Planning for Equitable Development in West Powelton


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Planning for Equitable Development in West Powelton

  1. 1. Planning for Equitable Development inWest Powelton and its EnvironsMaster of City Planning Studio, Spring 2005Department of City and Regional PlanningUniversity of Pennsylvania School of DesignPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
  2. 2. 3PrefaceThis report was created by eleven second-year Master of CityPlanning candidates from the University of Pennsylvania’sSchool of Design. The students participated in the Planningfor Equitable Development studio led by instructors DanielCampo, Ph.D. and Joyce Ann Pressley, Ph.D. The report hasbeen prepared for the People’s Emergency Center CommunityDevelopment Corporation (PECCDC). Its contents reflect theviews and recommendations of the authors and not those ofthe University of Pennsylvania or its staff. This report shouldbe treated as an internal document of PECCDC and will onlybe made available for public use with the permission of theclient.The following students participated in this studio:• Curtis Adams• Crystal Barnes• Elizabeth Boyd• Brian Duncan• Manisha Gadia• Jerryanne Heath• Jamica Keith• Stephen Singer• Shadja Strickland• Matt Wysong• Cory YemenThe students of this studio have been working with People’sEmergency Center Community Development Corporation(PECCDC) on a plan for equitable development in and aroundthe West Powelton neighborhood of Philadelphia. Created in1992, PECCDC is a strong non-profit organization engaged inrevitalizating West Philadelphia. The organization grew outof the People’s Emergency Center (PEC), which has played avital role in social service provision to West Philadelphia since1972. Founded by the social justice ministry of Asbury UnitedMethodist Church, PEC initially provided emergency shelterand food to homeless families, couples, and single women,on weekends. Since then, PEC’s services have expandedto include job training, affordable housing creation, andeducational and recreational programs for young adults.Our client, PECCDC, has been an integral part of communitydevelopment efforts in West Philadelphia. Over the past 13years, it has transformed 78 blighted properties into 100units of housing, 4 social service facilities, and a recreationalfacility. It also recently initiated a façade improvementproject for homeowners, which has markedly increased “curbappeal,” neighborhood safety, and resident pride. PECCDC’sefforts translate into over $20 million of public and privateinvestment in and around the West Powelton neighborhood.In 2003, PECCDC worked with the Delaware ValleyRegional Planning Commission, Kise Straw & Kolodner, andLamar Wilson Associates on a strategic plan for the WestPowelton/Saunders Park neighborhood. The planningprocess incorporated a community visioning process, andthe final document included several recommendations forthe neighborhood. This recent plan has set the stage forour study, but our studio’s final plan will focus specifically onstrategies for equitable development.This studio is part of a larger program known as theCommunity Outreach Partnership Centers (COPC) Program.The program consists of a 3-year grant from the Departmentof Housing and Urban Development for the creation of theCenter for Innovation in Affordable Housing Design (Center).The Center is designed to support and strengthen existingUniversity/community partnerships, create new knowledgeabout affordable housing, and develop demonstration housingto reflect that work. The Center is a partnership between theUniversity of Pennsylvania’s School of Design (PennDesign),the University’s Center for Community Partnerships (CCP),the People’s Emergency Center (PEC) and the PEC CommunityDevelopment Corporation (PECCDC).The COPC program has three main functions: research,outreach, and construction. This studio is one of five new
  3. 3. 4courses, created through the COPC grant, in the Departmentsof Architecture and of City and Regional Planning. Our researchwill inform the Fall 2005 architecture studio, which will design6 affordable, energy-efficient housing units. PECCDC will thenconstruct the units at 3800 Brandywine Street, in Mantua.The theme of this studio has been “Planning for EquitableDevelopment in West Powelton and its Environs.” Many sectionsof West Philadelphia, especially University City, Spruce Hill, andPowelton Village, have experienced increased levels of investmentand redevelopment. Redevelopment and a variety of other trendsin our study area have generated concerns about gentrification.The remainder of this study seeks to address those concerns.
  4. 4. 5Table of ContentsPreface 3Table of Contents 5Introduction 7Study Area 12History 14Section I: Neighborhood Indicators Report 23Locational Value 24Social Indicators 26Physical Indicators 34Conclusion 46Section II: Road Map to Equitable Development 49Goals 50Community 53Physical 62Implementation 77Conclusion 80Bibliography 81Appendices 89Appendix A: Neighborhood Stakeholders 91Appendix B: Optional Questionnaire 97Appendix C: Literature Review 99Appendix D: Organizations 121
  5. 5. 7IntroductionEquitable Development isa process in which existing and incoming stakeholders in anarea create opportunities for mutual gain, while mitigatingthe negative effects of gentrification by sustainablyharnessing physical investment for social empowermentwhile minimizing transition costs.Equitable development is not equality. It is an inclusive andparticipatory process. Because the specific content of theprocess is determined in large part by local residents, theoutcome cannot be defined by a fixed formula.Gentrification isthe social and economic change induced by the movementof external public and private capital into an area with ahistory of disinvestment. Gentrification typically producesincreased housing costs, upgraded housing stock, upwardsocio-economic class shifts of the resident population, andother changes in the flavor and character of the geographicarea.DiscussionAs with any contested and inherently political concept,equitable development means many things to many people.Deciding among those meanings cannot be an entirelytechnical affair. Equitable development demands an activecommitment. Championing equitable development involvesthe decision that a fair distribution of benefits from physical,social, and economic improvements cannot be left as anafterthought. Reduction of inequality requires specific andsustained attention.The current state of inequality among and withinneighborhoods did not evolve solely as a “natural” resultof market processes operating on a level playing fieldin some edenic past. Likewise, mere incentives to inducemarket activity in poor neighborhoods will not level theplaying field on their own. Gentrification results when equityremains a subordinate concern. Neighborhoods susceptibleto gentrification are those left to rise and fall on successivewaves of disinvestment and investment without concern forlocal residents’ ability to participate in their neighborhood’sgood fortune.Too often, individuals are left to segregate, and neighborhoodsare allowed to become exclusive and unaffordable. Yetthe place-based solutions of traditional development andthe people-based solutions of social service work tend totreat the connection between residents and neighborhoodas either unimportant or automatic. Without the anchorof booming industrial employment that many Philadelphianeighborhoods enjoyed in the past, a beneficial connectionbetween community and neighborhhod can only bemaintained by expanding resident investment in and controlof the land and its development.While no community can be granted the right to remainunchanged or the ability to improve its lot without makingdifficult trade-offs, our vision of equitable developmententails the belief that, even as they work to better theirlives, or remain content where they are, all communitieshave a right to a place in the city (Mitchell 2003). While noplace should be defined perpetually as the place for the poor,equitable development at the neighborhood, city, or evenregional level will not eradicate inequality, so the poor mustalways have a place.We believe that, while the city as a whole has specific needsfor its continued survival and prosperity, neighborhoodsare malleable things. They can be bedroom communities ormicrocosms of the city as a whole. They take specific formfrom the history of their use and from their ongoing needsas residents collectively and often conflictually define them.Satisfying the needs of residents, whatever they may be,requires greater capacity for control and choice than theresidents of Mantua and West Powelton currently possess.Equitable development is largely distinct from any onespecific vision of what the community should be or exactlyWhat is Equitable Development?
  6. 6. 8what it should contain. As neighborhoods with a historyof disinvestment and neglect, West Powelton and Mantuacould benefit from all types of improvement. While theseareas and their residents have many valuable assets, theyhave no shortage of needs, both for what they entirely lack(adequate supermarkets, quality educational institutions,productive employment at all skill levels…) and for whatthey have in too short or low quality supply (recreationfacilities, greenery, affordable housing…).Equitable development aims for a more equitable resultby means of an equitable process. We have focused onhow to prevent traditional physical development and otherimprovements to the neighborhood from excluding currentresidents from the enjoyment of those improvements.Implicit in this goal is a democratic belief that residentshave a right to choose their abode, a right strengthenedby the sweat equity of daily living– of perseverance underadversity –that a resident has “invested” in their place,their neighbors, and their local institutions. As a result ofthis focus we have not emphasized means to approachequality of living standards between rich and poor inPhiladelphia. We have focused on increasing the ability forresidents to realize some locational choice—whether ornot or whenever such quality of life improvements occur.Along the way, we have included some suggestions andprograms that would help increase residents’ well-beingand wealth pursuant to the needs we have heard expressedby community members, recognizing that such increases inwell-being generally increase the capacity and efficacy ofneighborhood residents.We have constructed a vision of these two neighborhoodsby combining those elements that we believe will bestsupport equitable development with a few of the specificgoals expressed by community members during the longcommunity planning process and recent stakeholdermeetings. Each of the following elements will be developedmorefully in the remainder of this report.
