Developers hope to boost job growth with shopping center in Fairhill
A $16 million development project is now underway in Fairhill after officials and community members broke ground at the future site of Plaza Allegheny Shopping Center. Developers hope it will breath economic life into the neighborhood.
“The Hispanic community that this center will service will [see] a development that they will be proud of and [sic] transformationally important to the community,” said project developer David Groverman.
Goverman along with Mayor Jim Kenney and representatives from the PIDC spoke at the ceremony for the soon-to-be retail center. Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, State Senator Christine Tartaglione and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin.
To be located near the intersection of Allegheny Avenue and North Third Street, the 85,000-square-foot mixed-use site will bring 140 permanent jobs to the neighborhood, said project officials. The site is scheduled to be open by Fall of this year.
“Plaza Allegheny will beautify the Fairhill neighborhood while also providing great amenities for this underserved community,” said Groverman. “There are 65,000 people living within a one mile radius of the development and yet 75 percent of retail spending in this community is spent outside of this geographic area. With the creation of Plaza Allegheny, the community will have far greater choice of goods and services located where they live.”
It will be built on nine acres of land nine acres of land made up of vacant lots, old junkyards and an abandoned railroad spur. Planned tenants for the new center include a Save-a-Lot supermarket, a fitness center and medical and dental services amongst others.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks the beginning of a transformation for the Fairhill neighborhood that will lead to a major economic boost,” said Kenney. “Plaza Allegheny will not only help revitalize community, it will also bring much needed job growth to an area that has one of the highest unemployment rates in Philadelphia.”
The project is being financed by PIDC and Tomkins VIST Bank along with funds from a Building in Our Sites loan from the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Groverman will develop the project alongside the HACE Community Development Corporation. Once built, Legend Properties Inc. will be the tenant broker.
“It is my hope, along with the work of HACE and other groups in the community, that this will start a resurgence of community development,” said Groverman.