As a long time resident in Old City, I get frustrated with the lack of development in the last 5-7 years while neighborhoods around us continue to bring in new businesses and restaurants. The OCCA has defended the growth of OC with their new businesses list, but in my opinion, it's pretty lacking compared to other neighborhoods(Nolibs, Grad. Hos, Rittenhouse...). There has been a lot of shuffling going on and we're not much better off than where we were 5-7 years ago. I think real estate prices in OC have been fairly weak in relation to other neighborhoods and it's a reflection of it's lack of progress.
Instead of ripping the OCCA which may/may not be(probably is) behind the lack of progress, I'd like to hear what other neighbors think would greatly improve the neighborhood. Here are my 2 cents.
1. 2-3 more low key breakfast/lunch places. My beef here is that OC has a couple super low end places (Mrs.K, Old City Pizza, Soho, Euro Wrap) and some great restaurants (Contin., Amada, Budda...) but it's lacking quality low-mid range places. Wedge and Fig, and Cafe Ole are good, but we need several more. I was crushed when Wrap Shack left us years ago(sorry EuroWrap/Fries, but you don't come close). Farmicia and Continental are great, but 2 choices isn't enough for a great neighborhood. I think a Honey's, Green Eggs Cafe type place would kill it here.
2. Less bars below Market and more restaurants above. The separation has killed OC south of market and the lack of development north of market is keeping it from developing properly. The section of OC above the bridge is too far/ detached from the neighborhood. A few good restaurants/bars up there would totally turn things around.
3. More flexibility on development in the neighborhood. I'm glad to see Lite-Bite being filled in, but the anti-development mindset around here is crazy. For example, the 205 Race St project is still facing heat from the neighborhood. That place they designed is incredible. I can't frikin believe they might kill that project. I've heard all kinds of stories about people trying to get stuff done- restaurants, bakeries, hotels, condo... all shot down or faced too much heat from the neighborhood. I know one guy personally on the OCCA who is a real ass^&*(, and I'm not surprised nothing gets approved based on dealing with him. As a side note, neighborhood meetings shouldn't be during regular work hours.
Give me your top 3 things that need to change or things the neighborhood needs.