A community-based plan for commercial area revitalization in Hunting Park now has the city’s endorsement, as the Planning Commission voted this week to accept the Hunting Park Neighborhood Strategic Plan 2022.
It’s the result of input gathered from nearly 800 people, at several community meetings and through 14 focus groups, and will feature a Latin-influenced design aesthetic reflective of the area’s population, said Pita Lacenski Oxholm, executive director of Esperanza, the community services organization headquartered in Hunting Park which sponsored the plan.
The plan is meant to guide and further the changes already happening in Hunting Park, which had a growing, young and heavily Latino population. It touches on core themes of education, building community pride, communications, affordable housing, recreation and open space needs, and economic development.
“Our housing stock in our neighborhood is pretty stable, there’s not a lot of vacancies,” Oxholm said. The plan does not make major zoning change recommendations, but does encourage light industrial uses. Its area is bounded by Roosevelt Boulevard, Luzerne Street, Front and Ninth Streets.
For streetscapes, the plan looks to turn Hunting Park Avenue into a tree-lined promenade and turns the area around abandoned railroad tracks into a “Campus Green” and makes Fifth Street more pedestrian friendly.
“It’s a pretty exciting corridor,” said planning commission chairman Alan Greenberger. He urged Oxholm to try to get funding to accomplish something visible fairly quickly, to kick-start the plan and get people interested.
The planning board’s action does not mean any official commitment to the plan on the city’s part, but signals it is in keeping with city wide planning goals and the Philadelphia 2035 comprehensive plan.
See the plan’s executive summary here.
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