Holy Family U. has a plan for city eyesore

January 27, 2012 2:16:40 PM PST
There is plenty of hope and optimism in one Philadelphia neighborhood, where residents have been living amid dilapidated buildings and barren fields.?

The area around Torresdale Ave. and Megargee St., where the Liddonfield Housing projects once stood, has been an eyesore for the town.?

Now, Holy Family University is partnering with the developer BSI Construction to propose a plan for the 32 acres.? They envision new athletic facilities, shops, dining, walkways and lighting at night, plus an assisted living facility with 300 beds.

"I believe it can make and help forge the Northeast to be a gateway to city bridges in higher education," said Councilman Bobby Henon (D).?

Holy Family also sees this plan as a way to become a bigger player on the local college scene.? University President Sister Francesca Onley said, "Usually if you have a business, if you dont grow you die, and so, we're looking to grow."

This is not the only proposal - there are 20 being presented to the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Some in the neighborhood were thrilled to see the decrepit projects get demolished, and can't wait for something new.? "It would make it look more attractive and we wouldn't have the crime we had before," said Mike DiNoia, resident of Holmesburg.

The PHA says it cannot comment on a specific proposal, but did mention that its board will consider all of them.? The developer of the Holy Family option says his $100 million? project would start tomorrow if approved, and would be completed in three years.