Domus Inc. has been put in charge of the $20.9 million phase one of a revitalization project to take place at the Philadelphia Housing Authority's Norman Blumberg Apartments in North Philly. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the first phase of this much needed work includes "renovating at apartment tower that houses seniors, constructing 57 rental homes on an adjacent vacant parcel and designing new streets in the Sharswood neighborhood."
Solomon Jones over at Axis Philly provided some historical context to the neighborhood's decline during a profile of the project's initial announcement. "The housing project brought with it the kind of impoverishment that was hard to overcome," wrote Jones back in February. "The middle class soon left the neighborhood, and those who stayed behind watched a once-thriving community become a haven for crime and abandonment."
Apparently, PHA Executive Director Kelvin Jeremiah paid Blumberg a plainclothes visit to see the real state of the neighborhood. "Jeremiah told me [Jones] in an interview that he was told by brazen criminals during an evening visit to Blumberg that he might be shot if he went to a certain area." Jeremiah has since spearheaded the revival of Sharswood by looking towards overhauling Blumberg Apartments.
While there is no set date, future demolition of two of the three existing towers is in the cards for the complex constructed in 1969.
·Domus scores $20.9 million PHA contract [Philadelphia Businees Journal]
·New hope for Sharswood [AXIS Philly]