Stan Cywinski, president of Upper Holmesburg Civic Association, spoke at last week’s Holmesburg Civic Association meeting about plans for the former Liddonfield Homes housing project site.
Cywinski’s group is supporting an effort by Holy Family University and BSI Construction to redevelop the 32-acre site, which is bordered generally by Megargee to Tolbut streets and Cottage Street to Torresdale Avenue.
The plan calls for, among other things, a 300-bed assisted living facility; four NCAA-approved athletic fields; shops; and dining spots.
There are about 20 bidders, but state Rep. Mike McGeehan, state Sen. Mike Stack, City Councilman Bobby Henon and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady are supporting the Holy Family/BSI proposal.
Writing letters of support were civic associations representing Holmesburg, Holme Circle, Tacony, East Torresdale, Morrell Park and Ashton Square.
More than 6,000 individuals signed a petition in favor.
“There’s definitely strength in numbers,” Cywinski said.
The civic leader hopes the backing of public officials and neighborhood groups will sway PHA. He’s playing the “community card,” noting that some other bidders — including one that would bring hundreds of low-income housing units — have deeper pockets.
“I’m sure they’re not the highest bidder,” Cywinski said of Holy Family/BSI.
Cywinski explained that his group is supporting the partnership because it believes the construction will serve as a catalyst for Torresdale Avenue.
In other news from the Feb. 14 meeting:
• Sgt. Kevin McDevitt, of the 15th Police District, said officers will be ready for the March 3 Shamrock Shuttle, which attracts hundreds of partiers to bars generally located near Frankford and Cottman avenues.
Complaints from previous years include public urination, litter and open containers of alcohol.
McDevitt said police will try to “keep a lid on it.”
“We do the best we can,” he said.
McDevitt said there have been some burglaries of houses with “for sale” signs on the lawn or lock boxes on the door handle. He said the burglars usually knock on the door first. If someone answers, they’ll ask a question such as, “Is Tony there?” before walking away. If there is no answer, they’ll try to enter.
The sergeant encouraged the crowd to call 911 anytime they see suspicious behavior.
“We love locking people up,” he said.
• The Holmesburg, Tacony and Mayfair Town Watch groups will hold a beef-and-beer fund-raiser on Sunday, March 11, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Reale’s Sports Bar & Grille, at 7233 Frankford Ave.
The cost is $25, payable at the door. Proceeds will go toward expenses such as licenses, radios, flashlights, safety vests, log books and equipment maintenance.
For more information on the Holmesburg and Tacony Town Watch organizations, visit www.tactw.org
More information on Mayfair Town Watch can be found on the group’s Facebook page.
• Holmesburg Civic Association will meet on Tuesday, March 13, at 7:15 p.m., at Holmesburg Recreation Center, at Rhawn and Ditman streets. ••EndFragment