PlanPhilly partnered with PhiladelphiaNeighborhoods.com for a look at ground-up news. Here are the top stories reported by interns Kara Savidge and Christine Fisher.
Reconstruction Underway on the 40th Street Bridge Ten, 15, 20 — the exact number of years since they could drive across the 40th and 41st street bridges is beyond memory for Parkside residents, but many say it’s been too long. The bridges are important connectors between the West Philadelphia neighborhoods Parkside and Mantua. While the bridges are open to foot traffic, they are closed to vehicles and have disrupted key bus routes. http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2011/09/27/parkside-bridge-reconstruction-begins-neighborhood-hopes-for-revitalization/
This November Mayor Nutter visited the construction site to check on progress and to emphasize the importance of federal funding for construction projects. Demolition and reconstruction of the 40th Street bridge began in January 2011, and this November crews said they were on schedule to complete construction in December 2012. The reconstruction will cost an estimated $11.76 million, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding, and through the supply chain, some estimate the project has created more than 1,000 jobs. http://planphilly.com/parkside-mayor-nutter-visits-key-bridge-construction-site
Philadelphia2035 Focuses First on West Park In conjunction with the citywide zoning overhaul, the City Planning Commission launched the Philadelphia 2035 plan – an attempt to define a unified vision for the city’s growth over the next 25 years. The first two district plans within Philadelphia 2035 are the West Park and Lower South districts. In both districts, public meetings were used to foster engagement and get the communities’ input into the plan. http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2011/12/09/parkside-philadelphia-2035-plan-shapes-future-neighborhood-growth/
Philadelphia Housing Authority Auctions Make $11 Million, Upset Residents This fall the Philadelphia Housing Authority auctioned 500 vacant properties throughout the city at two public auctions. The goals of the auction were to generate revenue and return some of its 4,000 vacant properties to the hands of private owners who agree to improve the properties. Many residents were upset by the first auction because most of the 400 properties sold were bundled in packages of anywhere from two to 25. http://planphilly.com/north-philadelphia-philadelphia-housing-authority-auction-upsets-residents
PHA went ahead with the first auction as planned and sold each of the 400 properties for a total of $7 million. http://planphilly.com/center-city-housing-authority-makes-money-auction
In response to concerns surrounding the bundling strategy, PHA held a second vacant property auction in December. At this auction, PHA auctioned 100 properties individually and made an additional $4 million. http://planphilly.com/west-philadelphia-housing-authority-makes-4-million-second-property-auction
Fairmount Park Conservancy Keeps Centennial District Plan on its Radar The Fairmount Park Conservancy counts the Centennial District Master Plan among one of its featured projects. Set to be completed by 2026, the multi-organization plan aims to connect the cultural institutions and resources within the Centennial District, which extends from the west entrance of the Philadelphia Art Museum to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
The $300 million plan, which is funded by the Fairmount Park Conservancy with support from the William Penn Foundation and the Lenfest Foundation, will include $100 million in infrastructure improvements and $200 million in additional venues as stated in the Centennial District Master Plan on the conservancy’s website. Some of the planned projects include removing and realigning roadways to create a single park drive, installing signs to direct park traffic to venues and establishing a new transit line which will connect East Park, the Parkway and Center City, making the park more accessible and easily navigated. http://planphilly.com/parkside-fairmount-park-conservancy-collaborates-centennial-district-master-plan
Coming Friday: Real to Reel 2011.