PHA Sets Stage for New Supermarket in Sharswood

Board also takes next step toward providing quality Pre-K in neighborhood

(Philadelphia, PA - August 3, 2016)- The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has taken a major step in its commitment to implementing the Transformation Plan for the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood of North Philadelphia: working with Save-A-Lot to bring a new model approximately 18,500 square foot grocery store to Ridge Avenue.

"During the development of the plan to transform the Sharswood/Blumberg community, residents told us a grocery store was a feature the neighborhood badly needed," said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. "We heeded the call and conducted outreach. Three grocery operators expressed interest, but only Save-A-Lot provided a written proposal detailing its commitment to the neighborhood so we selected them."

Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, with final details still to be negotiated, PHA will develop the building using non-federal funds at a cost of approximately $4.5 million. Once the structure is in place, Save-A-Lot will cover the cost of all fixtures and installation.  The grocer will make lease payments to PHA or its affiliate.

Save-A-Lot will operate a modern store with products that include fresh produce, poultry and seafood, and other items that have not been available in the neighborhood. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 with the opening set for the Spring of 2018.

The Save-A-Lot and the new PHA headquarters building will be constructed on the west side on Ridge Avenue at Jefferson Street. Final details on the headquarters building, which will consolidate employees from several sites into one, will be completed soon.

"The offer from Save-A-Lot presents an opportunity to deliver on two commitments made to the residents - to bring in a high quality grocer and to revitalize the Ridge Avenue Corridor," Jeremiah said. "All parts of the plan are aimed at making Sharswood/Blumberg a neighborhood of choice"

Earlier this year, the PHA board approved an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) to operate an early childhood education program in Sharswood/Blumberg. The program, funded by a grant from the Green Light Fund, will serve up to 200 families over a four year period, further delivering on the Transformation Plan for the community. Named the Parent Child Home Program, it will provide literacy and basic numeracy training to children and parents in their homes beginning with kids as young as 2-years old.

"The most obvious sign of remaking the neighborhood will be the hundreds of homes we will build over the next several years, but the vision here is to add the elements that make a community whole," Jeremiah said. "That includes access to quality education, starting with pre-K, access to a supermarket, plenty of green space and a thriving business corridor. These latest actions show that we are progressing on all fronts."