The People’s Emergency Center (PEC) is at work revitalizing lower Lancaster Avenue in University City, an area tucked between the spur of development west of 30th Street and the rising popularity of neighborhoods like Spruce and Walnut Hill, and Clark and Cedar Park in West Philadelphia. Lancaster Avenue is a zipper thoroughfare that brings together five neighborhoods: Belmont, Mantua, Sanders Park, West Powelton and Mill Creek.
Looking down Lancaster
In the past two years, PEC purchased two long vacant and bruised buildings on the 3800 block of Lancaster Avenue. That and the 3900 block are areas that PEC has identified as primed for revitalization in its Make Your Mark Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan published last summer. Its current work on the 3800 block of Lancaster is part of a larger about $4M investment project, realized through two separate but connected developments.
That includes renovations…
The University City District (UCD) has been establishing itself as a major player in University City neighborhood relations. From the announcement of its recent plans to renovate the 40th Street Septa Trolley Portal, to their staff in leaf cleaning vehicles that travel the streets of West Philly via bike lanes, it’s hard to go somewhere along Baltimore Avenue and not see something UCD is involved with in some way.
As they have in the past, their efforts are stretching into Powelton Village, where the UCD organized and will soon implement a plan to install improved pedestrian lighting along the 3400 block of Lancaster Avenue.
34th and Lancaster
“I think the lighting plan is just another step to kind of brand Lancaster Avenue as a successful retail corridor,” said Geroge Poulin, past-president and current zoning chair of the Powelton Village Civic
Cultivate community pride. Strengthen civic groups. Engage the youth. Hire artists. Create green spaces. These could be part of any neighborhood’s plan. More specifically, these are some of the key elements that residents in the communities that compile Lower Lancaster Avenue voiced during a 10-month planning process last year hosted in collaboration with the People’s Emergency Center (PEC).
That result of that process is a study of more than 600 acres where reside around 18,000 people centered around a one-and-one-half mile stretch of Lancaster Avenue, according to the Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan, published in April of this year. The study refers to Lower Lancaster as the area bordered by Market Street on the south, 48th Street on the west, the rail line/Mantua Ave on the north and 37th Street on the east. It includes the West Powelton, Saunders Park, Mantua, Belmont and Mill Creek neighborhoods.…
The West Powelton, Mantua, and Saunders Park social services organization People’s Emergency Center (PEC) has big plans for the 4200-block of Powelton Avenue. They’re working with community groups to convert 4226-4234 Powelton Ave., an empty lot that was formerly a set of ramshackle buildings, into a seven-unit supportive housing building, which may include a playground and office space.
In the past
Specifically, PEC hopes to house homeless individuals and families that suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, or have a physical or mental disabilities at this development, says Stephanie Wall, PEC’s project manager for this endeavor. The Center is very concerned about community opinion, which is why they’re working with DIGSAU Architecture to develop a building that “fits in with the fabric of the neighborhood,” says Wall. They also decided to table a recent ZBA hearing to receive more input from…
Transforming a large vacant lot that stretches over a number of addresses into an affordable, live-in artists’ community is the heart of a new initiative slated for the 4000 block of Haverford Avenue in West Philly.
Though there has definitely been some development in the surrounding blocks, notably in the student housing arena, the area is still ripe for some sort of positive atmospheric shift. Plans for this project at 4050-66 Haverford Ave. come from the folks at People’s Emergency Center (PEC), a West-Powelton based group. You may remember, they’re the folks
A shoe store at 4002 Lancaster Ave. is being replaced by a take-out restaurant, according to a zoning application from a couple of months ago.
In the past
A few weeks back
We don’t have information on what’s going into this space, but we were struck by the gorgeous building just a couple of doors away. The West Philadelphia Title and Trust Company was built in 1897 and designed by Walter Smedley, according to the Preservation Alliance. While numerous impressive and attractive details remain, the building has not been designated historic. Whether the unfortunate signage from businesses that have taken up residence in the grand structure has anything to do with that, we do not know.
Thanks also to the Preservation Alliance, we discovered that the building was, until very recently, far more compromised…