diversity in hiring and other economic opportunities resulting from the project.
“The Durst Organization’s decision to partner with the Badger Group helps fulfill Durst’s commitment to ensuring the project contains a robust minority equity component and will expand access and economic opportunities while delivering a world-class development,” said Joseph A. Forkin, president of the waterfront corporation.
The corporation selected Durst to redevelop the site along central Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront in September 2020, choosing the New York-based firm’s vision over multiple completing proposals, including one that would have had a new arena for the 76ers at its core.
The family-run development group’s plan calls for 12 towers with 3.5 million square feet of homes, shops, and offices on either side of the four-acre park being planned over Interstate 95, between Chestnut and Walnut Streets.
“The Badger Group has a deep knowledge of the local market, a culture of excellence, and a proven track record,” said Alexander Durst, Durst’s chief development officer and principal. “We look forward to working with this experienced and proven company to deliver a project to strengthen Philadelphia and its communities.”