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Neighborhood Plan: Goal 5

Redevelop Commercial and Residential Anchors in the Neighborhood

One of the hallmarks that define a neighborhood is homeownership. The vast swaths of vacant parcels create an opportunity to re-anchor residents who will invest in the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood. People are further engaged with their neighborhood when they have access to retail amenities that make daily life easier and provide informal opportunities to engage with neighbors. Reviving the Ridge Avenue Commercial Corridor will expand opportunities for residents to invest in the commercial vibrancy of Sharswood. 

In addition, several institutions and buildings anchor theSharswood/Blumberg neighborhood, as well as the broader community. Chapter 2 of this Plan discussed the lack of connections between residents and the anchor institutions in the community, such as Girard College or Project HOME’s Stephen Klein Wellness Center, and the need to repurpose Vaux and Reynolds, the abandoned school district buildings that have become eyesores. Residents have expressed a goal of improving and enhancing the physical connections between them and community landmarks because those buildings and institutions have a strong visual and social presence in the community.

Therefore, the strategies listed highlight a desire to expand resident engagement with Girard College to limit the physical and social barriers between the neighborhood and the College, and to repurpose available school buildings.

Strategy 1: Advocate for the repurposing of the Reynolds and Vaux Buildings to serve and support residents

  • 1.1 Work with PHA to repurpose the Reynolds School for senior housing and Adult Day Center services.
  • 1.2 Discuss with the School District opportunities to repurpose and revive activity in the Vaux School Building.

Performance Indicators and Metrics

  • Number of new neighborhood amenities developed since award of the CN grant

Strategy 2: Revitalize Commercial Activity on the Ridge Avenue Corridor

  • 2.1 Work with PHA to bring a grocery store to Ridge Avenue.
  • 2.2 Work with the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and PHA to develop retail stores on Ridge Avenue.
  • 2.3 Work with the Enterprise Center, local banks, and other partners to develop a small business development fund for Ridge Avenue.
  • 2.4 Educate residents on programs and funding opportunities for small businesses to locate on the corridor.

Performance Indicators and Metrics

  • Number of new neighborhood amenities developed since award of the CN grant