  7. 7. 9Full spectrum of usesWe believe that a neighborhood serves its residents best whenit provides for a full spectrum of uses, representing the basicactivities that constitute a well-rounded life. A more or less“locally complete” neighborhood is an attractive and healthyplace to live, one that sustains investment and provides forresident needs. Such a neighborhood includes commercialservices such as a grocery store and pharmacy, some localemployment, eateries, doctors’ offices, community schools,active and passive recreational facilities, a library, socialservice providers, a neighborhood based school, and so on.Mix of residentsJust as a mix of uses beyond mere residences and employershelps keep a neighborhood from becoming a sterile, brittlemonoculture, a diversity of residents helps a communityweather change and attract broad political support. Only afull spectrum of uses will attract and sustain investment bymiddle and upper income residents. An equitably developedneighborhood may not need wealthier residents to be“valid” but its chances at sustainability and employmentopportunities are greater if socioeconomic diversity exists.Economic diversity spreads the burden of community supportacross a broader tax base.Quality affordable housingThe influx of wealthier residents raises the fear thatnewcomers will displace poorer residents and renters,intentionally or not. One of the most important bulwarksagainst displacement is high quality permanently affordablehousing in which residents have a stake, from which theycan build financial wealth, and over which they have control.For better or worse, home ownership in the United States isnot only most households’ largest asset, it often anchors acitizens claim to “legitimate” membership in a community.Poor quality affordable housing segregates the poor fromtheir neighbors. Housing that is affordable only by virtueof it physical deterioration does not build wealth or providesustainable shelter.Diverse, busy, denserThe combination of economically diverse residents andpermanently affordable housing that takes advantage ofexisting vacant land for new construction prepares the wayfor an active neighborhood. A busy neighborhood, with itsvacant gaps filled in, is safer and better able to supportlocal businesses and employment. The current fashion forsuburban style development, larger housing, and yards canbe taken into account in new construction, but low densityrequires the kind of high property values and resident wealththat threaten to displace many current residents.Productive employment, including for the less skilledFar more difficult than the provision of housing, butultimately, perhaps more important is the provision of jobs.Much of Philadelphia’s current malady can be traced to shiftsin production, shipping, and employment away from heavyindustry utilizing a local work force. Employment has lost anintimate connection with residence. Yet West Philadelphia’sabundance of geographically anchored educational andmedical institutions offers tremendous opportunity foremployment and training.Commemorate and acknowledge history, whileworking through historical animosityAlthough this report speaks repeatedly about “community,”we do not imagine “the community” as an abstract, unified,ideal. The neighborhoods around the universities often havedifferent needs and interests than their wealthy neighbors,and than each other. Unilateral and short sighted developmentin the past has left a residue of anger, misunderstanding,and unmet need. Negative feelings coexist with pride, anda genuine desire to reach out and exist as good neighborswith much to share. We suggest ways for the community tocapitalize on and preserve its physical and cultural historywhile using this “social capital” to work through and beyondthe problems of the past.A Vision of Equitable Development in West Powelton and Mantua
  8. 8. 10Increased involvement from DrexelWe single out Drexel because our community interactionsindicated that, while the University of Pennsylvania loomslarge in the area’s past and present as a major actor andoccasional villain in the eyes of some residents, Drexel andits students are a major but strangely quiet presence in theneighborhood. Penn’s presence is felt through PresbyterianHospital’s inward facing campus, but also through itsnumerous student volunteer and community outreachprograms, and funding for the University City District cleanand safe programs and support of efforts like this studioand the work of PECCDC. Drexel students live in Mantua,but apart from it. Drexel University has some significantprograms that assist the neighborhood but they are not wellknown in the community and residents do not feel welcomedor wanted by the institution expanding in its midst.Communication, collaboration, cooperation…educationOur focus on various forms of collaboration emphasizeslearning from mistakes and emulation of what works. Already,with its dozens of helping organizations and churches thecommunity is engaged in as many experiments to improveresidents’ lives. The neighborhoods do not need to generatediversity, the diversity is already there. Collaboration that canfocus the diversity to concentrate its energies is, however,sorely needed.Communicationbetweenexistinggroupsintheneighborhoodsallows them to pool resources and coordinate their efforts.Equally impotent is communication between neighborhoodresidents and organizations and major institutions like Pennand Drexel. If past mistakes are to be overcome and astronger future is to be built only communication that createstransparency will lead the way. Education of communityresidents about the nature and hurdles of the confusingdevelopment process is a necessary counterpart to educationof the university, hospital, and nonprofit “communities’” aboutthe neighborhoods’ assets and aspirations. Collaboration willbe built on trust, and trust will be built on practical experienceand knowledge.What is not equitable development?Equitable development is not the same as social justice. Theplanning and community development process does not cureall social ills, even when it strives to be equitable. At its bestequitable development provides a kind of social and physicalinfrastructure for justice.Development in the Mantua and West Powelton neighborhoodscan and should include a myriad of specific programs andobjectives. A community is too complex and subtle a creatureto trust its future to any single panacea. The community’sneed is too great for residents to “wait and see” while asingle cure-all works its magic. Solutions are long term, andsome will fail while others are still underway. Recognizingthe community’s need for both variety and focus, we havedecided that certain topics, however vital are beyond thescope of this report. The following items are not integral to“equitable development” per se though they are requiredfor equality and prosperity in our target neighborhoods— asthey are in many parts of the city.Local School QualityA safe, high quality neighborhood public school canbecome a neighborhood anchor, one more democratic andaccessible than either a university or a hospital. A goodquality school is one of the most powerful attractors thatcould bring wealthier residents into an area. It is one of thekey factors in preparing all residents for civic participationand employment. Without arrangements for long termaffordability and equitably distributed control, a desirableschool can also generate exclusionary property values. Thus,high quality public schools only support equity if access tothem is distributed without regard to income of if they existthroughout the city.
  9. 9. 11All neighborhoods in the city need better schools. Thegovernance, curricular, funding, and budgetary reformsrequired by the Philadelphia school system are beyondthe scope of our report. Nonetheless, we find Drexel’spartnership to provide academic, professional development,technological, and business administration assistance toUniversity High School and seven of its feeder schools avery encouraging addition to existing efforts at the PennAlexander School.Health factors and high mortalityWe have not directly addressed the deplorable disparities inmortality and morbidity rates between groups demographicin and around our study area. Some of the programs wesuggest indirectly address health issues by improving thequality of the built environment and its amenities andservices. We recognize that residents cannot fully participatein any development process if their immediate needs suchas health care, emergency food, and adequate nutrition arenot addressed. While these health issues present themselvesas pressing needs, we see them largely as symptoms ofpoverty, disinvestment, and an incomplete environmentwhich equitable development aims to address.Racial inequalitiesWe have not directly addressed racial inequality or racialtension. While it is clearly a real and difficult issue, andone that was raised in our stakeholder meetings, we havenot devised any neighborhood level strategies that directlyaddress racial issues or help ensure racial diversity or racialequity. We hope that well-integrated, quality affordablehousing will help integrate the neighborhood economicallyand racially as well. Likewise programs such as heritagetours and more aggressively neighborhood focused studentorientation and volunteerism at Drexel should help breakdown unfamiliarity and stereotypes between predominantlywhite students living in and next to a predominantly AfricanAmerican neighborhood. As with equitable development,however, indirect measures may happen to mitigate theproblem, but only direct address of the issues will ensurethat progress is made.The arcane land acquisition processFinally we have not proposed specific reforms of theproperty acquisition process managed by the PhiladelphiaRedevelopment Authority (RDA). A process meant to protectthe interests of individual property owners from capricioustakings by the municipal government has itself become aburden to both ordinary citizens and would-be developers ofall types, thanks to its Byzantine complexity.The process is opaque even to those who have successfullynavigated it. Streamlined land acquisition would facilitate allredevelopment efforts at every scale. A clear process wouldallow broad public participation in the revitalization of thecity.Such bureaucratic reform might seem highly technical, butother cities such as Cleveland and Baltimore offer viableexamples of simpler property acquisition processes ready tobe adapted locally. Unfortunately the current city governmentseems to lack the requisite political will to change the process.Acquisition reform has long been a part of the NeighborhoodTransformation Initiative (NTI) agenda, but NTI’s progress isno less obscure than the program it aims to fix.
  10. 10. 12Study AreaOur study area is located in West Philadelphia, boundedon the west by 44th Street, the east by 37th Street, tothe south by Market Street, and by Lancaster Avenue andWallace Street to the north. It includes the neighborhoodsof West Powelton, which encompasses Saunders Park, andportions of Mantua. This report will compare neighborhoodindicators in Powelton Village and Spruce Hill, which havehad significant investment in recent years, to West Poweltonand Mantua, which have not.Our study area is located in West Philadelphia, in closeproximity to major highways and some of the city’s majordestinations, including Center City and City Avenue. It is veryclose to a number of institutions, including the University ofPennsylvania (Penn), Drexel University, Presbyterian MedicalCenter, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.One of the most significant landmarks near our study areais the Philadelphia Zoo. The following map also identifies thesite at 3800 Brandywine, to be developed by PECCDC anddesigned by Penn architecture students through the COPCgrant.The Study AreaThe City of Philadelphia
  11. 11. 13Transportation is one of our study area’s best assets. Ourstudy area is serviced by the Market Frankford El along thesouthern boundary, and by trolley and bus routes throughout.Another asset is the area’s proximity to West Philadelphiaretail centers, including Lancaster Avenue, one of WestPhiladelphia’s major commercial corridors, and Girard Avenueand 52nd Street. Additionally, the 40th Street commercialcorridor, which runs between Spruce and Market Streets,has recently received a lot of attention because of renewedinterest in developing the corridor.Mass Transit in West PoweltonArea LandmarksThe University City VicinityShops on Lancaster Ave.
