Stack requests state funding to redevelop Liddonfield

State Sen. Mike Stack has re­ques­ted that Gov. Tom Corbett al­loc­ate fund­ing from the state’s 2014 Re­devel­op­ment As­sist­ance Cap­it­al Pro­gram to­ward the former site of the Lid­don­field Homes.

Stack aide Ju­ven­cio Gonza­lez re­por­ted dur­ing last Thursday’s meet­ing of the Up­per Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation that Stack had sent a let­ter to Corbett re­quest­ing a por­tion of $300 mil­lion in avail­able grant money to sup­port de­vel­op­ment of a Holy Fam­ily Uni­versity satel­lite cam­pus on the former pub­lic hous­ing com­plex at Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue and Megar­gee Street. The gov­ernor’s budget of­fice ad­min­is­ters the RACP fund.

Ac­cord­ing to the RACP web­site, the fund is in­ten­ded for the “ac­quis­i­tion and con­struc­tion of re­gion­al eco­nom­ic, cul­tur­al, civic, re­cre­ation­al and his­tor­ic­al im­prove­ment pro­jects.”

The budget of­fice is ac­cept­ing busi­ness plans as part of the RACP’s “2014 Round 1 sub­mis­sion win­dow.” The dead­line is Feb. 7.

On Dec. 23, Corbett an­nounced the al­loc­a­tion of $133 mil­lion for 58 pro­jects as part of the 2013 RACP.

Lid­don­field was once the site of more than 400 apart­ment units for low-in­come res­id­ents. The com­plex was razed in 2011. The Phil­adelphia Hous­ing Au­thor­ity owns the site but has agreed to sell it to a de­vel­op­ment part­ner­ship led by AP Con­struc­tion and BSI Con­struc­tion, which are work­ing with Holy Fam­ily. The sale is pending fed­er­al Hous­ing and Urb­an De­vel­op­ment ap­prov­al.

The re­devel­op­ment plan calls for re­tail busi­nesses and uni­versity res­id­ences along Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue, an as­sisted-liv­ing com­plex for seni­ors at the rear of the prop­erty along Cot­tage Street and uni­versity ath­let­ic fa­cil­it­ies on the in­teri­or of the tract along Megar­gee Street. The pro­ject is ex­pec­ted to gen­er­ate 500 jobs, Gonza­lez said.

The Up­per Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation sup­ports the plan. UHCA zon­ing chair­man Paul DeFinis said dur­ing the civic meet­ing that the group’s board mem­bers do not ex­pect the lead­er­ship change at Holy Fam­ily to af­fect the de­vel­op­ment plan. The uni­versity’s long­time pres­id­ent, Sis­ter Francesca On­ley, an­nounced her re­tire­ment on Jan. 13.

In oth­er Up­per Holmes­burg busi­ness, board mem­ber Tom Geisler re­por­ted that the 8th Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil is in­ter­ested in hear­ing res­id­ents’ pub­lic safety com­plaints. Geisler is the civic group’s li­ais­on to the PDAC, which is a board of com­munity lead­ers that meets privately with loc­al po­lice monthly to dis­cuss loc­al crime is­sues.

Neigh­bors com­plained about an in­crease in vehicle speed­ing and ac­ci­dents on Megar­gee Street near Dit­man Street, sus­pi­cious foot traffic along En­field Av­en­ue and sus­pec­ted drug activ­ity near Blakiston and Dit­man streets.

UHCA Vice Pres­id­ent Bob Hall re­por­ted that res­id­ents who qual­i­fied for the $30,000 Homestead Ex­emp­tion on their real es­tate taxes last year will not have to re­apply for the ex­emp­tion this year un­less they have made changes to their prop­erty deeds.

UHCA Pres­id­ent Stan Cy­w­in­ski re­por­ted that the civic group is plan­ning to es­tab­lish a char­ity com­mit­tee that will at­tempt to identi­fy and of­fer help to loc­al fam­il­ies who have fallen on hard times. ••

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