Crews Implode Pair of Philadelphia Housing Authority High-Rises

A pair of Philadelphia high-rises were reduced to rubble Saturday as part of a plan from the Philadelphia Housing Authority to modernize one of its complexes.

The PHA imploded two of the three Norman Blumberg Development high-rises around 7:15 a.m. Saturday.

The 18-story buildings came down as the PHA transitioned the 8-acre Sharswood/Blumberg community – which currently has around 500 units across three towers and 15 low-rise buildings – into a mix of affordable and market-rate rentals and homes, said the PHA. The buildings date from the 1960s.[[372258512, C]]

The 13-story senior housing building will be rehabilitated as part of the plan that will bring 1,000 homes to the development, said the PHA.

Besides the implosions and rehabbing plans, the $500,000 Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) Planning Grant will also help revitalize the Ridge Avenue commercial corridor and build recreational fields and community gardens.

A comfort center was set up for resident evacuated for the implosion. Residents went to Nellie Reynolds Gardens at Ridge and Glenwood Avenue to wait out the implosion.

Residents located in the dust zone were able to stay, but had to stay inside until the all-clear was given after the blast.

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