  12. 12. 14HistoryOur study area possesses a significant amount of historic capital,which has been undervalued by the marketplace. The history ofWest Powelton and its surrounding neighborhoods predates thefounding of the city of Philadelphia, in 1729. West Philadelphiawas originally known as Blockley, an estate created by WilliamWarner in 1677. Warner built a mansion near what is nowLancaster Avenue and 46th Street, and named his holdings inrecognition of his native parish in England. The name, Blockley,is still reflected in some of the establishments in West Philadelphiatoday. West Philadelphia became the West Philadelphia Districtin 1854 with the consolidation of the City of Philadelphia. Duringconsolidation, our study area became part of the City’s Ward24.Neighborhood HistoryBlockley Township - 1712Source: Philadelphia City ArchivesThe Consolidation of Philadelphia - 1854Source: Philadelphia City Archives
  13. 13. 15Between 1690 and 1795, Lancaster Pike (now Lancaster Avenue)was constructed as the country’s first toll road. The pike had13 tollgates, representing the 13 original states. By 1797, theturnpike made it possible to travel from Philadelphia to Lancaster,Pennsylvania in only 12 hours. Lancaster Avenue is presentlythe home of several small, long-standing businesses. However,there is some concern about the lack of variety in the types ofbusinesses on the corridor. Additionally, the avenue now suffersfrom storefront vacancies and poor maintenance. Going forward,we hope to work with the Lancaster Avenue Business Association(LABA) to leverage the avenue’s historical significance andidentify opportunities for development on the corridor.The neighborhoods within our study area were developedprimarily by Philadelphia’s elite. In fact, most of the neighborhoodnames came from wealthy residents’ estates. Powelton wasoriginally the estate of Samuel Powel; mayor of Philadelphiaduring the Revolution. In the late 18th century, his adoptedson, J. Hare Powel, built a mansion at 32nd and Race Streets. Itwas demolished in 1883 and speculative housing was built in itsplace.By the late 19th Century, West Philadelphia was thehome of Philadelpiha’s elite. Many large estates,such as that of J. Hare Powel, have since been de-molished to make way for housing development.Lancaster Turnpike 1795Source: US Dept. of TransportationThe Lancaster Pike of today.
  14. 14. 16It is unclear when the distinction between West Powelton andPowelton Village was established, but the name “PoweltonVillage” was used as early as the 1930s. As will be shownin other parts of this report, the two neighborhoods are verydifferent from each other today.The area now known as Mantua remained very rural andundeveloped throughout the 18th century. In 1809 it wasdeveloped as real estate venture by Judge Richard Peters,and named after Mantua, Italy, home of Virgil, whose writingsPeters admired. Haverford road was, and still is, the mainstreet of the neighborhood.The Pennsylvania Rail Road owned much of the land nearMantua and stimulated growth in the area. In 1852, Powelsold large parts of his estate to the Pennsylvania RailRoad. However, the railroad had a disruptive effect on theneighborhood as the yards and junction grew, splitting theneighborhood in half, and displacing residents in the mid1800s. In 1877, the Great Railroad Riots erupted in Mantua,near 35th and Haverford, in opposition to the railroadcompany’s inadequate wages and substandard housing.Mantua - 1846Source: Penn State UniversityRailroad riots erupted in 1877.Source: Penn State University
  15. 15. 17Institutional HistoryOur study area is located near some of Philadelphia’s majorinstitutions, which have played a large role in shapingthe area’s character and history. In 1871 The Universityof Pennsylvania laid the first cornerstone of College Hall,beginning its relocation from 9th and Chestnut Streets tothe Blockley estate. In 1891, Anthony J. Drexel, one ofAmerica’s great bankers, founded the Drexel Institute of Art,Science and Industry (now Drexel University) at 32nd andChestnut Streets.The Presbyterian Hospital has been an important medicalcenter in West Philadelphia since the late 19th century.Originally located at 39th and Powelton, the land was ownedby Dr. Courtland Saunders, for whom the Saunders Parkneighborhood is named. Dr. Saunders offered the entireblock for the construction of the hospital, which opened in1872.The Drexel Institute’s Main Building ca. 1900.Source: “An Architectural History ofthe Main Building: 1891 - 2003”University of Pennsylvania’s College Hall.Source: University Archives and Records CenterPresbyterian Hospital ca. 1886.Source: “Philadelphia and NotablePhiladelphians”
  16. 16. 18As the following map indicates, this area has changedsignificantly since the hospital first opened. Saunder’s Parkand PEC’s Rowan House, a rehabilitated $4.5 million facilitythat houses transitional housing units, a child care centerand job training classrooms are now located at the formersite of the Old Man’s Home of Philadelphia. Indicated by theblue line, the boundaries of the Presbyterian Medical Centercomplex have expanded to 38th, 40th, and Filbert Streets,and Powelton Avenue. In 1995, the hospital merged withthe University of Pennsylvania Health System. The originalmap, dated 1886, shows that there were still severalresidential buildings located within these boundaries, beforethe institution’s expansion.After 1950, the institutions in West Philadelphia placedincreasing pressure on the surrounding neighborhoods.Urban renewal efforts allowed these institutions to expandsignificantly, often, unfortunately, resulting in residentialdisplacement.In 1959, Penn, Drexel, the Presbyterian Hospital, thePhiladelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, and thePhiladelphia College of Osteopathy chartered the WestPhiladelphia Corporation (WPC), a non-profit corporationdevoted to promoting social development in WestPhiladelphia. WPC was intended to make University City asatisfactory residential environment and to allow it to fulfillits potential as a center of private research.WPC laid the foundation for the University City Science Center,for which development began in 1963. Unfortunately, thescience center resulted in the displacement of many residentsfrom the area, which was previously known as Greenville.The 1967 map shows the conflict over displacement, andwas annotated by hand to show where WPC conceded todemands for low cost housing.The Presbyterian Hospital of 1886 (shown in light blue)has expanded signficantly up tothe present day (shown in dark blue)
  17. 17. 19Source: Philadelphia City Planning CommissionThe University City Science CenterUrban Renewal AreaSource: “Come to Where the Knowledge is: A History of theUniversity City Scince Center”
  18. 18. 20The study area has witnessed a spate of institutionalinvestment. University City District (UCD) is a specialservices district that has drastically improved the cleanlinessand safety around our study area over the past 8 years.The UCD’s functions and services have expanded since itsinitial formation; however, it is primarily funded by 11 largeinstitutions, ranging from Penn to Amtrak, in the area. Penn’sguaranteed mortgage program, which recently expandedits boundaries, has assisted faculty and staff in financinghome purchases in West Philadelphia. Furthermore, UCGreen, another Penn initiative, created in 1999, has unitedcommunity organizations, city agencies, students, andresidents in local greening efforts.Recent Investment: InstitutionalThe Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has spearheaded anumber of new developments in and around our study area,including the Lucien E. Blackwell homes, which will bringabout 600 new affordable homes to West Philadelphia. Theproject was funded through HOPE VI, Low Income HousingTax Credit, Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI).PHA also recently renovated the Mt. Olivet 161-unit seniorapartment building at 41st St. and Haverford Avenue.Recent Investment: PublicUniversity City District BoundariesSource: www.universitycitydistrict.orgInterior and Exterior fo the Lucien E. Blackwell Homes.
  19. 19. 21Recent Investment: PrivateThere has been increased private investment in and aroundour study area. For example, the 40th Street commercialcorridor has been receiving a lot of attention, attractingnew plans for redevelopment. Fresh Grocer and the BridgeCinema are some examples of recent development on thiscorridor. Within our boundaries, more and more propertiesare being renovated and new construction by private ownersand developers can be seen throughout. And, the new CiraCenter under construction near 30th Street Station will serveas a major landmark for this side of the Schuylkill.Infill development adjacent to vacant buildings. Brandywine Realty Trust’sCira Centre
  20. 20. Section INeighborhood Indicators Report
  21. 21. 24Locational ValueRegional AdvantagesOur study area has many locational advantages that wouldappeal to potential residents. It is located within walkingdistance of two major universities and Presbyterian Hospital.This would appeal to university and hospital workers seekingto locate close to work. The study area is also within afive-minute drive of Center City Philadelphia, a majorcenter for employment and culture. Furthermore, publictransportation and highway options provide easy access tothe Philadelphia International Airport, Amtrak 30th StreetStation, the 69th Street Shopping Area and the City Avenuebusiness corridor.However, by looking at the average commuting times foremployed residents in the study area, it becomes evidentthat these locational advantages are not fully utilized. Wefind that residents in some block groups are traveling inupwards of 60 minutes to reach their place of employment.As we move forward into the future, this untapped potentialwill grow to the point where the private market will takeadvantage of it. When this happens, neighborhood changeis likely to occur. This phenomenon has already taken placein Powelton Village and Spruce Hill. In terms of geography,our study area is ripe for reinvestment.Median Commuting Time2000Drive Times from the Study AreaData Source: U.S. Census 2000
  22. 22. 25ArchitectureOur study area has the potential to become a prime targetfor future investment because of the architectural value ofits housing stock. Many case studies show that gentrifyingneighborhoods are characterized by housing that is rich andvaried in architectural typologies. Much of the housing stockin our study area was constructed in the late 19th centuryand early 20th century for both management and workingclass families. Housing styles range from modest two-storyrowhouses to large three-story Victorian duplexes. Most ofthese styles incorporate ornate architectural details such asspires, window boxes, front porches, cornices and stylishmasonry work.As these architecturally significant buildings furtherdeteriorate, a few opportunities for reinvestment will arise.First, young households with significant disposable incomecould buy a home in study area, significantly rehabilitateit, and occupy it. If this occurs in a critical mass, it willmost certainly create an upward force on property taxassessments. Second, outside investors could be attractedto the size of the spacious three-story Victorians. They maychoose to convert such buildings into rental units. Not onlydoes this impede homeownership opportunities, but it alsofacilitates the movement of equity out of the community.
