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Investment Without Displacement the Goal in West Philly

As the 52nd Street corridor in West Philly attracts new development interest, community leaders are working to ensure that current residents won't get swept away with the new investment.
December 21, 2019, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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West Philly
The block of historic buildings on West 52nd across from Ludlow Street in West Philly.

Jason Laughlin reports on the state of 52nd Street, the "corridor once called West Philly’s Main Street," and the "thriving heart for West Philadelphia’s black middle class."

But as industry evaporated and predominantly white store owners departed, 52nd Street fell into a decades-long decline. It hit its nadir in the mid-2000s, after years of disruptive construction on the El brought the collapse of area businesses, and in April 2007, the Daily News called 52nd and Market Streets the city’s most dangerous corner, with 11 shootings, including three homicides, in four months.

Since 2013, the corridor has seen improvements in safety, but the number of residents living below the poverty line in the neighborhood hasn't budged, according to Laughlin. The real estate market and development plans, however, have poised the neighborhood on the precipice of more sweeping changes. "City officials, planners, and nonprofit executives working to rejuvenate the corridor say they are seeking improvement without dislocation," according to Laughlin.

The article focuses on the specific projects that are prioritizing development that benefits the community, and how.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, December 19, 2019 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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