Lawmakers: Holy Family University Plans for Liddonfield ‘A Step Forward’
PHILADELPHIA, July 20, 2012 — Local lawmakers today said the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s approval of Holy Family University’s plan for the former Liddonfield Homes site a step forward for the Upper Holmesburg community of Northeast Philadelphia.
State Sen. Mike Stack, state Rep. Mike McGeehan and City Councilman Bobby Henon applauded PHA’s decision today to select the university’s development plan for the land, which was the former site of deteriorated low-income housing and is currently vacant.
“It’s a good day for the community because we can finally move forward with a solid plan that will benefit the university and the surrounding neighborhood,” Stack said. “We’ve been watching the progress of the future of this site for some time now, and it’s exciting to know that there will be positive development and that the university will be growing.”
Holy Family’s plan calls for retail shopping and nursing student housing on the Torresdale Avenue side of the property and an assisted living facility on the Cottage Street side of the property that will double as a facility for Holy Family nursing students to get practical nursing experience. The site would also have collegiate level soccer, baseball and softball athletic fields. Parking lots would be developed on Torresdale Avenue, Megargee Street, and Cottage Street.
University officials say the project would create up to 500 jobs.
The 32-acre site was formerly the location of the Liddonfield Homes. The homes were originally built in the late 1940s, serving as military barracks during World War II. They were converted to low-income housing in the 1950s.
Time and deterioration made the homes sources of increasing complaints. The tenants were all relocated and the housing units were demolished. Stack and McGeehan helped secure $3.5 million from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Fund to pay for leveling the buildings.
“I want to thank the community, state Representative Mike McGeehan and City Councilman Bobby Henon for all of their work together to ensure that this vacant site becomes a vibrant site that will benefit the community and the Philadelphia region,” Stack said. “Holy Family is a wonderful community partner, and this project will expand the institution while giving back to its own neighbors.”