The nonprofit affordable housing developer Community Ventures is working with the registered community organization (RCO) Parkside Association of Philadelphia to create new senior and affordable housing and park space along the beleaguered 52nd Street corridor between Lancaster and Parkside Avenues in the West Parkside and Cathedral Park communities.

The Parkside Association and Community Ventures are proposing a 32-unit senior and disabled housing complex on the 1700-block of 52nd Street, according to Lucinda Hudson, the president of the Parkside Association. In addition, the development will contain 20 units of affordable housing for people of all ages. The Parkside Association will also be moving their own office into the complex.

 The “main benefits of the project are elimination of blight on both sides of a full block of 52nd Street, restoration of two community parks,

[and] job creating commercial space,” Hudson said.

The project was given unanimous RCO approval two weeks ago.

Spurred by this proposed development, the nonprofit West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution (WPFSI) is seeking to add multiple retail components to the corridor. Jim Burnett, executive director of WPFSI, said that the organization has begun working with the Goldenberg Group to locate retail tenants for the affordable housing complex. WPFSI and the Goldenberg Group were also the developers behind the Parkwest Town Center, a large multi-tenant shopping center which is located along the corridor.

Further south, WPFSI also has plans for the intersection of 52nd and Lancaster intersection, where a lot of the property at the intersection has been vacant and languishing for at least a decade. Burnett said he is looking at the northeast, southeast, and southwest corners of the intersection to bring some new retail space. The new space would also house the Progressive Change CDC, which is being developed by WPFSI. He’s also looking to relocate his nonprofit’s office (currently located a block away at 52nd and Warren) to the area.


By Andy Sharpe,

Shonte Eley