Monday, March 20, 2017

Is this the holy grail project that could jump-start revitalization of North Philly?

2142 West Sedgley Avenue, Philadelphia Listing 0.8mi:

by Jacob Adelman, Staff Writer, Philadelphia Inquirer

Real estate magnate Ziel Feldman’s properties are in some of Manhattan’s poshest neighborhoods.
Now, he wants to build in one of Philadelphia’s most destitute.

Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group is part of a consortium of New York investors planning a complex of homes, offices, labs, and start-up work spaces in what is now an enclave of vacant warehouse properties and empty lots around Amtrak’s North Philadelphia station.

The $162 million first phase of North Philadelphia District LLC’s proposal calls for two new buildings on what is now the train station’s parking lot, and the renovation of a hulking dilapidated factory site nearby, said Michael Shenot, who is leading the project as a managing director with the real estate services firm JLL, in an interview Friday.

Work could begin before the end of the year if the investor group is granted its  request for a $20 million state redevelopment grant to cover parts of the project, said Shenot, who previously participated in developing the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. He is now working on an expansion of New York’s Penn Station involving a historic postal building to its west.

If the group’s plan is successful — no sure thing in an area that has shown few apparent signs of readiness for revitalization — its impact on this North Philadelphia neighborhood could be enormous, said Harris Steinberg, who directs Drexel University's Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.

The site could capitalize on the train station’s citywide access via SEPTA’s Regional Rail system and its Amtrak link to New York, as well as its location barely a half-mile north of Temple University’s main campus and just a few blocks south of its Health Sciences Center complex, Steinberg said.

“This could be the holy grail that could jump-start revitalization in North Philadelphia,” he said. “Whether the market is there for this kind of development is another question.”

2142 West Sedgley Avenue, Philadelphia Listing 0.8 mi:
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