52ND AND JEFFERSON, PHILADELPHIA, PA, January 12, 2006
Goldenberg Group project at 52nd and Jefferson, located in a Federal Empowerment Zone, is poised to break ground during the summer of 2006
BLUE BELL, PA- December 5, 2005 – The Goldenberg Group, Inc., a leading real estate developer, and West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution (WPFSI), a community development financial institution, have worked together for more than seven years to bring a large-scale retail center to West Philadelphia’s Federal Empowerment Zone. Over the last year, the project has gained significant momentum culminated by receiving support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) recently announced it will provide $5.76 million in loans and grants to support the development of “Park West Town Center,” located at 52nd and Jefferson in West Philadelphia. This is the first retail development deemed warranted by DCED to receive state funding. Park West Town Center will bring significant retail and economic opportunities to West Philadelphia. The project will be anchored by a Lowe’s, the largest ShopRite supermarket in the Philadelphia area, a bank, two restaurants and other small retailers.
“The Park West Town Center partnership is a model for public-private sector development and should be replicated in other communities trying to revitalize their neighborhoods, ” said City Councilman Michael Nutter. “The Goldenberg Group should be commended for remaining committed to this project through tremendous obstacles to help make meaningful community and economic development, especially in a federal empowerment zone, a reality. ”
Park West Town Center will create 420 construction jobs and, when completed, provide approximately 800 new full-time permanent jobs. The project will generate more than $2 million in tax revenue per year.
“We have worked tirelessly with WPFSI and the local community for seven years to bring this project to fruition,” said Leslie Smallwood, Goldenberg Group director of development. “We are gratified that Councilman Nutter, Senator Hughes and local and state authorities recognize how important this project is to the revitalization of the West Parkside community and we look forward to groundbreaking in the summer of 2006.”
Park West Town Center, which is estimated to cost approximately $50 million, will be built on a 22-acre former rail yard owned by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and nine acres of mixed-use residential lots. To assist displaced homeowners who wished to remain in the community, WPFSI and the Goldenberg Group formed an alliance with the Parkside Association, a community organization, and Community Ventures, a not-for-profit housing rehabilitation developer, to relocate residents into new homes on Parkside Avenue. All of the current homeowners have agreed to relocate and have been part of the development process since the early stages.
“The residents affected by the relocation have agreed to do so because they are passionate about their community and the benefits this project will bring,” said Jim Burnett, executive director at WPFSI.
Park West Town Center was started in 1998 when WPFSI, dedicated to stimulating economic development in the West Philadelphia Federal Empowerment Zone, was charged by the Empowerment Zone’s governing body to develop a supermarket anchored retail center in the neighborhood. Working with the assistance of the PIDC, WPFSI issued a Request for Proposal for a private developer to assist in the center’s development, which ultimately led to the selection of Goldenberg Group, to co-develop the site. WPFSI attempted for years, but ultimately was unable, to attract a supermarket as the anchor retailer under any terms. The Goldenberg Group helped to totally redefine the project by nearly tripling the project size and scope, providing needed development expertise and using its established relationships with leading national retailers to bring the project to this point.
“The unique partnership between non-profit and for-profit entities has been the key to our success so far in this process,” said Burnett. “In working with public, private, state and local entities, Park West Town Center has truly been a model of successful urban development through partnership.”
The Goldenberg Group
Headquartered in Blue Bell, Goldenberg owns and manages 4.5 million square feet of space with an additional 2.5 million square feet in various stages of development. The members of the Goldenberg Group are adept at conceiving of and successfully developing large, complex real estate projects. Areas of concentration include: retail and “power” shopping centers, residential real estate, mixed-use “urban” projects, community revitalization projects, historic renovation and acquisitions for conversion. In Philadelphia alone, The Goldenberg Group is currently working with Clear Channel Theatre Management to restore the last standing art Deco theatre, located at 19th and Chestnut Street and converting one of Philadelphia’s historic office building The Ayer, located on Washington Square, into Philadelphia’s most exclusive residential condominium. For more information, visit www.goldenberggroup.com.
West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution
Founded in December 1997, West Philadelphia Financial Services Institute (WPFSI) is a community based, not-for-profit financial services organization dedicated to stimulating economic development in the West Philadelphia Empowerment Zone. WPFSI is dedicated to combating neighborhood deterioration, relieve economic stress and revitalize poverty stricken communities through the financing and advancement of economic development projects. WPFSI provides services such as loans and technical assistance to nurture established businesses and new entrepreneurs in West Philadelphia and to encourage businesses to relocate within the Empowerment Zone.