Highlights of Lower Northeast District plan include short- and long-term ideas

In the lobby of a building filled with innovators, residents of the Lower Northeast District planning area gathered Tuesday to see the highlights of four months’ worth of ideas for Frankford, Summerdale, Lawncrest, Northwood, Oxford Circle and part of Castor Gardens.

The third and final public meeting for the planning district was set up as an open house at Frankford’s Globe Dye Works for residents to review the highlight of a plan that will be presented to the Philadelphia Planning Commission later this month. At the first two meetings, participants worked with city planners to identify their neighborhoods’ strength and weaknesses and develop suggestions for improvement. Transit, greenery and connectivity were themes that came up frequently.

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So as Frankford Civic Association board member Pete Specos dished out catered food during Tuesday’s open house, dozens of people flowed in and out of the Globe Dye Works lobby to see the poster boards full of highlights from the plan.

Long-term goals involve taking advantage of the transit hub at the Frankford Transportation Center and better connecting it with the other district neighborhoods. A survey of residents found interest in developing high-speed transit along Roosevelt Boulevard, and one part of the plan calls for a new public health clinic in Lawncrest.

Though less exciting, the shorter-term goals involve many zoning adjustments and land studies to make way for the bigger changes and the ultimate improvements outlined to meet the goals of the Philadelphia2035 comprehensive plan.

The open house brought together the concepts discussed at the first two public meetings, giving newcomers a chance to review everything that’s been discussed among the neighborhoods since April, including a Church Street gateway leading into Frankford and mixed-use, pedestrian- and transit-friendly development along Castor Avenue between Oxford Circle and Castor Gardens.

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The plan will have 45 specific recommendations, and is just one of 18 planning districts across the city. There are four other districts in the Northeast; they are in later stages of the Philadelphia2035 implementation strategy.

All the boards shown at the open house will soon be posted to the Phila2035 website.

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