Sharswood Blumberg Transformation

Learn more about the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Planning Grant efforts by visiting www.sharswoodblumberg.com

Blumberg Site BoundariesOverview

The Norman Blumberg Apartments in North Philadelphia date back to the 1960s. The dense, 8-acre site contains 499 units in two 18-story towers, a 13-story senior citizen high-rise, and 15 low-rise buildings.

While PHA has invested heavily to maintain the property in a decent, safe and sanitary condition, Blumberg (and most high-rise low-income family developments nationally) has been widely viewed as a failure of planning and an obstacle to neighborhood renewal. 

In contrast to the vibrancy and strength of nearby neighborhoods, the blocks immediately surrounding Blumberg includes a large concentration of vacant and blighted buildings and lots, and suffers from a violent crime rate that is 1.5 times greater than the Citywide crime rate.

´╗┐Choice NeighborhoodsChoice Neighborhoods Planning Grant

In November 2013, PHA, working with 23 partners, received a Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) Planning Grant. The planning grant of $500,000 supports the development of a successful
transformation plan for both the Blumberg site as well as the surrounding Blumberg/Sharswood neighborhood.

CNI has three core goals: housing, people, and neighborhoods. The plan was developed withextensive community engagement and complements the Lower North District plan from the City Planning Commission.

The renewal effort received a major financial boost when the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency (PHFA) awarded the first phase of the Blumberg redevelopment a 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit in February 2014. It marked the first 9 percent credit for the agency in nearly four years. The award will allow PHA to raise $12.6 million through private investment and cover 60 percent of the total cost of the first phase of redevelopment, which will take place both on and off-site.

In May 2014, the PHA Board awarded a construction contract for the first phase of redevelopment.

 

Housing

  • Demolition of Blumberg family high-rises and 15 low-rise buildings
  • Rehab of Blumberg senior high-rise
  • Over 1,200 new residential units
  • 420 affordable and market-rate homeownership units´╗┐

Blumberg Rendering 2 small

 

Neighborhood

  • Over 200,000 square feet mixed used development
  • Revitalized commercial corridor on Ridge Avenue
  • Establishment of a high-performing K-8 public school at the former Reynolds School site
  • Additional recreational fields/community gardens

 

Blumberg Commercial Corridor small

People

  • Comprehensive individualized supportive services
  • Improved delivery of public education for all youth in the neighborhood
  • Improved health and wellness programs operating in the community
  • Integrate social services, adult education, and workforce training

 

Blumberg People small

Editorials


 

Blumberg Transformation Plan icon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the Transformation Plan