The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is looking for a developer to buy and re-develop three dozen properties in West Philly that have ties to the MOVE bombing in 1985.
The redevelopment authority recently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 36 properties located along the blocks of 6200 Osage Avenue and 6200 Pine Street in Cobbs Creek, Philly Voice first reported.
It will be a particularly sensitive redevelopment project, given the tragic history of the neighborhood. Years of tension and violence between the city and members of MOVE, a local black liberation group, resulted in the infamous MOVE bombing of 1985. On May 13, the city dropped a satchel of explosives onto the rooftop bunker of MOVE’s headquarters at 6221 Osage Avenue, resulting in a widespread fire that destroyed more than 60 homes and left 11 dead.
More than 30 years later, residents have had to grapple with the long-lasting effects of the bombing. Although the city attempted to rebuild the properties, it did so hastily and shoddily, and some still sit vacant today. The PRA took ownership of the homes in 2000, and it appears that it seeks a developer who will do a better job.
The RFP states:
PRA strongly encourages developers to rehabilitate the properties, while not excluding the option of demolition and new construction if that approach proves to be the most viable solution. Because some of the PRA-owned properties abut owner-occupied units, developers should be prepared to make every effort to address safety issues and prevent work that would adversely affect private properties.
The properties are zoned RM-1, which allows for single-, two-, and multi-family unit dwellings. The RFP also suggests that the proposal should be well-designed to improve the overall quality and appearance of the neighborhood, as well as incorporate environmentally-friendly elements.
“Developer should also be respectful of the area’s challenged history and the trauma that adjacent residents may have experienced,” the RFP states.
The deadline for proposals is December 14, 2016 at 3 p.m.