Proposed Development Stirs Up Controversy In Point Breeze

Proposed Development Stirs Up Controversy In Point Breeze

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"This neighborhood is home for us because we made it comfortable. We feel rich," said Larry Jamison. He's lived in the Point Breeze section of South Philadelphia all his life and in a home on Opal Street for 10 years. But he's worried that new development will push him and his family out.

"Most of us are blue collar workers. We can't afford that type of money," said Larry. Just around the corner a developer wants to put dozens of condos and luxury town homes in two locations along Wharton Street. One site is an old warehouse at 20th and Wharton.

"The will develop the place for rental which will make the price so high that those who've been here would not be able to move into it they wanted to or they'd develop it for sale and those houses would be too much," said Larry.

The group Concerned Citizens Of Point Breeze held a meeting Monday night with city officials and the developer at Gospel Temple Baptist Church to discuss the project.

"We would like them to build accordingly to the height of the block and not over top of us," said Tiffany Green with Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze.

Others who recently moved into the area say they did so because of change that's already happening here.

"It's gotten better over the years. That was one of the biggest things. It feels more centralized to the city. It's close to Graduate Hospital, South Philly, Rittenhouse Square and South Street, " said Jeff Belonger, a new resident.

Howard Silverman is with 2012 Wharton LLC, the development company. He says, "The message is really change is good. If you look at the neighborhood those two large parcels are dividing the neighborhood. You're not going to ever get a community. If you take these down and build homes it will liven up the whole neighborhood."

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