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