Northeast Times

Frankford Civic to discuss former bar site

Start­Frag­ment

A pro­pos­al to put a gro­cery store in a build­ing that once housed a no­tori­ous bar will go be­fore mem­bers of the Frank­ford Civic As­so­ci­ation on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents already have voiced their dis­pleas­ure with that prop­soal for  4691 Hawthorne, the site of the T&T, where an un­der­age Frank­ford man was fatally shot early last year. At an Aug. 16 neigh­bor­hood meet­ing at Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus, about 35 people turnout out to very vo­cally op­pose the idea, said Pete Specos, pres­id­ent and zon­ing of­ficer of the Frank­ford Civic As­so­ci­ation.

“They were all against it,” Specos said in an Aug. 23 phone in­ter­view.

Most feared the gro­cery would be­come a hangout, Specos said.

On Sept. 6, the pro­pos­al, in the form of a re­quest for sup­port of a vari­ance ap­plic­a­tion, will go be­fore the civic group. A vari­ance is needed be­cause a re­tail gro­cery is not a per­mit­ted use, Specos said. The prop­erty’s new own­er is To­mas­ina Per­alta of Rhawn­hurst.

Specos said he told the res­id­ents who op­posed the gro­cery store idea to sign a pe­ti­tion against it and present it at the civic as­so­ci­ation’s meet­ing.

Chris­toph­er Spence, 20, was shot to death in the T&T bar on Feb. 19, 2011. A 19-year-old North Phil­adelphia man, Tyrese Ford, was charged in his death. There was an im­me­di­ate push to close the bar, which already had a his­tory of fights, un­der­age drink­ing and noise.

Specos said last week the prop­erty can nev­er re­open as a bar.

Also on Sept. 6, the civic’s mem­bers will hear a pro­pos­al to ex­pand a day-care cen­ter at 4327 Penn St. And mem­bers will con­tin­ue to dis­cuss 4834 Penn St., which neigh­bors had feared might be used as hous­ing for re­cov­er­ing drug ad­dicts.

Dea­con La­mont Pur­nell and Pre­ston Pick­ett of In­nov­at­ive Treat­ment Al­tern­at­ives Inc. have main­tained re­peatedly — at North­wood and Frank­ford civic as­so­ci­ation meet­ings — that they will not do that.

At the Frank­ford as­so­ci­ation’s Au­gust meet­ing, the men said they want to work with the U.S. De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs to provide hous­ing for home­less vets. They handed out five-page de­scrip­tions of their pro­pos­al.

The vet­er­ans’ hous­ing plan was first brought up at the Ju­ly 26 meet­ing of North­east EPIC Stake­hold­ers.

At the mid-Ju­ly meet­ing of the North­wood Civic As­so­ci­ation, Pur­nell had told a packed room at St. James Church that he wanted to use the Penn Street house as a “per­son­al-care board­ing home.” Pub­lic of­fi­cials, the civic group’s lead­ers and neigh­bors told Pur­nell to come up with an­oth­er use.

The board­ing home ac­tu­ally was Pur­nell’s second pro­pos­al, he said. The ori­gin­al idea was to use the prop­erty for a drug-re­hab­il­it­a­tion pro­gram. City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones-Sanc­hez (D-7th dist.) told Pur­nell she didn’t want an­oth­er drug pro­gram in Frank­ford. Neigh­bors who had heard about the ori­gin­al pro­pos­al com­plained to the coun­cil­wo­man as renov­a­tions were start­ing in early Ju­ly. A city in­spect­or is­sued a stop-work or­der on Ju­ly 6 be­cause there were no con­struc­tion per­mits, and res­id­ents pick­eted the prop­erty on Ju­ly 9, chant­ing, “No more re­hab in Frank­ford.”

Pur­nell’s plan is for sep­ar­ate apart­ments for home­less vets, both men and wo­men. Res­id­ents would live in­de­pend­ently, he said, provid­ing their own meals and fur­niture. He said rent would be paid by vouch­ers from the De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs. In­nov­at­ive Treat­ment Al­tern­at­ives, he said, would provide no treat­ment or ser­vices oth­er than hav­ing a staff mem­ber live on the prop­erty so that it is su­per­vised every day. ull;•

The civic as­so­ci­ation’s meet­ing will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, at Aria Health’s Frank­ford cam­pus, 4900 Frank­ford Ave.End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

comments powered by Disqus