by Manuel McDonnell Smith
For years, the homeowners and neighbors of Parkside have heard the repeated promise “development is coming.” Now it appears that 2016 will signal that promise’s fulfillment with a series of transformational projects underway in and around the Parkside community. Here’s a list of ten new construction projects to watch that have the potential for positive impact on our neighborhood for years to come.
- University Place 3.0, 41st and Market Streets Status: Demolition complete, groundbreaking in Spring 2016
Developer Scott Mazo reportedly is investing $70 million dollars to transform the former Pep Boys site into a five-story office building. He’s hoping to lure tech firms (and their good-paying jobs) to the sleek,all-glass tower on the now-dormant corner.
- Public Safety Services Complex , 4601 Market Street Status: Phase 1 under construction, expected to open in 2018
The City is spending $250 Million Dollars to transform the long-shuttered 4601 Market Building into the “Public Safety Services Campus” that will house the headquarters for the Police and Health Departments, along with the Medical Examiners Office and City Morgue.
- Centennial Commons & Belmont Plateau Trail Restoration, West Fairmount Park Status: Groundbreaking May 2016
The Fairmount Park Conservancy is working with neighborhood groups and private foundations to raise over $7 Million dollars to “soften” the edge of Fairmount Park at Parkside with new playgrounds, picnic areas and other amenities.
- UCity Square, 36th and Filbert Streets. Status: Demolition Complete; construction TBA
University City Science Center has partnered with Drexel University on a $1 Billion Dollar plan to transform the five-block, 14-acre former U-City High Site into new offices, apartments and stores for the growing area. Also planned, a new park and K-8 school to be partially operated by Drexel.
- 4050 Apartments, 4050 Haverford Avenue Status: Under construction, no opening date set
People’s Emergency Center recently broke ground on a three story building rising on the long vacant lot near 40th and Haverford Avenue. When opened, it will feature 20 one, two, and three bedroom apartments for low-income artists. The new building will also feature a shared workshop/exhibit space and a community room open to the public.
- Schuylkill Yards, 30th and Market Streets Status: In planning, groundbreaking scheduled for late 2016
Drexel University is working with a private developer on a $3.5 billion dollar plan to transform the sea of parking lots and “dead space” west of the train station into new living, educational, office, and retail spaces. First up, transforming the parking lot at the northwest corner of 30th and Market into a new public park.
- Good Food Flats, 4000 Baring Street Status: Under construction, set to open late 2016
Community Ventures has secured funding to complete a combination of apartment buildings, single family homes, and commercial space for senior and disabled residents.The project in financed in part with $3.4 Million Dollars in federal funds along with $1.3 Million in Tax Credits.