Thursday, March 22, 2012

Development in Point Breeze

If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably seen numerous tweets from me regarding the latest neighborhood happenings in Point Breeze, Philadelphia. To put it bluntly, locals and newbies are battling.

By locals, I'm referring to those who have lived in Point Breeze for many years; for some, Point Breeze is their generational neighborhood. By newbies, I'm referring to those who have recently taken a liking to Point Breeze; they are looking to rehab older homes or develop vacant lots in order live in the neighborhood or to sell those new homes to other newbies.

Make sense? Cool.

Now, because these 2 groups of Philadelphians have been colliding at local zoning meetings, it has prevented some new projects from happening and has infuriated both parties involved. Local neighborhood groups, South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S. (SPHINC) and Diversified Community Services (DCS), have basically been running the real estate show in this neighborhood for years; until the newbies showed up. Now, the power shift is starting to change.

Why? The new zoning code will change how local neighborhood development is done.

There is a lot of demand for housing right now in Point Breeze. But the problem is that the locals feel the current demand will cause gentrification in their neighborhood. The main fear is this will change the demographic level, home values will go up (as they have already), and it will cause property taxes to go up; therefore, pricing locals out of Point Breeze. Since it has already happened to PB's northern neighbor, Graduate Hospital, locals fear that the same thing is going to happen in their neighborhood.

There are other issues aside from the ones I already mentioned, and you can learn more about them by checking out this article from Plan Philly.

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