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Philly planning Bartram Village redesign with $1.3 million grant

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The housing authority will discuss demolishing and replacing the 500 units

A new $1.3 million federal grant will help the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) redevelop the public housing neighborhood known as Bartram Village, which sits along the Schuylkill River in South Philly.

PHA announced the news in a statement on their website last month, saying the $1.3 million was a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant is split into two parts—$300,000 will go to planning costs, while $1 million will be used for the physical projects to help transform the neighborhood.

Bartram Village, which consists of 500 homes on a 22-acre site, was built in 1942 and lacks adequate amenities, space and energy efficiency, according to the statement

“Revitalization of Bartram Village and the surrounding neighborhood is consistent with PHA’s strategy to reinvent public housing through creation of viable, self-sustaining, mixed income communities,” PHA said

The project will be undertaken by Pennrose Properties, which entered into an agreement with PHA last year over redesigning the village, said Timothy Henkel, Senior Vice President at Pennrose.

He said they’re not sure yet whether the units will be completely demolished and replaced, but he said considering the option is part of the planning process.

“Displacement and disruption is a huge issue, and one that we respect,” Henkel said. He added, “Part of the work to be done is exploratory kinds of decision making.”

That means speaking with Bartram Village residents about what they value most in their neighborhood and what could use revitalization or reconstruction, Henkel said.

Henkel didn’t say when the planning process is expected to be complete, but PlanPhilly reported that it will likely take two years