PHA Dedicates New Community Center At Richard Allen Homes To Mayor Street

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today unveiled the new Community Center at Richard Allen and named the facility for Mayor John F. Street.

In ceremonies marking the occasion, PHA Executive Director Carl Greene said the honor was appropriate. "John Street has been an advocate for residents of public housing for decades. His dedication to serving those residents continues in his position as chairman of the PHA Board of Commissioners. We can think of no better way of saying thank you than to place his name on this beautiful new center in his home district," said Greene.

The 16,000 square foot center at 1100 Poplar Street stands as the proud centerpiece of the newly created town square, which PHA designed as part of the redevelopment plan for the Richard Allen and Cambridge Plaza communities. The town square links the two neighborhoods.

The John F. Street Community Center - along with a new health center operated by Drexel University - is integrated within a beautifully landscaped urban park and serves as a convenient and attractive gathering place for PHA residents, as well as the general public. The spacious center offers an abundance of natural light and glazing and boasts modern design features. Highlights include:

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    • an expansive 3,000 square foot multi-purpose room large enough for major community events
    • 1,000 square foot multi-media library with computer stations
    • dance and aerobic studio
    • professionally equipped recording studio
    • commercial kitchen for large events

"Our new community center at Richard Allen not only looks great, but also serves the important role of bridging the surrounding neighborhoods that will use the facility," said PHA Executive Director Carl Greene. "The amenities offered are first-rate." Todays event celebrates the final step of the Richard Allen Homes, which PHA began revamping in 1996. Richard Allen features 408 homes -- a marked contrast to the 1,324 "project" units originally on the same property.

The new center at Richard Allen marks PHAs latest community upgrade, part of the agencys billion-dollar citywide construction program. That program is geared primarily toward building the finest affordable housing, but PHA also believes that facilities such as the new community center are essential to raising and maintaining the overall quality of life.

"While I am quite honored to have this center named for me, todays celebration should really focus on the residents of this great community," said Mayor Street. "PHA is highly driven in meeting its commitment to affordable housing residents, and I want to dedicate this wonderful new center to them."

About PHA

PHA is transforming public housing in the city of Philadelphia. As the nation's fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 78,000 residents, PHA is the first housing authority in the U. S. designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an "Accredited Management Organization." This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management that have met IREM's high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.

PHA Executive Director Carl Greene, Commissioner Jannie Blackwell, City Councilman Darrell Clarke, Mayor Street, and Councilman Frank Rizzo watch and Commissioner Nellie Reynolds(center) cuts the ribbon to open the John F. Street Community Center.

Mayor Street, Commissioner Jannie Blackwell, PHA Executive Director Carl Greene, and Commissioner Nellie Reynolds beam with pride now that the new community center has opened in North Philadelphia.

Mayor Street and PHA Executive Director Greene have a pleasant chat as Commissioner Blackwell looks on.