EASTWICK IN ACTION
BY Earl Wilson Earl Wilson at 2016 Clean up Photo by Debbie Beer
Excitement reigns supreme! In the last issue of the Valley, I indicated that I would update the Valley readers on several issues having to do with the progress that is being made in Eastwick in the following areas:
1. The City Planning Process for Eastwick
2. The renovation of the Penrose Plaza Shopping Canter
3. The on-going progress being made at the Clearview Landfill
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, in conjunction with other agencies, including Eastwick Friends and Neighbors (EFNC) and other residents of the community have selected one of eight competing groups to serve as the main group that will survey the Eastwick area and develop an overall plan that will suggest how Eastwick, specifically the abandoned Pepper/Comp-Tech schools and the undeveloped 135 acres that the city now owns, can utilize these properties to improve it's surrounding community. Residential involvement have been engaged through this process and these residents are very excited about helping to plan out the Eastwick community, starting in 2017. I should be able to present specific information about the selected group in the next issue of the Valley. Stay tuned!
The most physical and visual aspect of the change in Eastwick is what's happening in the Penrose Plaza Shopping Center. More than two years ago the shopping center was almost 50% vacant of stores during the Korman Corporation's ownership. Now, under new management, the shopping center has a committed occupancy rate of over 90%. The most exciting part is the most obvious construction work that is occurring as of this writing. Some of the new stores are being expanded and at least one store will add a second floor with an elevator and a large community room for residential use.
Just as the residents are getting excited about the renovations that's happening at the shopping center, they are also concerned, but are aware of the work that's being done at the Clearview Landfill. You should know that the Community Advisory Group (CAG) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been working together diligently to accomplish all aspects of the Remedial Design Plan. To date, 60% of the Remedial Design Plan has been reached and the above teams, along with the established work groups and specific experts have their sights set on the work that has to be done in the 60% to 90% phase of the plan. An update of this work will be included in the next issue of the Valley.