Eastwick community members will now be an even more integral part of the development of an urban renewal project that covers 129 acres in city near Philadelphia International Airport.
Mayor Michael Nutter announced Thursday the city, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Philadelphia International Airport and developer New Eastwick Corp. reached an agreement to "allow for a community planning process" to develop the huge swath of land.Neighbors in the residential area – already prone to flooding and located between the Darby Creek and PHL – saw even more flooding events recently.
They showed up in droves to meetings in the past few years, organizing and asking for a voice in what the city calls the largest urban renewal project in the country's history. They were upset over decades of issues – ranging from flooding and stinking houses to pollution from two Superfund sites.
“The PRA and the City will begin a community planning process and determine the best uses for these parcels. We hope the final development will be done with the community as a partner so the residents can be part of the process," said Brian Abernathy, executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.
The agreement also puts an end to a legal dispute between New Eastwick Corp. and the airport.
NEC, as part of a development deal made in 1961, has developed approximately 3,000 homes and 1,100 apartment units, two shopping centers, 38 retail establishments, and a 1,000 room hotel/restaurant complex serving the Philadelphia International Airport, according to the city.
The agreement between the city and NEC, later joined by Korman, expired at the end of this year, making it all the more urgent for the neighbors to become part of the process going forward.
“I am extremely pleased an agreement was reached so that we may look forward to the future development that will take place in Eastwick section of the City,” said Mayor Nutter.