reNewbold aims for structural integrity

ReNewbold aims for structural integrity.jpg
Developers and residents united in the thriving neighborhood to mark the its latest augmentation.

There is no doubt South Philly has been undergoing a dramatic revival throughout the past few years. From new businesses to a facelift in residential living, the overall area is becoming more than a place called home – it is a destination.

A big thanks can go out to John Longacre, the president and founder of Longacre Property Management Group, 1928 S. Bancroft St., who has been working to rehab Newbold for the past 10 years. From his first endeavor, the South Philadelphia Taproom, 1509 Mifflin St., to Ultimo Coffee, 1900 S. 15th St., and more, Longacre has proven that great businesses can drastically improve an otherwise struggling neighborhood.

“These businesses create a buzz, and residential development starts to take place,” Longacre, who has also been restoring old homes in the neighborhood for years, said last week.

Since vacant lots are few and far between in Newbold, it’s no surprise Longacre was drawn to develop on the former grounds of the Francis M. Drexel School on 16th and Moore streets, which was demolished in 2010. Most recently, neighbors described the land as an unsolicited parking lot, covered in dirt, but luckily for the neighborhood, Longacre’s anticipated home-development project, reNewbold, finally broke ground after five years of planning.

“This has been an area of blight on this plot of land...so today is truly a celebration,” 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said at reNewbold’s ceremonial groundbreaking Oct. 16. “Today represents for me, not only part of why I believe in a vision for Philadelphia, but more importantly a vision for a stronger South Philadelphia.”

The new townhouse development, designed by Fishtown-based Postgreen Homes and Kensington-situated Interface Studio Architects, is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum project in South Philly below Washington Avenue, said Chad Ludeman, the president of Postgreen. The project will include 16 rowhomes, two condominiums and one retail space, all built three times more efficiently than the standard code. - SouthPhillyReview

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