Perhaps you’ve never heard of Act 135, passed in PA in 2009, which provides communities with one more tool to fight blight in their neighborhoods. In short, this act allows residents, businesses, or non-profits to take conservatorship over a blighted property, fix it up, and sell it off. One non-profit that’s been fairly active in leveraging this Act to improve neighborhoods is Scioli Turco.
One of their first success stories is the conversion of the old Scioli Turco VFW post near 8th & Catharine. Looking at the transformation here, you can tell that these guys do good work.
In the past
Currently, Scioli Turco is in the process of renovating two long vacant residential properties in South Philly, both near Passyunk Avenue. 1331 Alder St. is located on a quiet, tree-lined block that’s steps away from the Reed Street Acme. It’s been vacant for years, but should be fully renovated and put on the market by early 2013.
Looks rough but not for long
1314 Sigel St.is half a block from the bottom of East Passyunk, and is likewise found on a small block of generally well-maintained homes occupied by long-term residents. It’s also been empty for years, and should come on the market as a renovated home by the end of this year.
1314 Sigel St.
It’s encouraging to see this sort of redevelopment taking place in otherwise established neighborhoods, where properties have simply fallen through the cracks over the years. While the effort to become a conservator might be challenging for an everyday person, this company seems to have really gotten the hang of it and is actively working to patch in holes in communities.
If you’re looking to get into the conservator business yourself, there are numerous rules in place that define blight, regulate which parties are allowed to become conservators, and spell out exactly what’s involved in this process. If you’re interested in the exhaustive details, click here to read a lengthy manual on the subject, which details all the steps required in becoming a conservator.