  23. 23. 26Social IndicatorsPercent Change in Population1990-2000If gentrification includes, as the definition used by this studiohas stated, “social and economic change,” and “upward socio-economic class shifts of the resident population,” then it isimportant to look at the trends in relevant data to identifythe effects that gentrification has or will have on the studyarea. One component of this data is the social indicatorsof neighborhood change – those indicators that reflect thedemographic, economic, and other social characteristics ofthe neighborhood and its surroundings over time. Includedin this section is the data analysis that describes the changein population, racial composition, elderly population, non-family households, mobility, labor force participation, andcrime for West Powelton, the surrounding neighborhoods,and Philadelphia as a whole.IntroductionOver the ten-year period 1990-2000, the population in someCensus block groups of the study area decreased while inothers increased. The overall population loss for the studyarea from 1990 to 2000 was 4%, which mirrors the city ofPhiladelphia’s loss over the same period. Upon examiningpopulation loss from 1970-2000, the study area showeda 26% decrease, shrinking from approximately 10,000residents in 1970 to 7,452 in 2000. Over the same thirty-yearperiod, Philadelphia as a whole lost 22% of its population.The population loss of 26% for the study area is greater thanPhiladelphia’s loss of 22%, which suggests that the studyarea experienced an even greater rate of disinvestment thanthe city as a whole. Disinvestment is almost always theprecursor to gentrification and reinvestment in the study areacould result in remarkable changes in the neighborhood’sdemographicmakeup. Thoseblockgroupsshowingpopulationincrease could be experiencing reinvestment today, whileother block groups may experience reinvestment in futureperiods. However, these topics will be addressed in latersections.Population Change20Data Source: U.S. Census 2000
  24. 24. 27Percent Change in White Population1990-2000Percent Change in Black Population1990-2000Racial CompositionChange in racial composition is a relatively visible gaugeof change in a neighborhood and is often closely tied tothe neighborhood’s perception of whether disinvestmentor gentrification is occurring. The equitable developmentagenda acknowledges the racial component of neighborhoodchange and aims to help make these changes positive for allneighborhood residents, existing as well as incoming.Currently, the study area is comprised of a majority African-American population, while the city as a whole is more raciallydiverse. An influx of non-African-Americans could rapidlyalter the overall racial composition in the study area.Even though the numbers are very small, the white populationwithin the study area increased from 1990-2000 in certainblock groups. This change is notable because it may indicatefurther investment by the white population now and in thefuture.Increased racial diversity could be an asset for theneighborhood, or it could leave the existing residents feelingthat their voice and ability to guide their destiny has beeneroded. In an equitable development scenario, change inracial composition would ideally result in increased politicalempowerment for all residents.Race as a Percent of Total Population200021Data Source: U.S. Census 2000Data Source: U.S. Census 2000
  25. 25. 28Percent of Households ReceivingRetirement Income2000The Elderly PopulationThe elderly are a component of the population that isparticularly vulnerable to housing price changes in theneighborhood.There is a concentration of the elderly in the northern portionof the study area. Furthermore, the elderly in the study areaare more likely to be in poverty than either the city-wideelderly population or even in neighboring Mantua.Gentrification often causes housing costs to rise for bothrenters and homeowners, through increased rent or taxes.Elderly in the study area receiving a fixed income maybe negatively affected by a rise in their housing costs.Additionally, elderly homeowners in gentrifying areas tryingto benefit from the increasing value of their housing are oftentargets for unscrupulous lenders. If equitable developmentis to be the goal, solutions for the elderly poor must be takeninto account.Elderly Residents Living in PopulationNeighborhoods vs. CityData Source: U.S. Census 2000Data Source: U.S. Census 2000
  26. 26. 29Because of the study area’s proximity to several universitiesand colleges, it may be expected that students would belikely to settle in this area. To measure whether studentsare augmenting development pressures in the neighborhood,the studio looked at two measures indicative of studenthouseholds.Although the study area has a greater percentage of non-family households than Philadelphia and Mantua, the levelis still below the percentage in Spruce Hill. When this datais matched with the mobility data, an interesting patternemerges. West Powelton exhibits much lower levels ofmobility than Spruce Hill. This is indicative that althoughthere are many non-family households, they are notnecessarily student households. Given that 58% of WestPowelton residents in 2000 lived in the same house five yearspreviously, many of the non-family households may not bemade up of transient students. Rather, these non-familyhouseholds might reflect the part of the elderly populationwho live alone.TransiencyNon-Family Households2000Stable PopulationNeighborhoods vs. CityData Source: U.S. Census 2000Data Source: U.S. Census 2000
  27. 27. 30Percent of Residents in the Labor Forcethat are Unemployed2000Percent of Residents Participatingin the Labor Force2000EmploymentData on unemployment and labor force participation wereexamined as well. The unemployment rate as a percentageof those participating in the labor force in 2000 for the studyarea was 20.5%, nearly twice the citywide rate of 10.9%.This percentage has grown drastically over the thirty year-period- in 1970, the unemployment rate in the study areawas only 6.8%.The labor force participation rate ranges drastically amongthe different block groups studied. The participation rateis greatest in the southeastern portion of the study area.Powelton Village and Spruce Hill have dense concentrationsof high labor force participation. The higher labor forceparticipation rate in the southeastern portion of the studyarea may be the beginning of a spillover of Powelton Village’sdevelopment and demographic characteristics. Groups ofincoming residents who are employed labor force participantsmay mean an overall improvement in labor force participationfor the study area, which will be reflected as a positive changein the labor force statistics for the study area. It is importantto keep in mind, however, that labor force participationamong long-term existing residents is not separated fromthe labor force participation of incoming residents. As aresult, positive change in labor force participation may notaccurately reflect the needs of the existing residents.Data Source: U.S. Census 2000 Data Source: U.S. Census 2000
  28. 28. 31CrimeThe differences found in the labor force participationstatistics among the various neighborhoods led the studioto look at other possibly related differences. Differences inthe crime data for the Mantua, West Powelton, Spruce Hilland Powelton Village neighborhoods seem to give furtherevidence that there are major socio-economic differencesamong these neighborhoods.First of all, it should be noted that crime in general has beentrending downward in recent years. When the crime data iscompared among the neighborhoods, certain trends comeforward. In Mantua and West Powelton, violent crimes andvice arrests are more common. Vice crimes include drug-related and prostitution offenses. The vice statistic may showthat the neighborhoods that have greater unemployment arerelying more on these illegal income sources. Spruce Hilland Powelton Village, on the other hand, both have higherlevels of property crime than the other two neighborhoods.This may be because the residents’ higher income levels, inthese neighborhoods, translate into more property of highvalue and, thus, more property at risk of theft.Police District 16 BoundariesData Source: Philadelphia Police
  29. 29. 32Major Crimes in District 162003Major Crimes in Philadelphia2003Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform CrimeReportsData Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform CrimeReports
  30. 30. 33Property Crimes by Neighborhood2003Violent Crimes by Neighborhood2003Vice Crimes by Neighborhood2003Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform CrimeReportsData Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform CrimeReportsData Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations Uniform CrimeReports
  31. 31. 34Physical IndicatorsIntroductionAs of 2000, our study area contains over 3,800 housing units.Through the 1970s and 1980s, units continued to be addedto the stock at a high rate. However, by 1990, this numberdropped dramatically and the number of units lost beganto outpace the number of units added. Over the past fiveyears, this trend continued as Philadelphia’s NeighborhoodTransformation Initiative (NTI) began to demolish a largeamount of dwellings in the study area.If the population begins to increase in the study area, therewill be increased competition for housing because of the netloss of units that has been characterized the past fifteenyears. This competition will surely result in the displacementof lower-income residents, who will be outbid by middle- andupper-income residents.Because of the study area’s low homeownership rate,when compared to Philadelphia as a whole, the dangerof displacement to this low-income cohort is substantiallyincreased. This is further compounded by the fact thatHousing Unit Change in the Study AreaHomeownership Ratesin the Study Area28As stated at the outset of this report, gentrification is aprocess partially characterized by the movement of public andprivate capital into an area with a history of disinvestment.During this process, housing costs typically increase andthe stock is upgraded. To examine if this process is in factoccurring, it becomes important to analyze both the staticexisting conditions and the dynamics that preceded them.Included in this section are the data analyses describingthe housing stock, building conditions, sales and rental ratetrends, and a tax assessment analysis. Where appropriate,comparisons are made to surrounding areas, neighborhoods,and Philadelphia as a whole.Housing StockData Source: U.S. Census 2000Data Source: U.S. Census 2000
  32. 32. 35Our studio conducted a building survey of the entire studyarea by visually inspecting each parcel. All parcels wereclassified as occupied, vacant, or partially vacant and givena qualitative ranking. The rankings in order were: Good(relatively new construction or renovation, well maintained);Fair (minor repairs necessary); Poor (extensive repairsneeded); and Bad (dangerous or uninhabitable). A two-person team conducted the survey to maintain consistencyamong the classifications.The map of the results shows that certain parts of theneighborhood are healthier than others in terms of physicalquality. The Southeastern section of the study area is mostlyinstitutional, with the Presbyterian Medical Center, DrewSchool and University City High. These are all Good and Fairconditions, indicating strong neighborhood institutions. Thepublic schools are not as well maintained as the hospital, notsurprising, given the budgetary constraints of the PhiladelphiaSchool District. Many of the residential units ranked in goodcondition are also in this Southeastern corner.The majority of the buildings in the study area are in faircondition, including both residential and commercial uses.The ones adjacent to mostly good or fair conditions buildingsare more likely to remain in the same state or improve.Those near poor conditions and vacancies are more likely toeventually deteriorate.Many buildings fall in the Poor category, especially alongparts of Lancaster Avenue corridor. These buildings could beespecially appealing to prospective buyers who want to takeadvantage of sweat equity and buy inexpensive houses foreither investment or personal use.Only a few buildings fall into the Bad category, with more inthe Northwestern triangle of the study area.There are many vacant lots in the study area, mostlyconcentrated in three sections. The NeighborhoodTransformation Initiatives (NTI) is responsible for creatingnumerous vacancies, thereby reducing the number of Badcondition lots. In general, the blocks with vacancies are notthe same blocks with Good condition structures.After conducting the conditions survey, we looked at thebuildings in the Poor category that had renters (using offsiteowners as a proxy for rentals). These units cannot commandhigh rents due to their condition and the tenants would bemost at risk of displacement if refurbishment were to lead tohigher rents.Combining the vacancies, including vacant lots and partiallyvacant buildings with the poor condition rentals, shows thatcertain blocks are suitable for property assemblage and thepossibility of larger development projects. PECCDC or otherdevelopers may look to these blocks first for large-scalechanges.These three areas require further investigation by thestudio into what types of development would be best for theneighborhood and what strategies would be most suitablefor equitable development.Building Conditionshomeownershipratesarethelowestintheareasmostadjacentto University City (the southern and eastern portions). Notsurprisingly, this is the area that is experiencing the mostreinvestment. Increased rents would be the most immediateeffect of reinvestment in the study area, thus placing poorrenters at the highest risk.
