No decision yet on who will redevelop PHA’s Liddonfield property [video]

Upper Holmesburg residents holding their breath to find out what will occupy the site of the former Liddonfield Homes are in danger of turning blue.

When members left last month’s Upper Holmesburg Civic Association meeting, they expected to learn at the April meeting what proposal the Philadelphia Housing Authority would approve for redevelopment of the property on the 8800-block of Torresdale Avenue. No such luck.

UHCA President Stan Cywinski took to the podium at last night’s meeting with little news to offer. The membership has thrown its support behind Holy Family University. Cywinski said as far as he’s aware, that proposal and one from Roizman Development are still being considered.

Plymouth Meeting-based Roizman wants to development 12 of the property’s 32 acres for use for affordable senior housing. Finally rid of Liddonfield, the low-income housing project the drew frequent complaints from neighbors, the membership is looking for something different.

Holy Family has something different in mind, but for the whole 32 acres and at roughly the same bid, according to Cywinski. The university wants to building student and/or faculty housing, boutique shops and cafes and an assisted living housing facility. Local developer BSI Construction has drawn up plans and several politicians and nearby civic associations are in favor of the proposal.

No one from the PHA attended last night’s meeting, though representatives have been to several past planning meetings to meet with neighbors who worry another affordable housing development will bring quality of life issues and decreased home values.

In making its decision, PHA will consider the developers’ track records and the quality of their plans, but the authority also needs to consider its own financial stake and whether the new development will offer job opportunities for the former Liddonfield residents who were displaced before demolition started.

Leaving the short meeting with no news, UHCA members are once again waiting for the next monthly meeting to learn who their new neighbor will be.

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