For about a decade, the Althea Gibson Community Education and Tennis Center at 1000 W. Girard Ave. was a wonderful resource for kids in the surrounding community, giving them a safe space and teaching a sport not often practiced in this North Philadelphia neighborhood. Unfortunately, the community center closed in 2013 as funding dried up. Developers bought the property back in 2014, and according to an article from NetPlay Magazine, a Spanish community group had taken residence in the former community center. But we wonder whether this situation will continue in the future.
As we mentioned, developers bought the property back in 2014, paying about $1.5M for the 46K sqft parcel. The developer is question is Zain Development LLC, a company that built a row of high-end row homes on the 600 block of Poplar Street a few years ago. These guys have a track record of building homes for sale, and we'd doubt that their plan would be to hold onto the former community center in the long term.
For the last couple of years, signs have been posted on the building, advertising its availability for lease, but those signs are now gone. We wonder, will these developers look to demolish the existing building and construct a new apartment building? Alternately, they might consider something mixed-use, or even a mix of townhomes and apartments. On the one hand, the area immediately to the south is all PHA, but on the other hand this location could be attractive to Temple students.
We could swear we heard some rumblings about redevelopment for this property about a month ago, but looking online and through our email we came up empty. Has anyone heard anything about this property? What do you think would be a good fit here? Perhaps on the ground floor, a business with the word 'dollar' in its name?