  33. 33. 36Study Area Building ConditionsData Source: Survey done by studio
  34. 34. 37Study Area Building ConditionsData Source: Survey done by studio, Philadelphia BRT
  35. 35. 38Study Area Building Conditions and VacanciesData Source: Survey done by studio, Philadelphia BRT
  36. 36. 39Percent Change in Price Per Square Foot forResidential Sales1999/2000 - 2003/2004Housing Sale TrendsThe sales data shows that there was an increase in the numberof sales and an increase in sales prices for the southernportion of our study area. The high valued Spruce Hill areahas continued to get stronger. However, as sales volumein this area has begun to stabilize after its rapid increasein value, areas around the periphery of this high value areahave begun to see increased sales volume, including thesouthern portion of our study area. The extension of theUniversity of Pennsylvania’s mortgage program into thissouthern portion of our study area is also likely to have hada stimulating effect on the market.Between 1999 and 2000, 70 residential properties were soldwithin the study area for an average price of $32,431 anda median price of $23,000. During this time period only3 properties were sold above $100,000. Between 2003and 2004, 89 properties were sold with an average price of$49,781 and a median price of $29,000. The larger increasein the average home price in our study area is due to thefact that a small, but larger number of properties are nowselling over $100,000. However, the majority of propertiesin the study area are still selling for very low values. During2003 and 2004, 25 properties sold for under $10,000 while12 sold over $100,000.Change in Number ofResidential Sale Transactions1999/2000 - 2003/2004Data Source: Philadelphia BRT Data Source: Philadelphia BRT
  37. 37. 40Percent of Residential Structures Sold1999-2000Percent of Residential Structures Sold2003-2004Data Source: Philadelphia BRT Data Source: Philadelphia BRT
  38. 38. 41Average Price per Square Footfor Residential Sales1999-2000Average Price per Square Footfor Residential Sales2003-2004Data Source: Philadelphia BRT Data Source: Philadelphia BRT
  39. 39. 42Housing Rental TrendsIn order to assess trends in the rental housing market,our studio collected price points for housing rentals overthe 1994 through 2004 period. Rental data was collectedfrom the classified section of The Philadelphia Inquirerand totaled 214 price points over the studied timeframe.Using multivariate Ordinary Least Squares regression, weexamined the relationships between rental asking prices andvarious collections of possible explanatory variables. Theresults of our study find that there is an upward trend inrental rates over time, across the study area. However, ourstudy also reveals that there are market differentiations withrespect to other factors as well.For the study area as a whole, there was approximately a$12 per month increase in rent each year ($144 increasein yearly rent, per year). Product type variables showingsignificant impacts on rental prices include whether or notthe unit was an apartment or a house and the number ofbedrooms in each dwelling unit. The study found that housescommanded a $256 per month ($3,072 in yearly rent)premium over rental units. In both houses and apartments,each additional bedroom raised the rental asking price by$80 per month ($960 in yearly rent).Our study also examined locational variables within thestudy area. The regression results indicates that the degreewestward and location north or south of Spring Garden Streetimpact rental asking prices. Furthermore, the rate at whichthe degree west impacts the rental asking price is dependentupon whether or not the dwelling unit is located north orsouth of Spring Garden. There was a $26 per month ($312in yearly rent) rental premium commanded for units southof Spring Garden Street, throughout the study area. But forevery block west in the area south of Spring Garden Street,the rental asking prices decreased by $34 per month ($408in yearly rent). For the area north and inclusive of SpringGarden, the rental asking prices decreased at a rate of only$8 per month ($96 in yearly rent) with each block west.As with other indicators, these findings support theidea that the housing market is strongest in the southeasternportion of our study area. The rental rates roughly reflectsales prices; however, the changes in sales prices persquare foot were not readily observable in the rental data.The regression results indicated that the gap between thesoutheastern and the southwestern rentals is closing, butthis difference is not statistically significant. Though thislack of significance could very well be the result of a processin progress, and thus be interpreted as an emerging trend.Rental Trends in the Study Area1994-2004Data Source: Historical rents survey done by studio
  40. 40. 43Tax Assessment AnalysisBy comparing Board of Revision of Taxes property taxrecords for April 1999 with those for January 2005 we wereable to determine the actual changes in assessed values andtax liability for all properties in the census tract equivalent“neighborhoods” of West Powelton (tracts 91, 92, and 106),Mantua (108 and 109) , Spruce Hill (87), and Powelton Village(90). For each neighborhood median household tax liabilityincreased between 12% and 81%. The absolute size of thetax increases varied with the initial property values, whichwere lowest in Mantua and West Powelton. An increase of $79in the yearly household tax bill in West Powelton representeda 26% jump, while $222 in Spruce Hill represented only a12% change. Although it is impossible to appreciate fullythe impact of such increases on households without knowingtheir current income and expenses,we can safely say that large relativeincreases in tax bills could rationallyexplain residents’ perceptions of rapidchange in the housing market andfears about affordability.Philadelphia practices fractional taxassessment, meaning that the BRT’srecorded assessed values are meant torepresent 70% of the true market valueof the home. Assessment accuracy canbe measured by calculating how farassessed values stray from 70% of thesales values. This statistic is call thecoefficient of dispersion (COD) and it isindependent of the actual value of theproperty, which allows properties tobe compared across type and market.The IAAO considers ≤15% COD tobe the acceptable range of error forolder residential urban areas likePhiladelphia. Properties with valuesoutside this range are either under- orover-assessed.Median Household TaxLiability Changes1999 - 2005Maximum Household TaxLiability Changes1999 - 2005Data Source: Philadelphia BRT Data Source: Philadelphia BRT
  41. 41. 44West Powelton has the most inaccurately assessed propertiesof any of our four neighborhoods, with half as manyaccurate assessments as the other three. The more affluentneighborhoods have a preponderance of underassessmentssuggesting that the market has outpaced Philadelphia’snotoriously out of date assessment system. Although, bylaw, all properties in the city are to be assessed every year,this has never occurred in the city’s history.While homes in the area were on average given a new marketvalue in the last 2 to 2 and a half years, full assessments whichare meant to include inspection of the property conditionsare on average an addition 6 months to 1 year out of date,while some properties have remained unassessed for over15 years. Infrequent assessments tend to overburden thepoor and benefit the rich as the city fails to capture its duetax revenues hot markets and must continue to demandexcessive taxes on depreciated properties in soft markets.In West Powelton and Spruce Hill homeowners and landlordsare capturing an unfairly high proportion of their home equity,simply by virtue of living in rising markets. When ownersof overassessed properties are also poor or cost burdenedthey may be particularly vulnerable to the large rise in taxesthat a reassessment would trigger. Such owners are primecandidates for existing city and state property tax reliefprograms for the elderly, disabled, and poor. Renters mayalso qualify if they can document the inclusion of taxes in theirrent. Underassessed properties also represent a potentialfor investors to capitalize on untapped value, providing anadditional inducement to gentrification pressure. Owners ofover-assessed properties have good cause to appeal theirtax assessments and reduce their housing cost burden.Maximum and Average Age of BRT Activityfor Homes with Arm’s Length SalesPercentage of Households withInaccurate Property AssessmentsData Source: Philadelphia BRTData Source: Philadelphia BRT
  42. 42. 45In West Powelton, roughly equal numbers of properties areunder- and over-assessed, but these numbers only tell partof the story. Properties in West Powelton and Mantua arenot only more likely to be mis-assessed and particularlyoverassessed; the errors are also likely to be far moreegregious than in Powelton Village and Spruce Hill. Theaverage assessment error (COD) in West Powelton is overtwice as large as that in the more affluent neighborhoodsand more than six and a half times the acceptable range oferror.To document the inequity of these skewed assessments,we can use another standard tax assessors’ statistic, pricerelated differential (PRD). PRD compares the average ratioof assessed to sales value with the weighted average ofthe same numbers. If the PRD is 1, then high value andlow value properties have the same degree of error oraccuracy in their assessments. IAAO considers s PRD above1.03 “regressive,” meaning that lower value residences arebeing taxed on a larger proportion of their value than aremore expensive homes. Residences in Philadelphia as awhole were (in 2003) 5.3 times as regressive as allowed byinternational standards. West Powelton, the most regressiveof the three neighborhoods was a full 50 times moreregressive than allowed by international standards. Theresult of this extremely regressive of tax structure is that atension between the more and less affluent members of thecommunity is built into the property tax assessment system.Residents with less housing equity carry an unfair share ofthe property tax burden for the entire neighborhood. Whilethis is true throughout Philadelphia, the disparity is at itsmost extreme in West Powelton.Average Magnitude ofAssessment ErrorDegree of Regressivity inProperty Tax AssessmentsData Source: Philadelphia BRTData Source: Philadelphia BRT
  43. 43. 46ConclusionAreas Least Adaptable to ChangeAbility of Block Groups to Adapt toNeighborhood ChangeFrom the indicators data collected for the block groupscovering West Powelton, we were able to determine theareas least adaptable to change. These were determinedby conducting a weighted average of indicators such ashousehold income and housing costs on a block group levelbasis. The label “least adaptable to change” means that theresidents in those block group areas are most vulnerable tobeing displaced if gentrification indicators such as housingprices and living expenses were to increase. In other words,the areas whose social demographics would be most affectedif gentrification were to occur.The areas deemed least adaptable change are not necessarilythe areas where gentrification is most likely to occur. Asthe map shows, areas most likely affected would be thearea to the north of Haverford Avenue between 41st and43rd Street, and the area immediatelyto the west and northwest of 39th andPowelton. Powelton Village, in theSoutheast, is very adaptable to change,which can be inferred due to the factthe area has already experiencedreinvestment in the community andthe coming of new residents. Withthe data provided, community groupscan understand where best to focusequitable development efforts devoid ofconsideration of where and when it willoccur. To optimize community effortsto bring about equitable developmentand put this information to betteruse, an understanding of which areasare showing indications of potentialgentrification should be established.Data Source: Analysis done from combination of U.S. Census2000, Philadelphia BRT
