Redevelopment Authority To Move On Eastwick

 

The George Pepper Middle School building is included in the list of properties that the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will solicit planning studies for next month. | Photo: Bradley Maule, April 2013

The George Pepper Middle School building is included in the list of properties that the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will solicit planning studies for next month. | Photo: Bradley Maule, April 2013

  • Next month the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will begin vetting planning firms interested in assisting with the development of its Eastwick holdings, including the the former Pepper Middle School and Communications Technology High School buildings. The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni notes the difficulties in developing 128.5 acres of an extended flood plain, hemmed in by a National Wildlife Refuge and an international airport, and burdened by decades of accumulated and deserved mistrust of the schemes of City Hall.
  • Work on Parkside Edge, the $2 million phase one of the Centennial Commons project to reinvent West Fairmount Park’s Centennial District, will begin this fall, says PlanPhilly’s Ashley Hahn. The design from Studio Bryan Hanes includes 4 outdoor “porch” areas along Parkside Avenue, whose varied sizes will be defined by stones and plantings. Besides managing the park’s stormwater runoff, it is hoped that Parkside Edge will better activate this underappreciated space while connecting it to surrounding communities.
  • Flying Kite reports that at the end of the month, the Mount Airy Art Garage (MAAG) will begin two years in “pop-up mode,” as the nonprofit was denied the chance to renew its lease to the space its founders had renovated at Germantown & Mt. Airy Avenues. They’ll have to wait until sometime in 2018 to move into their new home a mile south on the 600 block of Germantown Avenue, where Mt. Airy USA plans to redevelop a “high priority property” there into a mixed-use project, affording MAAG some 2,500-square-feet of commercial space.
  • The BARRA Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources have awarded the Schuylkill Center a combined $175,000 grant to implement Nature Rx, “a program to help doctors connect patients to outdoor spaces to encourage healthy living,” says the Roxborough Review. The three-year initiative will see to the creation of a database by which doctors of various CHOP primary care centers may “prescribe” the ideal natural environment. “The goal of this database is to make everything you want to know about any park, trail or green space in Philadelphia all accessible in one place,” says Gail Farmer, the Schuylkill Center’s director of education. “And that will help the physicians be able to provide meaningful counseling to patients about where, when, how often, and what patient families can do in the parks trails and green spaces.” Nature Rx will launch next spring.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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