TAKE A LOOK AT THE PWD PLAN FOR STORMWATER MAINTENANCE IN AND AROUND OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
CURIOUS ABOUT STEPHEN GIRARD, WHO GAVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ITS NAME? LEARN MORE HERE
HISTORIC PRESERVATION TASK FORCE REPORT: FULL REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
A MESSAGE ON CRIME
Fellow Girard Estate Residents,
As many of you are aware, there has been a series of violent crimes within Girard Estate during the past few months which are uncharacteristic of our neighborhood. As representatives of the neighborhood, we are concerned that this may represent a trend as opposed to a coincidence or an anomaly, and therefore are taking immediate action to address the issue. While the increase in these unwelcome incidents may be partially attributable to high-level city-wide policies, we are developing a corrective action plan that focuses our energy at the local level.
We have already begun consulting with external resources regarding how those within our community can best guard themselves against the types of crimes that Girard Estate has been subjected to in recent months, and are currently planning meetings with local law enforcement officials to establish a neighborhood strategy to address crime in our neighborhood that includes their assistance and participation.
During the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing more information with the community as it relates to crime within Girard Estate. This material will be shared via our traditional means of disseminating information (GENA website, GENA Facebook page, etc.), and will include (but not necessarily be limited to) the following:
• Short-term solutions that can be implemented immediately by GENA and neighborhood residents to make those within the neighborhood less susceptible to criminal acts.
• Long-term solutions that will involve cooperation from public agencies and local law enforcement officials.
• Various data regarding crimes occurring in our neighborhood (number of crimes committed, types of crimes committed, times of day when these crimes occur, etc.)
We strongly believe that being able to feel safe within the streets of our own community is a right and not a privilege, and will be prioritizing safety issues over all other neighborhood improvement initiatives over the upcoming months. We welcome the input and assistance of all neighborhood residents in our effort to reduce crime in Girard Estate to a level that better reflects the desires and expectations of those that live here, so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and insights with us via either our social media platforms or attendance at our upcoming general meetings. For many years, Girard Estate has been an urban oasis, and a special place for us to reside and raise our families. It is incumbent upon us as a neighborhood association, and us as a community, to keep it that way.
Girard Estate Neighbors Association Board of Directors
COAT DRIVE WINTER 2019--2020
Once again, we are SO WARMED by the generosity of our neighbors! GENA volunteers sorted nine contractor bags of coats today, and we're proud to announce that 67 coats and lots of warm hats and gloves are making their way to Our Brothers Place and Maternity Care Coalition. THANK YOU for your support, and thanks again to Tap Room on 19th for co-hosting six years and counting! And thanks to 6ABC\Action News for terrific coverage
South Quarter Crossing
South Quarter Crossing-- Notes on the recent Design Review process-- and updates.
On Monday, 10-21-2019, Cedar Realty Trust held a design walkthrough of their new project for our neighborhood, called South Quarter Crossing. GEAR (not GENA) hosted the meeting, but GENA was represented by several members and our zoning committee.
Two public Civic Design Review meetings were held by the Planning Commission at 1515 Arch, On November 5th and December 5th, 2019. These meetings were advisory only. The review panel made many suggestions for design changes, primarily regarding improved walkability and green space. The developers confined their improvements to a few additional trees and providing stamped asphalt sidewalks.
The October meeting, held in the neighborhood, was well-attended. Neighbors had many questions and observations. Cedar’s chief presenters were Ronald Patterson, the lawyer assisting with the project; Robin McBride Ziegler, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Michael Sommer, Senior Vice President of Development and Construction, and Kristi Jackson, Marketing and Investor Relations Manager. They presented a combined video and slide show that depicted the project from many viewpoints, ranging from a promotional video and artistic renderings of the proposed buildings to specific and detailed maps and layouts, and followed up with an extensive Q and A. Here are some of the highlights:
The project is large and ambitious. It envisions tying the existing Quartermaster Plaza with the current South Philadelphia Shopping Center to create a new mixed residential and commercial area called South Quarter Crossing. There will be over 250 market-rate apartments ranging from studio to one and two bedroom, divided between two new residential-over-retail buildings. There will be a four-story stand-alone parking garage for both shoppers and residents, and extensive street level parking for the retail areas. There will be a purpose-build athletic facility. Some of the existing buildings, notably Shop-Rite and Ross, will remain but with facelifts. Permits for demolition of some of other existing buildings have already been drawn.
Why did this project not go before the Zoning Board? Cedar requested and obtained legislation, sponsored by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and passed by City Council, to rezone the area for the project to CMX-3, a mixed commercial use that allows for the size and uses of buildings envisioned for the project. That means that the development is now “of right” and not considered a zoning exception. As part of this process, Cedar did come before the neighborhood and also obtained approval from the Planning Commission.
What stays and what goes? Shop-Rite and Ross will remain, and the Burger King site will also get a makeover. The building that houses the Post Office and dollar store, and the large suite of stores to the south of Ross will be torn down and replaced, as will the old Drug Emporium building
What happens to the Post Office? As of Movember 27th, the Post Office is temporarily located at 2240 West Oregon. That's in the Quartermaster Plaza in the old Payless space, between Verizon and Madrags. The USPS is looking for a permanent spot. There is no guarantee that the new permanent location will be as convenient as the temp location or our old location.
What is the timetable for the project? Demolition to start as soon as possible; other than that, no specific dates. This is understandable early in the process; Cedar explained that the project will proceed in phases, with a first residential unit to be built; then upon completion of that, the second will be built.
What about parking and traffic? These were the most contentious issues for many neighbors. It is clear that there will be plenty of retail parking, and spaces in the proposed parking garage will be available (at a price) to the apartment residents. Many residents expressed worries that new residents would opt for street parking on 22nd street rather than pay to park in the garage. UPDATE AS OF 11-05-2019: At the Civic Design Review before the Planning Comission, Cedar stated that parking in the commercial lot will be available to residents of the development who purchase a sticker.
Won’t the parking garage be an eyesore? Cedar asserts that all of the buildings will be built so as not to disrupt the overall look and feel of the adjacent neighborhood using brick and earth tones. Also, pointing out the obvious, they state that the present site is far from beautiful.
GENA Elections 2019
This November, as specified in our bylaws, GENA held elections for President and Treasurer and a total of three board posts.
Jessica Frye was elected to President for 2020-2021 ; Rob Frye is our 2020-2021 Treasurer. With Jessica vacating her VP position, James Gitto was elected to fill that post for 1 year.
Because James will vacate his board post, we are still looking for candidates to fill the rest of his term (1 year),
Also, we elected two 2-year open board positions: Pete Fry will take another term, and John Abbott will serve on the board for the first time after years of helping us out in various capacities.
Mark Leuzzi, who has stepped down from his office of President, will continue to serve on the board as President Emeritus, in accordance with the bylaws. Welcome and congratulations to all!
OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS
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GENA GENERAL MEETING SCHEDULE, 2020
Wednesday, February 12
Wednesday, March 18
Wednesday, May 13
Wednesday, July 15
Wednesday, September 23
Wednesday, November 18
All Meetings Take Place at
7:00 PM in
the Abbey facility
the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Trinity
2336 South 18th St
(just north of Ritner by the cemetery gate)
GENA ZONING COMMITTEE SCHEDULE, 2020
We are currently working on our 2020 schedule
All Meetings Take Place at
1935 Shunk Street
ALL MEETINGS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Programs for Seniors (50 +) at
Marconi Older Adult Center
2433 S 15th Street
or link to:
POLICE DEPARTMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
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