  44. 44. 47Block Groups Showing Indications of GentrificationAreas Showing Indications of Potential GentrficationFrom the indicators, collected of both block groups insideand outside of our area, and consideration of the naturalspread of housing forces, we were able to determine theareas showing indications of potential gentrification. A blockarea exhibiting indications of potential gentrification meansthat it will most likely see changes such as cost of housingincreases, property tax increases, and private reinvestmentin the community, as well as new residents entering theneighborhood. While not reflecting adaptability to change,it is the residents in these areas thatwill be the first ones to be affected bygentrifying forces if and when they dooccur.The areas exhibiting the strongestindications of potential gentrificationare those to the north of Market Streetand Spruce Hill and the areas to thenorth of Powelton Avenue and PoweltonVillage. Gentrification is not arbitrary, which means that ittakes place in certain locations and not others for specificreasons. Gentrifying pressures will move in a radial fashionfrom areas already experiencing them, rather than happeningin non-contiguous blocks. With this understanding and theinformation provided, community groups can understandwhere to address the issue of equitable development withoutparticular attention to how well suited current residents areto adapting to them.Data Source: Analysis done from combination of U.S. Census2000, Philadelphia BRT
  45. 45. 48Based on the evidence presented above we do not seeevidence of displacement. Reinvestment has not yet clearlytransformed the neighborhood for the better or for theworse, but West Powelton is bordered to the south and eastby neighborhoods that have clearly experienced substantialreinvestment, rising property values and demographic shifts.Substantial numbers of vacant buildings and vacant landleave the study area vulnerable to large scale redevelopmentinterspersed with ample opportunities for scattered owner-developer rehabilitation. These physical opportunitiescombined with the locational advantage enjoyed by all ofWest Philadelphia appear to make eventual gentrificationextremely likely— if neighborhood stakeholders do notplan for equitable development. We cannot say how muchinvestment the neighborhood will absorb before existingresidents experience the change negatively. But, we cansay that without opportunities to plan for and learn aboutthe coming changes and to influence their direction, fewresidents are likely to reap the benefits of reinvestment orrealize the dream of a vibrant and healthy neighborhoodwhere newcomers and natives both maintain a stake.At the outset of this report we defined gentrification,essentially, as outside reinvestment that produces socio-economic and cultural change that tends to privilege theneeds and wishes of higher income residents. Such changemay or may not produce clear patterns of displacement.What it does produce is rapid change which prior residents didnot initiate and over which they may feel little control. Froman economic perspective, gentrification in West Poweltonis difficult to document. Taxes have risen precipitously, inrelative terms. The east-west rent disparity has begun todecrease. The percent of elderly poor has begun to increase.Rates of violent crime, narcotics crime, and prostitutionhave declined encouragingly, but remain above those ofsurrounding neighborhoods. By 2000 West Powelton hadfewer housing units than in the 1970s, and new constructionwas falling far behind the rates of loss. Vulnerabilities toeconomic hardship and loss of equity have multiplied whilethe attractiveness of some portions of our study area fordevelopment continues to grow.Our challenge moving forward is to assess the mix of existinghousing (by tenure type and price) and to see what wouldbe needed to match this supply with the residents’ needs.Likewise, we will need to evaluate programmatic optionsthat will allow existing residents to expand their stake andcontrol of their neighborhood’s future without forestallingneeded reinvestment and revitalization. Middle to upper-middle income households and university students willinevitably look to the neighborhood as an opportunity to takeadvantage of its locational attributes, amenities, and relativehousing bargains. Existing residents can share the benefitsaccruing from reinvestment and interest in the community,but effort is required to ensure that outcome.Assessing the Evidence
  46. 46. Section IIRoad Map to Equitable Development
  47. 47. 50GoalsThe goal of this report is to provide recommendations toassist community organizations in bringing about equitabledevelopment for the future of the neighborhoods comprisingthe planning area. These objectives have been dividedinto two prongs: first, community capacity building andsecond, physical asset control and development. Thecommunity prong’s objectives (discussed in finer detailbelow), are to bring community members and groupstogether to work cohesively towards the goal of bringingequitable development to the community. The physicalprong’s objectives are to provide development and designstandards, and provide recommendations to facilitate newdevelopment while increasing equity for, and investment by,existing neighborhood residents.With the information gathered from the first section ofthis report, examining Neighborhood Indicators, our groupestablished the objectives and recommendations for thecommunity and physical prongs. By defining equitabledevelopment and gentrification, talking and listening tocommunity members, highlighting assets and opportunities,and studying the socio-economic and physical componentsin the planning area, we determined what we believe to be“a road map to equitable development.”The roadmap for equitable development first clarifies rolesand relationships of stakeholders and second, identifiesopportunities for investment and design. We recommendthat the community, having identified its quality of lifeneeds, now work to strengthen common interests and buildpartnerships, increasing capacity through collaboration.On the bricks and mortar side we identify market rate andaffordable housing needs, design a model mixed-incomedevelopment, and propose relevant policies that help tobring greater equity to the development process. Together,the Road Map for Equitable Development attempts thedifficult but crucial process of joining the ongoing work oftrue community development with physical improvement.The ultimate goal is lasting community empowerment thatmaximizes the benefits of neighborhood change.
  48. 48. 51Equitable Development DiagramPrevailingThemesRecommendationsResultsCOMMUNITY:Clarify roles &relationships ofstakeholdersPHYSICAL:Identifyopportunities forinvestment & design1. Identify quality of life needs2. Strengthen common interests & build part-nerships3. Increase capacity through collaboration1. Identify future market rate & affordablehousing needs2. Design model mixed income development3. Propose relevant policiesCommunityempowermentMaximizebenefits of change
  49. 49. 53CommunityPart of the equitable development agenda is making surethat community members have an opportunity to voice theirneeds and concerns regarding the quality of life and thephysical development of their neighborhood. For the recentlypublished West Powelton/Saunders Park Neighborhood Plan,PECCDC included several community organizations and otherstakeholders in the area as part of the plan’s communityvisioning process. This process was a two-year effort, andthe community groups invited to the meetings for this studiowere the same groups who had participated in PECCDC’searlier planning efforts. A few additional community groupsfrom Mantua who were not part of the initial process wereinvited to participate in the community meetings for thisstudio since the site of the six affordable housing units forthe COPC architecture studio will be built in Mantua.Two community stakeholders’ meetings, held on February 7,2005 and April 6, 2005, as well as a few additional meetingswith individual community stakeholder groups, werearranged by PECCDC for this studio. The participants includedrepresentatives from community groups including the HUBCoalition, Mantua Community Planners, Mantua CommunityImprovement Committee, 39th and Aspen Street CommunityOrganization, West Powelton Concerned Community Council,Powelton Village Civic Association, institutional stakeholdersincluding Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, andPresbyterian Hospital, the special services district UniversityCity District, representation from the Office of CouncilwomanJannie Blackwell, and a few other community activists.In these meetings, the participants were informed of theplanning efforts of this studio and were asked questionsabout things such as the positive qualities of the communityand the needs of the community. This input was used toformulate a list of the community’s assets as well as a list ofits quality of life needs.Many of the assets mentioned had to do with the peoplewho make up the community. This community has a strongsense of identity and history. There is strong leadershipamong community members, including both male andfemale leaders. The community has a legacy of families, asmany community members and their families have lived inand participated in the community for several generations.Also, the community has many dedicated community-basedorganizations.The location of the community and its development potentialwere other assets that the participating stakeholdersidentified. This community is very close to Fairmount Parkand other amenities, and is only minutes away from CenterCity. The community places a high value in the land not onlyin terms of its convenient location but also in terms of itshistoric value. Finally, the large number of vacancies in thearea can be thought of as an asset as they may allow fordevelopment without resulting in displacement.For summaries of the individual community stakeholderinterviews, please see Appendix A. A sample questionnairewith the questions asked in most of these interviews is inAppendix B.Community EngagementSecond CommunityMeeting April 6, 2005
  50. 50. 54There are several roles that stakeholders can play inpromoting equitable development, but these roles vary withsize and capacity. We have identified four categories, anda few possible institutions or organizations that might fulfilleach role:-Anchors: University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University,Presbyterian Hospital-Large: People’s Emergency Center (PECCDC), UniversityCity District (UCD)-Small: HUB Coalition, Lancaster Avenue Business Association(LABA), Greater Belmont Community DevelopmentCorporation-Individuals: Community Leaders and Role ModelsMajor institutions and employers such as the University ofPennsylvania and Drexel University can serve as anchorsfor the community. Anchors can legitimate and determinethe ultimate success of long term ventures. Because of theirsize and capacity, they can contribute in-kind resources,but rarely innovate. The functions associated with anchorsare: sponsoring various community groups, attractinginvestment, providing seed funding, and publicizing throughtheir network. Since these institutions are some of thelargest employers in West Philadelphia, they can provideRolesThe Presbyterian Medical Center is one of the largestemployers in our study area. Presbyterian and otheranchor institutions with high capacity are integral to ourplan for equitable developmentemployment for, and donate labor and expertise to, the WestPowelton/Mantua community. The universities, in particular,can also mobilize their students to increase volunteerism inthe community.Large (non-anchor) organizations such as People’sEmergency Center and University City District have thedemonstrated capacity to be lead managers on development
