Nutter takes in Tacony’s sights

— Tour gives may­or an idea of the neigh­bor­hood’s chal­lenges and needs.


May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter saw the good and the bad of Ta­cony on Sat­urday af­ter­noon.

Nut­ter joined City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on, neigh­bor­hood lead­ers and rep­res­ent­at­ives of city agen­cies in a walk­ing and driv­ing tour of the neigh­bor­hood.

Geor­geanne Huff Labovitz, a Ta­cony Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion board mem­ber and own­er of Mar­ie Huff Hairdress­ing, told the may­or that po­lice pres­ence is her top is­sue.

“The dis­trict is way too big,” she said of the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict.

Nut­ter told her 120 of­ficers will gradu­ate from the Po­lice Academy by June.

“They’re all go­ing to be on patrol,” he said.

“We’ll take a couple,” said the hair salon own­er, whose shop stays open un­til 9 p.m.

Nut­ter also stopped in De­N­ofa’s Deli & Ca­ter­ing, Smith’s Hard­ware and Com­puter Guy. Own­ers urged him to im­ple­ment policies that would bring more busi­nesses to the Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue com­mer­cial cor­ridor.

Af­ter­ward, Nut­ter said he likes tak­ing neigh­bor­hood tours, but he likes ac­tion and res­ults bet­ter.

Among those on the tour were Capt. Frank Bach­may­er, com­mand­er of the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict; Tom Con­way, a deputy city man­aging dir­ect­or; lead­ers of the Ta­cony Civic As­so­ci­ation, Town Watch and CDC; and of­fi­cials from the city De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions and san­it­a­tion di­vi­sion.

“My pur­pose was to show him that his in­vest­ment in the neigh­bor­hood is crit­ic­al,” Hen­on said of Nut­ter.

Alex Bal­loon, the CDC’s new com­mer­cial cor­ridor man­ager, is hop­ing to part­ner with the city on ini­ti­at­ives.

The neigh­bor­hood will get a little boost in early April, when Hen­on opens a dis­trict of­fice at 6730 Tor­res­dale Ave.

As for the res­id­en­tial areas, Nut­ter saw plenty of blight. Some res­id­ents of the 6600 and 6700 blocks of Marsden St. and the 6900 block of Tulip St. think it’s OK to pile junk on their front porches.

The may­or’s vehicle also paused at the sites of the murder of a Chinese res­taur­ant own­er last month and the apart­ment base­ment where four men­tally chal­lenged and mal­nour­ished people were found last Oc­to­ber. Bach­may­er said no ar­rests have been made in the murder.

Still, there are plenty of neigh­bor­hood jew­els, in­clud­ing Dis­ston Park.

A new En­gine 38 fire­house is fi­nally com­ing to the corner of Key­stone Street and Magee Av­en­ue after the sta­tion at State Road and Long­shore Av­en­ue closed in Feb­ru­ary 2009 and was later de­mol­ished to make way for an I-95 north­bound en­trance.

To beau­ti­fy the neigh­bor­hood, Phil­adelphia Mur­al Arts Pro­gram ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or Jane Golden is eye­ing large walls for mur­als.

The Ta­cony His­tor­ic­al So­ci­ety re­cently placed plaques on homes with­in the Dis­ston Es­tate. The group is hop­ing to win his­tor­ic dis­trict re­cog­ni­tion, which should spur re­hab­il­it­a­tion with a fed­er­al tax cred­it for com­mer­cial prop­er­ties.

And the Delaware River City Cor­por­a­tion is build­ing Lard­ner’s Point Park on four and a half acres just south of the Ta­cony-Palmyra Bridge. Oth­er privately owned river­front land at Prin­ceton Av­en­ue and at Magee Av­en­ue is sit­ting idle as the poor eco­nomy scares de­velopers from pro­ceed­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the latest census fig­ures, Ta­cony’s pop­u­la­tion has ris­en 8 per­cent in the last dec­ade, so something is at­tract­ing new res­id­ents.

“It has its chal­lenges,” Hen­on said, “but there’s a lot of good in Ta­cony.” ••


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