Compelling Reasons Not to Develop

Join the Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition in Opposing Development!

Rendering of proposed Korman development

An artist’s rendering of the site of the planned 735 apartment complex in Southwest Philadelphia. (Credit: Pennoni Associates)

This project would add insult to the injuries inflicted on the Eastwick community decades ago, when the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority raided the peacefully-integrated, middle class neighborhood of Eastwick, and forced 10,000 residents to sell their homes at below-market prices, to make way for “more homes.”  Most houses were razed, land was cleared, and some new streets were built.  Korman developers were given a right to build up until 2015, but the new homes were never built as promised.  Korman constructed some homes and an apartment complex.  The remaining 100+ acres has reverted to diverse vegetation and habitat for wildlife.

Development of this magnitude – 722 apartments and 1034 parking spaces in 35 acres – would significantly expand impervious surfaces, leaving little choice for stormwater runoff, except to flood surrounding areas even more than existing conditions.

This deal robs the Eastwick community of the right it was promised for a major say in determining its future – –

Members of the Eastwick Firnds & Neighbors Coalitions

Members of the Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition: (left to right) Mariatu Kalokoh, Monique Holland, Debbie Beers and Carol Simmons. (Photo by Emily Wren for Grid Magazine)

An agreement was reached between the Eastwick residents and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in the early 1960’s that the community would be consulted on new development plans.  Eastwick residents have been kept in the dark about the plans Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Korman have collaborated on for a large-scale apartment development and the associated zoning change from single family to rental apartments

Saw Whet Owl as seen at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinnicum Marsh

Saw Whet Owl seen during a bird walk at John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinnicum Marsh in the Eastwick neighborhood. The refuge hosts thousands of wintering ducks and geese.a good variety of birds and deer, fox and other creatures, all threatened by prosed residential development.

The plan for this prime parcel of open land would deprive the Eastwick community and the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge of valuable environmental benefits — in greenspace, stormwater retention and flood storage, and habitat for wildlife

Eastwick residents, surrounded by massive amounts of paving and intensive land use, greatly value the oasis of greenspace on this site.  The “Eastwick green space” includes forested wetlands, one of the fastest-declining habitat types in North America. The Eastwick green space has been subject to bird surveys consistently and annually since the mid-1980s, including the long-running Christmas Bird Count, PA Migration Count, Philadelphia Mid-Winter Census, Bald Eagle and Rusty Blackbird surveys, annual frog survey, etc.  Species of special concern have been documented at the Eastwick green space, including Cerulean Warbler, Wood Thrush, American Woodcock, Rough-legged Hawk, Palm Warblers, Ring-necked Pheasants, Southern Leopard Frogs and more.

Replacing the Eastwick green space with intensive development will further concentrate stormwater runoff and its pollutants, undermining the habitat quality in and near the Heinz Refuge.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
86th and Lindbergh Blvd. Philadelphia PA 19153
(215) 365-3118

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