Contracts, paperwork yet to be approved before work can begin at Queen Lane apartments

 A 55-unit low-density public-housing development is slated to replace a demolished high-rise. (Aaron Moselle/WHYY)

A 55-unit low-density public-housing development is slated to replace a demolished high-rise. (Aaron Moselle/WHYY)

It may be another month before construction starts in earnest at Queen Lane and Pulaski Avenue, where a 55-unit low-density public-housing development is slated to replace a demolished high-rise

During a Thursday night community meeting in Germantown, officials with general contractor DALE Corporation told a handful of residents that bids for the first batch of sub-contractors are still out, but will be awarded over the next 30 days.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority, which is overseeing the roughly $22 million project, also is waiting for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to approve a so-called overlay map of the site.

In the years leading up construction, neighbors fought to preserve a potter’s field, part of which sat beneath Queen Lane Apartments, the 16-story tower that was imploded last fall.

PHA ultimately agreed not to build on top of the roughly two-acre plot, designated in 1755 as a burial ground for “all strangers, Negroes, and Mulattoes [who] die in any part of Germantown forever.”

The map, submitted two weeks ago, details areas of “potential impact” — historical significance — that crews will use as a guide as they work the site.

The historical commission has 30 days to approve the document.

The project moves forward as a group of nearby neighbors moves forward with a lawsuit aimed at resurrecting a playground dismantled prior to construction.

The suit, filed last week in Common Pleas Court, argues that the city wrongly deeded the Wissahickon Playground to PHA, violating the state’s Public Trust Doctrine.

PHA has said it has “complied with all laws and procedures in connection with terminating the restriction of use of the Property as a playground and other historical restrictions.”

The complaint also names the city and the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development as defendants.

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