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Francisville Property Values Skyrocket, and Taxes Do Too

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Francisville, which is adjacent to super trendy Fairmount, and located a stone's throw away from Center City, encompasses a tiny area (only 28 square blocks,) and now plays host to the kinds of gentrification battles seen in Point Breeze and Fishtown in recent years.

The Daily News reports that Francisville homes sold for prices between $28,000 and $43,000 are now worth around $225K on the market, and while property owners looking to sell might rejoice, property owners who want to stay will have to struggle with huge increases to their tax bills.

Of course, ten year tax abatements draw resentment toward newcomers with their newly built three story homes and low taxes. Though Council President Darrell Clarke, who represent the district, says that the gentrification relief passed through City Council last month will help longtime residents stay in their homes, many residents who saw huge tax bill increases are understandably nervous.

New residents have also greeted certain interests with animosity: developers complain about the holds that Darrell Clarke has put on city-owned properties within Francisville. A new low income housing development Project H.O.M.E. put together in conjunction with Bon Jovi: some members of the Fairmount CDC felt that the project would jeopardize their efforts to revitalize the Ridge Ave. commercial corridor.

Meanwhile, the city's planning commission has begun to classify Francisville as part of Center City, whereas it had historically been treated as part of North Philly, removing a "psychological barrier" to the neighborhood.

As property values continue to rise in the neighborhoods closest to Center City, gentrification struggles are likely to become part of Philly's daily dialogue.
· Francisville in Transition [Daily News]