  51. 51. 55projects and to mentor smaller groups. These organizationsdiffer from anchors in their flexibility to innovate variousinitiatives. One of the most important functions of largeorganizations is training smaller groups, particularly through“professional internships.” For example, PECCDC has beenworking with representatives from the HUB Coalition tohelp the organization become a certified housing counselinginstitution. Sharing information and resources is essential toour plan for equitable development.Small groups can be the idiosyncratic voice of their localneighborhoods and constituencies. These organizations canfocus on small-scale development to gradually build capacity,or on single issues to maximize their impact. Because theyare the most immediate point of contact for residents andother individual stakeholders, small groups are uniquelyequipped to articulate concerns that would otherwise beunspoken.Individual stakeholders, at all levels, are the key to anequitable development strategy, because only they can serveas leaders and make a project work. Some of the functionsof individual stakeholders include: civic activism, organizinghome maintenance, and linking community groups. Engagedindividuals, typically well-respected community leaders,serve as bridges between organizations and constituencies.Unaffiliated individuals are the volunteers, employees,and engaged citizens whose hard work and energy makeneighborhood improvement a reality.Recommendations/Strategies1. Identify quality of life needsThere were several quality of life needs identified duringthe community stakeholders’ meetings, including: moreand better employment opportunities, medical serviceswithin closer proximity, additional “Clean & Safe” services,improved recreational activities and youth programs, asupermarket, education and awareness, incentives forhomeownership, increased investment in human capital,and more support for existing community leaders. Perhapsthe most significant quality of life need identified was theneed to improve communication within and among thecommunity, the institutional stakeholders, developers,and others in the area. Within the planning area there areseveral organizations working on a particular sub-area orparticular concern. Communication and collaboration effortscan go beyond these sub-areas, neighborhood boundaries,and special interests in pursuit of positive change. Penn andDrexel, as well as their students, and the community canimprove their working relationship with each other.Individual stakeholders from Mantua, West Powelton, andPowelton Village exchange ideas at our second communityengagement meeting.
  52. 52. 562. Strengthen common interests & build partnershipsOne of the strongest assets of the West Powelton and Mantuaneighborhoods is their numerous community organizations.Within the 19104 zip code alone, there are approximately300 social service and community non-profits. Within theboundaries of our planning area, which measures only.46 mi2, there are 54 non-profit organizations. Over 100additional organizations fall in the general West Powelton andMantua area, ranging from civic organizations to religiousinstitutions:-8 development related-8 business development-11 neighborhood /civic organizations-50 churchesThe map on the next page shows where these differentorganizations are located.While these numerous organizations all have a role to playin the plan for equitable development, they must identifyareas of common interest and build partnerships in orderto be effective. Several organizations are already linked byshared board members and staff, suggesting that they haveexisting partnerships. These links are shown with coloredlines on the map the right.These links provide the smaller organizations the opportunityto leverage social capital for knowledge sharing, bestpractices replication, and access to funding. However,the area of interest for UCD, and particularly the area ofimpact for the Penn Mortgage Program, encompasses manymore organizations not included in the existing network.Organizational linkages need to be extended to northward inorder to capitalize on nearby resources.3. Increase capacityA. CollaborationOur plan for equitable development focuses on organizationsand social capital. In an area with high poverty, a history ofdisinvestment, and low property values, value lies primarilyin social capital, the time and dedication of residents, thelocational value of the area, and the availability of land.While individual residents may have little wealth, theirpolitical and financial capital can be significant if they pooltheir resources.Sustainable equitable development requires a specificstructure to maintain it over the long term. Becausecommunity wealth is currently dispersed in and aroundour study area, we recommend that stakeholders increasetheir capacity through collaboration. One strategy forcollaboration is the creation of an umbrella organization inthe West Powelton and Mantua neighborhoods, which wouldhave two major functions:1) Political Representationa. facilitating political navigation, representing commoninterestsb. reactivating or combining existing organizations2) Practical Organizationa. pooling resources, sharing knowledge, increasingcapacityb. bringing all levels of stakeholders to the tableRather than attracting political attention to fragmentedcommunity concerns, a structured umbrella organizationwould help stakeholders to collectively identify sharedinterests and common needs. As will be discussed extensivelyin the physical section of our plan, there must be a well-organized entity to lead and manage our proposed mixedincome development. This umbrella organization could alsomanage our proposed Community Land Trust.
  53. 53. 57Map of connections among nearby organizations
  54. 54. 58In addition to large scale development projects, the umbrellaorganization could implement small innovative programs,such as a task force to educate homeowners about buildingcodes, a youth advisory board to ensure that neighborhoodyouth have a voice, and a community welcoming committeethat provides new neighbors with information about thearea.B. Education and trainingCommunity entrepreneurs and non profit organizationscan increase their capacity by taking advantage of existingeducational and training opportunities. Penn operates anumber of extensive programs to help entrepreneurs andnonprofits. Currently the University tends to focus itsprogram and policy efforts to the West rather than North ofcampus. West Powelton and Mantua residents can encouragePenn to have a vested interest in their communities bytaking advantage of the university’s education and trainingresources.The Wharton Small Business Development CenterThe Wharton Small Business Development Center (WSBDC),a division of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial ResearchCenter of Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, is one of 16SBDC’s in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The SBDCprovides free consulting services and educational programsfor a small fee to entrepreneurs looking to start or growa small business (under $10 million in revenue) in theGreater Philadelphia Region. The SBDC does not charge afee for their services but ask that the entrepreneur activelyparticipate in the consulting process, in order to be betterequipped to manage their business.The Center’s business consultants are prepared to helpnearly any type of small company or would-be entrepreneurwith their business challenges and opportunities from high-tech and manufacturing to retail and service companies.Common requests for assistance include:• Reviewing and critiquing business plans• Assisting in the development of marketing plans• Loan proposals• Financial projections• Identifying sources of financing• Developing new markets• Managing cash flowWharton Community ConsultantsWharton Community Consultants (WCC) provides hands-on consulting and advisory services to successful nonprofitorganizations throughout Philadelphia. The WCC’s highvalue-added services include business/strategic planning,marketing and PR, financial analysis and project managementassistance. WCC’s mission has been to make measurableimpact on the success of promising nonprofits, sustainrelationships between Wharton and the nonprofit community,and to provide career and community service experience tovolunteer consultants. WCC has served as an importantvehicle for demonstrating the Wharton School’s long-termcommitment to the Philadelphia community.Penn Law’s Public Service ProgramPenn Law’s Public Service Program sets – and continuesto set – the standard for pro bono service. This PublicService Program is a multi-faceted, co-curricular programwhose primary objective is to place Penn Law students andgraduates with pro bono lawyers, while simultaneously beingable to contribute to the public interest legal community.Students can help clients in bankruptcy proceedings, civilrights and constitutional law issues, environmental justice,family law, governmental practice, health law, immigration,international human rights law, labor law, women’s issuesand youth law – to name just a few.C. Cleanliness and SafetyDuring our community engagement meetings, we discoveredthat cleanliness and safety are two of the biggest concernsto West Powelton and Mantua stakeholders. Our plan for
  55. 55. 59equitable development calls for increasing the capacity of“clean and safe” services, while identifying opportunitiesfor new initiatives. The Mantua Community ImprovementCommittee (MCIC) created the Mantua Neighborhood SpecialService District (NSSD) in January 2002 to attract investorsand homebuyers to the neighborhood. MCIC employs youngmen from the community to clean the streets, provideleadership, and add security between 31st St. to the east,40th St. to the west, Spring Garden St. to the north, andMantua Ave. to the south. MCIC has a budget of $1 millionto fund wages, equipment, and materials for one year. MCICmust identify potential partners and sponsors to ensurethe sustainability of the NSSD. (Rick Young. Founder &President, MCIC. “Mantua Community Revitalization Project”.Correspondence to Drexel University, City and CommunityAffairs. October 12, 2004)UCD already maintains $62,000 in sub-contracts with MCIC,which funds the employment of 9 part-time persons inMantua. (Lewis C. Wendell. Executive Director, UCD. Emailcorrespondence. April 14, 2005)We recommend enhancing the existing partnership betweenUCD and MCIC, and increasing the percentage of UCDemployees from Mantua and West Powelton. In order tosimultaneously address concerns about cleanliness, safety,and employment, UCD has suggested creating a partnershipwith PECCDC to develop a service operation internshipprogram. (Lewis C. Wendell. Executive Director, UCD. Emailcorrespondence. April 14, 2005) This program would placeMantua and West Powelton residents in the pipeline for jobs.PECCDC and UCD should strongly pursue the creation of thisinternship program.The painting shows the Spread Eagle Tavern, which provided foodand lodging for pike travelers. The painting depicts the tavernas it appeared in 1795, 14 miles from Philadelphia. By 1797, theturnpike made it possible to travel from Philadelphia to Lancaster,Pennsylvania in only 12 hours.Source: US Dept. of TransportationSource: UCD website http://www.ucityphila.orgThe University City Districtalso offers “clean & safe”services, but on a muchlarger scale than MCIC. Itsbudget of $5.7 million reflectsvoluntary contributions froma variety of institutions,hospitals, businesses, andlocal residents. (UniversityCity District. “University CityReport Card 2005”) Althoughthe UCD boundaries do notencompass Mantua, at least6.5% of UCD employeesare from the Mantua/WestPowelton area. In addition,
