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    New director promotes University City

    The neighborhood support organization would like to leverage the size and reputation of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel for the benefit of West Philadelphia.

    As Cambridge is to Boston, so University City is to Philadelphia. That’s what the new director of the University City District says. The neighborhood support organization would like to leverage the size and reputation of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel for the benefit of West Philadelphia.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090703pcucd.mp3]

    A few months ago a newly opened restaurant at 48th and Baltimore was vandalized by people who presumed the owners were not local. As it turns out, the vandals were wrong, but it highlights worries about gentrification.

    The new University City District director, Matt Bergheiser, says he would like to promote the neighborhood as a world-class university town. But property manager Alan Kriger says the UCD should focus on what it does best: keep the streets clean and safe.

    Kriger: I think that those goals have been overshadowed by an over-ambitious program to do what they call marketing of University City. I don’t think the area needs marketing.

    Some people in the district are concerned the new district could involve additional taxes to pay for them.

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