Lower Eastwick Public Land Strategy

Virtual Town Hall Meeting

August 17, 2020

On August 17, 2020, Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, PHDC and other city, state, and community partners and officials hosted a virtual town hall to address the recent flooding in Eastwick and hear residents concerns. Over 170 persons participated, and more than 100 questions were answered live or in a chat/Q&A feature. Below are all the answers posted in the chat and the Q&A. The meeting was recorded, and can be reviewed.

PHDC Response to Tropical Storm Isais and the Eastwick Community

August 5, 2020
Tropical Storm Isaias affected many residents in Philadelphia and hit the Eastwick community very hard. Sadly, this kind of flooding is nothing new to the residents of certain sections of Eastwick who have experienced serious flooding through storm after storm, decade after decade.

PHDC and the City recently completed a two-year planning and community engagement process that involved hundreds of local residents, in order to guide the reuse of nearly 200 acres of publicly-owned land in Eastwick. This process included our partner public agencies and was guided by a Steering Committee that included several neighborhood residents and business representatives.

The plan that came out of that process, the Lower Eastwick Public Land Strategy, has as one of its primary goals “Above all, Alleviate Flooding Concerns.” Eastwick has a long history of being prone to flooding events, due to its low-lying elevation and proximity to several bodies of water that overflow their banks during storms.

The City is committed to finding ways to reduce flooding in Eastwick through green stormwater infrastructure built on this publicly owned land. The Land Strategy recommends that 67% of the publicly-owned land in Eastwick be permanently dedicated to green infrastructure, stormwater mitigation, and community open space. We are in the process of implementing that plan.

PHDC has two Environmental engineering consultants currently gathering and analyzing data to help inform how to achieve a sustainable future for these public lands for the long term. We are working to complete these additional studies as quickly as possible.

PHDC and the City of Philadelphia are committed to ensuring that the publicly owned land in Eastwick will ultimately contribute to a positive, long-term solution for the community, and to working closely with community stakeholders to ensure that they are engaged and informed throughout the process.
Gregory Heller
Senior Vice President of Community Investment, PHDC
Executive Director, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority


Public Land Strategy Enters Implementation Phase


This report marks the conclusion of a two-year endeavor that had two goals:

1) empower Eastwick residents through an inclusive process to shape the future of their community; and
2) provide a framework for responsible land use decisions to build a resilient neighborhood.

The consultant team, led by Interface Studio, looked at feasibility through three lenses: what the community aspires to, what the market will bear, and what is environmentally responsible. This Strategy was produced in partnership with a Steering Committee comprised of community residents and public-sector stakeholders. This process focused as much on informing and educating as it did on engaging and empowering.

History

In December of 2015, an agreement was reached with the New Eastwick Corporation (NEC) to release any development rights for 134 acres of land in Eastwick. The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the City committed financial compensation to NEC and agreed to carry out a planning and feasibility study to engage the community in determining the best use for the land.

 

Resources

Steering Committee Members

Glen Abrams –
General Manager, Public Affairs, Philadelphia Water Department
Paul Brauer –
Chief Operating Officer, Brown’s Super Stores, Inc.
Margaret Cobb –
Eastwick Neighborhood Representative
Gregory Heller –
Senior Vice President of Community Investment, PHDC
Executive Director, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
Christine Knapp
Director, Office of Sustainability
Sara Lepori –
Ptogram Manager, Philadelphia Commerce Department
Carolyn Moseley
President, Eastwick Community Network
Alicia Prince
Director of Operations, School District of Philadelphia
Angel Rodriguez
Sr. Vice President of Land Services, PHDC
Executive Director, Philadelphia Land Bank
Christopher Sample –
Chief of Staff for Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Philadelphia’s 2nd Council District
Norma Santos –
Eastwick Neighborhood Representative
Karanja Slaughter –
Special Projects Coordinator, PHDC
Leonard Steward –
Eastwick Neighborhood Representative
Barbara Strand
Real Property Director, School District of Philadelphia
James Tyrell –
Chief Revenue Officer, Philadelphia International Airport
Ayse Unver –
City Planner, Philadelphia City Planning Commission
Terry Williams –
Liaison, Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition