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Housing Plan: Goal 2

Assemble Publicly and Privately Owned Parcels to Streamline Future Housing and Commercial Development Activity

As shown in Figure 6, the Sharswood neighborhood has some of the highest concentrations of vacant land in the City of Philadelphia. Combined with the negative impacts of the distressed Blumberg public housing development, the proliferation of these abandoned properties has been causing neighborhood blight and safety issues for decades and poses a significant obstacle to future revitalization. The large scale revitalization of the neighborhood housing market that is envisioned will require streamlining the vacant property acquisition process to pave the way for future homeownership and rental development efforts by private, public and non-profit entities including development of additional replacement housing units by PHA. 

Strategy 1: Acquire 1,300 Public and Private Properties Under Common Ownership Structure

  • 1.1 As part of the transformation planning process, PHA coordinated with the Neighborhood and Housing Task Force working groups and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) to identify properties within the planning area for acquisition.
  • 1.2 Starting in 2014, a total of 1,300 targeted properties (approximately 500 in public ownership and 800 in private ownership) were identified. Through an acquisition process including condemnation. The properties will be organized under common ownership by PHA and allow for
  • larger consolidated parcels to be structured in a way that facilitates future redevelopment efforts for housing, mixed-use and neighborhood amenities. Working through PRA, the acquisition process is underway with an anticipated completion date of fall 2015.
  • 1.3 With substantial swaths of vacant and underutilized properties under consolidated ownership, PHA will be able to move forward with implementation of the proposed redevelopment in stages. The staged implementation allows for working with residents and partner organizations to manage the remaining undeveloped properties until future phases begin. These properties may serve as temporary or permanent open spaces, community gardens, dog parks, play areas, or provide other opportunities for residents to enjoy maintained communal space.

Performance Indicators and Metrics

  • Total number of parcels assembled under PHA ownership

Strategy 2: Implement Request for Development Proposals Processes for Assembled Parcels

  • 2.1 A conceptual approach to organizing the assembled parcels into a series of buildable sites which includes both planned PHA replacement infill housing sites and other sites that will be available for development by qualified development entities, which may include local community development organizations and/or other non-profits.
  • 2.2 Over an approximate 8+ year period, PHA will work with the City, community residents and other stakeholders to establish and implement a phased approach to identifying qualified development partners that share the community’s vision for a mix of affordable, energy efficient and sustainable rental and homeownership units.
  • 2.3 Intensive efforts will be undertaken to identify financial resources and other incentives from public and other sources to help spur 
  • developer interest.
  • 2.4 Request for Development Proposals evaluation criteria will incorporate community priorities related to design, energy-efficiency and sustain
  • ability, property management standards and amenities.
  • 2.5 It is expected that the Request for Development Proposals, and the type of resources and incentives needed to attract qualified developers,
  • will evolve over time in response to improving market conditions within the neighborhood.

Performance Indicators and Metrics

  • Request for Development Proposals issued