Local lawmakers applauded today’s Philadelphia Housing Authority’s approval of Holy Family University’s plan for the former Liddonfield Homes site as an important and beneficial development for the Upper Holmesburg community of Northeast Philadelphia.
State Sen. Mike Stack, state Rep. Mike McGeehan and City Councilman Bobby Henon applauded PHA’s decision to select the university’s development plan for the land, which was the former site of deteriorated low-income housing and is currently vacant.
“It’s a good day for the community because we can finally move forward with a solid plan that will benefit the university and the surrounding neighborhood,” Stack said. “We’ve been watching the progress of the future of this site for some time now, and it’s exciting to know that there will be positive development and that the university will be growing both locally and regionally.”
Holy Family’s plan calls for retail shopping and nursing student housing on the Torresdale Avenue side of the property and an assisted living facility on the Cottage Street side of the property that will double as a facility for Holy Family nursing students to get practical nursing experience. The site would also have collegiate level soccer, baseball and softball athletic fields. Parking lots would be developed on Torresdale Avenue, Megargee Street, and Cottage Street.
“From the inception of the idea to redevelop the Liddonfield Homes site in 2006, Sen. Stack and I made a pledge to keep constant our efforts to ensure the community’s voice would be heard. Now, along with the support of Councilman Henon we have kept that pledge and believe the Holy Family proposal will move our Northeast Philadelphia community forward in a positive way”, said McGeehan. “The unwavering support and diligence of the community has been rewarded with PHA’s approval of the Holy Family plan.”
“I am extremely pleased by today’s terrific decision by the PHA Board to approve Holy Family University’s redevelopment proposal for the former Liddonfield Homes site. I was proud to be one of the leading supporters and driving force behind this important and innovative development for the Upper Holmesburg community” said Henon. “I thank Sister Francesca, the PHA board, and my fellow elected officials for their hard work and dedication to making this day possible.”
University officials say the project could create up to 500 jobs.
The 32-acre site was formerly the location of the Liddonfield Homes. The homes were originally built in the late 1940s, serving as military barracks during World War II. They were converted to low-income housing in the 1950s.
Time and deterioration made the homes sources of increasing complaints. The tenants were all relocated and the housing units were demolished. Stack and McGeehan helped secure $3.5 million from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Fund to pay for leveling the buildings.
“I want to thank the community, state Representative Mike McGeehan and City Councilman Bobby Henon for all of their work to ensure that this vacant site becomes a vibrant site that will benefit the community and the Philadelphia region,” Stack said. “Holy Family is a wonderful community partner, and this project will expand the institution while giving back to its neighbors.”