Gallery renovation | Roxborough/Ridge demolition delay? | No parking at The Sansom | Reclamation, play at ‘Needle Park’ | remembering Floyd Alston

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust is setting the stage for a major, phased renovation of the Gallery mall. The Gallery “would be turned inside out with storefronts overlooking Market Street. PREIT had hoped to have started on the project last year but a launch is expected to be announced by year end, according to a person familiar with the plans,” reports the Business Journal. PREIT is in the process of purchasing the office building at 901 Market Street from Vornado Realty Trust, which could also be part of the Gallery project.

Owners of four historic, but undesignated, 19th century buildings in Roxborough are ready to demolish the buildings, but this morning there is hope for a 30-day delay, reports Amy Z. Quinn for NewsWorks/PlanPhilly. The demolition news came as a surprise and there has been an outpouring of community support for preservation – particularly of the Bunting House, the corner property at Ridge and Roxborough avenues – including an online petition. Giovannone Construction purchased the buildings at sheriff’s sale last year, but the developers have no clear plans for the site. Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. convened a meeting with neighborhood leaders from Roxborough and the developers who indicated they would consider a demolition delay.

The Sansom, a 104-unit apartment building, is being built on the 1600 block of Sansom Street with zero parking. Flying Kite’s Greg Meckstroth applauds parking-free development in terms of walkability and affordability, hoping to see this trend spread.

In Kensington’s McPherson Square Park volunteers will build a playground on Friday where they typically pick up used needles. Will it help neighbors reclaim the park from a seemingly endless stream of junkies? The Daily News checks in with neighbors who are working to help clean up “Needle Park,” and city officials who are making a concerted effort to make the park a safer place for kids and families. Managing Director Rich Negrin said, “I’m under no pretense that we’ll wipe out drugs in Kensington. But for God’s sake, we can own this park.”

Floyd Alston, a powerful force in North Central Philadelphia’s redevelopment, passed away Monday after a long illness, reports the Daily News. As president of Beech Interpelx, Alston oversaw major housing and commercial developments, including the View at Broad and Cecil B. Moore.

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