In Newbold, a new name for a section of an old neighborhood, what’s new is progress on reNewbold, a sustainable housing development coming to 16th and Moore streets.
Yesterday John Longacre, owner of LPMG Companies and the man credited for carving out a section of Point Breeze and rebranding it as Newbold, broke ground on reNewbold – a collaboration between LPMG Companies, Postgreen Homes and Interface Studio Architects (ISA). The project, which will seek LEED Platinum certification for its sustainable design, will bring 16 rowhomes, two condos and one retail space to the large vacant lot where the Francis M. Drexel School once stood.
Longacre has been a force in the Newbold neighborhood since before it was known as Newbold. In 2002 Longacre bought the South Philly Taproom at 15th and Hicks streets and was confused by the enigmatic neighborhood, which despite having great assets was not, Longacre said, seen as a desired location.
“The longer we were here the more we realized there was a missing civic component,” he said.
Longacre began organizing and, with others, he recast a section of Point Breeze (from Broad to 18th and Washington to Wolfe Street) as Newbold, which was the original name of Hicks Street. Within Newbold Longacre promoted civic engagement.
Longacre’s latest endeavor is the reNewbold housing development.
“I think it’s good, good for the neighborhood,” said Scott Evans, a South Philly resident and business owner. “…I think in general people like the idea. New energy and money has come into the neighborhood. It’s been kind of a depressed area.”
Longtime civic activist Al Littlepage said there has not been a large scale development like this in the neighborhood because there aren’t many large, vacant lots like the one at 16th and Moore streets.
“We’re excited to see new development,” he said. “…We’re just hoping the community will be involved as far as the work on the project.”
Chad Ludeman, president and founder of Postgreen Homes, said the development will be similar to some Postgreen’s other homes like Passive Project or First Steel. Like these other projects, reNewbold will feature the latest in sustainable design, energy efficiency, air quality and fine construction. With each project Postgreen hones and refines its practices. Ludeman said reNewbold has the potential to be the best yet.