  56. 56. 60D. Historic CapitalOur planning area has a very strong history that predatesthe founding of the city of Philadelphia, but its historic capitalhas been severely undervalued. One strategy for increasingthe capacity of our planning area is a Heritage TourismInitiative, which would educate residents about, and attractvisitors to, the community.The focus of the proposed Heritage Tourism Initiative would beLancaster Avenue (formerly Lancaster Pike). Between 1690and 1795, Lancaster Pike was constructed as the country’sfirst toll road. (Lawrence J. Biond. “West Philadelphia andAvenue Business Association (LABA), establish a centralizedLancaster Avenue Information Center which would provideinformation about the history of the corridor. The InformationCenter could simply be a small kiosk located near 40th St.and Lancaster Ave., one of the busiest corners in the area.LABA, PECCDC, and UCD have already published informativepackets about the history of Lancaster Avenue. Throughfurther collaboration, they could produce another publicationwith a “Lancaster Pike Wagon Trail” theme, which woulddirect people to businesses and important landmarks onthe corridor. Businesses along Lancaster Ave. could givecontributions for the publications and the staffing of thekiosk. The Lancaster Pike Wagon Trail theme should also bereinforced through public art, paving, and lighting.The Heritage Tourism Initiative would also extend to otherThe Lancaster Avenue of today is a major commercial corridor.Powelton Historic District Development Timeline.” PoweltonVillage Civic Association. September 1996).We recommend that an organization, such as the Lancasterparts of our planning area. LABA and PECCDC should considercollaborating to organize a Youth Tourism Ambassadorprogram during the summer months. These ambassadorscould be high school students who volunteer (or obtain school
  57. 57. 61credit) to distribute informational flyers about West Poweltonand Mantua in areas of high activity. We also propose a “DownMemory Lane” project, which could be spearheaded by oneof the smaller organizations, or even individual leaders, suchas Mother Jenkins. The project would bring together theyouth and the elderly to commemorate and celebrate thehistory of the community. Through this project, teenagersand young adults (volunteers, or for academic credit)would interview elderly residents and compile their stories,pictures, and memories for a publication or video historyabout the neighborhood. The final product could be used aspromotional material to highlight the positive aspects of thecommunity and stimulate physical investment.The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporationoperates the Neighborhood Tourism Network (NTN), whichhighlights the history, culture, and vibrancy of Philadelphia’sneighborhoods. (Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing.Neighborhood Tourism Network. “Philadelphia NeighborhoodTours”. Spring & Fall 2005). NTN is a coalition of organizationswhich promote economic development of their communitiesthrough cultural and heritage tourism. NTN operates Saturdaymorning tours that depart from the Independence VisitorCenter at 6th and Market Streets. Some of the participatingNTN organizations include:University City DistrictThe Enterprise CenterInstitute for Contemporary ArtPennsylvania Horticultural SocietyMural Arts ProgramPECCDC and smaller community groups should seekmembership in this network, as well as dates on the tourschedule. Visitors could be taken to some of the majorhistorical and contemporary points of interest throughoutWest Powelton and Mantua. This would also provide anopportunity to showcase the products of the “Down MemoryLane” project.Philadelphia’s Mother Bethel AME Church was a stopalong in the Underground Railroad. As part of NTN’sneighborhood tours, visitors can experience first personaccounts of the moral and spiritual battles waged in thename of freedom. Similar historical sites and narrativesshould be highlighted in Mantua and West Powelton.Source:
  58. 58. 62PhysicalWhile a community plan can go a long way in improving thequality of life for residents in West Powelton, it is necessarythat it be accompanied by a physical plan. Our physical plancapitalizes on recent public investments in the neighborhood,such as the construction of the Lucien E. Blackwell HOPE VIHomes and the infrastructure that was built to support it.The physical plan also helps to enhance the identity of acommunity by building upon its existing assets. To enableequitable development, existing residents must voice theirconcerns during the design and development process so thattheir neighborhood will provide a mix of building typologies,densities, uses, and prices. The overall goal is to haveexisting residents benefit from new investment withoutbeing displaced.There are a number of dynamics serving as the foundationand underlying rationale for the physical component of theplan. Our mid-term analysis revealed the following forcesat work:1) Rising sales prices across the majority of the planningarea.- Evidence of spillover from Spruce Hill.- Sales prices are still below the replacement rate.2) An elevated rental rate increase, particularly in the south-west section of the planning area.3) Low median household income levels compared toPhiladelphia as a whole.4) Concentrations and potential assemblages of vacant lots.5) Affordable housing investment focused primarily in thenorth-east section of the planning area and ringing the studyarea.Subsequent to the mid-term report, a number of rationalesguided the idea for the mixed-income development siteprogramming and equity model proposed below. UsingAmerican Housing Survey data and U.S. decennial Censusdata, we identified an existing need for further affordablehousing investment. Additionally, literature reviewsindicated that mixed income developments are the mostdesirable form of providing affordable housing units (Case& Katz, 1991; Borjas, 1995; Wilson, 1996; HUD 2003).Examinations of landownership patterns and zoning codesfurther informed the process. Finally, through meetings withcommunity members and organizations, we identified thatresidents exhibit a strong tendency towards civic activity,organization, and action.In order to provide a concrete example of the proper wayto develop land in West Powelton, we have developed amodel mixed-income community, targeting the northwestcorner as the most appropriate place to address issues ofequitable development. The area is roughly bounded byHaverford Avenue to the south, 42nd Street to the east,Lancaster Avenue to the north and 44th Street to the west.We chose this area, shown on the next page, due to itslarge amount of vacant land, high number of publicly ownedparcels, proximity to recent public investment, and the highvulnerability of existing residents to neighborhood change.These attributes can be seen in the neighborhood indicatorssection of the report.DesignPlacing a strong emphasis on the design of new improvementsto the West Powelton neighborhood is essential for anequitable development strategy. Good design will help newdevelopment fit in seamlessly with the existing urban fabricto create a cohesive neighborhood unit. This is particularlyimportant in West Powelton where a combination of conflictingbuilding typologies and swaths of vacant land have created alandscape that lacks a distinct identity and is far from cohesive.Moreover, properly integrating new development into theexisting fabric reduces the perception of socio-economicsegregation, thereby creating an integrated community inwhich one will not be able to say “the rich live here and thepoor live over there.” Development that incorporates gooddesign can also provide aesthetic amenities that can enhance
  59. 59. 63ProposedDevelopmentArea
  60. 60. 64“pride of place” for existing residents.The following design guidelines ensurethat new development contributes to theoverall goal of equitable development.New development should:1. blend in with and repair theexisting urban fabric.2. bridge the gap between conflictingtypologies in the neighborhood.3. provide a mix of uses and buildingtypes for a mix of residents.4. not lead to the concentration orsegregation of households in the sameincome bracket.5. meet the contemporary needs ofnew and existing residents.6. have design and developmentprocess that includes the existingcommunity or their representatives.7. preserve as much of the existingbuildings as possible so as to preventdisplacement.Design ConcernsBefore designing a mixed incomecommunity, there are many locationalconcerns that need to be taken intoconsideration.1. Typology Transition Zone:Currently a void exists on 44th Streetseparating two areas of conflictingbuilding typologies: the new 2-storyLucien E. Blackwell homes on one sideand older rowhomes on the other. Thisarea needs extra attention in terms of thebuilding types and massing to be locatedDesign Concerns
  61. 61. 65Site Plan
  62. 62. 66here so as to create a natural transition.2. Center of Activity: At the intersection of 43rd andFairmount a center of activity surrounds the Bottom ofthe Sea restaurant. An appropriate combination of usesand densities at this intersection can help to reinforce thiscenter.3. Linkage to Lancaster Ave.: This area is currentlydisconnected from Lancaster Ave. By siting mixed uses and apossible West Powelton Performing Arts Center on LancasterAve and Brooklyn St., the neighborhood will be betterintegrated with the major commercial corridor. Furthermore,such development will help create a northern anchor for theLancaster Ave. commercial corridor that exists between 39thSt. and 42nd St.4. Transit Corridors: 2 bus routes and 1 trolley linerun through the neighborhood. Higher density and activityshould be focused on these corridors.5. Mill Creek: This creek-turned-sewer lies 2 blocksfrom the western extent of the development area. In thepast it has created problems associated with flooding andbuilding subsidence. Construction and water managementtechniques need to address these potential problems.Existing TypologiesThe development area has a wide array of existing buildingtypes ranging from older 2 and 3 story rowhouses andduplexes, large detached homes, HOPE VI-style rows andduplexes, senior housing complexes, and barrack-stylepublic housing. Because of the large tracts of vacant landin the area, potential developers need to find the right mixof typologies and densities so that conflicting typologies canbe bridged.Parcel AcquisitionWe have identified 263 lots for acquisition in the modeldevelopment area. 205 of these parcels, or approx. 11acres, are vacant land. 43 of these lots are occupied byvacant buildings. 10 of these lots are occupied by inhabitedbuildings. These buildings are in very poor condition, areAcquisition - Owners