Here’s a summary of news coming out of our neck of the woods in the past few days and a reminder on a couple of community events this week. Editor’s Note: The meeting on the potential sale of the University City High School has been postponed until Wednesday, Feb. 26.
Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building. (Archived photo/West Philly Local).
• Another hurdle has been cleared for the plan to move the police headquarters into the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 46th and Market Streets. Last Thursday, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell introduced two bills that would allow the city to borrow up to $250 million for the project, according to a report by Philadelphia Inquirer. The 87-year-old building has been vacant since 1983, when Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. moved out, and has been put on the endangered properties list by the Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia.
• A rally was held on Saturday, Feb. 8 to protest recent purse snatching and shootings in Philadelphia. The rally was held at 53rd and Market Streets, the site of the most recent purse snatching, when a 29-year-old woman was shot to death and her companion, a 34-year-old woman, was wounded. Dozens of people attended the event, organized by Handbags 4 Piece, and many people spoke out, including the mothers of the victims (check out the Handbags 4 Piece Facebook page for photos and videos).
• Ground was broken last week at the site of the new high-rise apartment building at 36th and Market Streets. The 28-story 364-unit mixed-use structure is a joint project of the University City Science Center and Southern Land Co., of Nashville. The project, which will also include 14,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space and parking for 200 cars and 140 bicycles, is expected to be completed in spring 2015.
• Residential burglaries are still a cause for concern in University City, according to the latest crime update released by the University City District. Over 20 burglaries took place in the area in January, which is a double of the number of burglaries in December. Three burglary-related arrests have been made. UCD also reports that there were about a dozen robberies in the area, four of them at gunpoint, with arrests made in nine of these cases. August and September were peak months for robberies in the area, with over 30 incidents reported.
• Great news for fried chicken and gourmet donuts fans: Philly’s super popular chain Federal Donuts is close to opening their location in University City. The awnings to their new shop at 3428 Sansom were recently complete:
Another tweet by Federal Donuts said that the new location is opening “very soon” but the date hasn’t been announced yet. We’ll keep you posted.
• Two meetings on the sale of vacant schools and other School District of Philadelphia properties in West Philadelphia will take place this week: on Tuesday, Feb. 11 you can learn more about the future of Shaw Middle School (54th & Warrington) and on
Wednesday, Feb. 11 (postponed until Feb. 26) there will be a meeting on the potential sale of the University City High School, Drew Elementary School and Walnut Center buildings. Click here for more information. If you missed our story on the Wilson School building’s future, click here.