City ready to go to work on Plaza

Philadelphia, November 16, 2011 – The City of Philadelphia today posted an Official Notice advising the public that the $50 million Dilworth Plaza construction project is imminent. The notice was issued following the announcement that the Center City District, the project manager, has awarded a general construction contract to Daniel J. Keating Company for the project, which will employ about 800 construction workers and is scheduled for completion in about 27 months. 

The Official Notice stated: “Be advised that the Permit for Demonstration on City Property issued by the City of Philadelphia effective 10/6/11 expires at the start of the Dilworth Plaza construction project. This project’s commencement is imminent. Accordingly, you should take this opportunity to vacate Dilworth Plaza and remove all of your personal belongings immediately.” 

Tomorrow, members of the City’s homeless outreach team, with the assistance of homeless advocacy organizations, will increase efforts to provide assistance to any homeless person who needs help in relocating from Dilworth Plaza. In recent weeks, the outreach team has visited the Plaza three times a day, offering services to homeless people who are camped on the Plaza. 

Managing Director Richard Negrin, who is also Deputy Mayor for Administration and Coordination, said, “The City continues to work with representatives of Occupy Philly regarding an alternative location, and we’re optimistic that we can come to an agreement on a reasonable path forward.” 

As designed by a team of local architects and engineers, the new Dilworth Plaza will create a broad open space accessible from street level without stairs or ramps. There will be tree-shaded areas, a large lawn, an outdoor café and a programmable fountain. The reborn plaza will have an additional 20,000 square feet of usable space as compared to the current plaza. 

The project is funded by a $15 million grant from the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, a $15.5 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, $5 million from the City’s capital program, $4.3 million from SEPTA and contributions from various foundation, corporate and private sources. 

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