We've mentioned the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood a few times previously, but we're guessing you've never visited. Tucked between Grays Ferry Ave., I-76, the Schuylkill River, and some train tracks, it's actually a little confusing to get there by car. And the walk across 34th Street isn't exactly welcoming, with cars speeding to get to and from West Philly.
As Penn continues to expand in a very physical and institutional way with additions like the new dorm at Hill Field and the 23-acre South Bank Campus, it's is also expanding incentives for employees to find housing of their own near work. For those unfamiliar, Penn has for years offered a buying program, really a forgivable loan, to full-time and staff for up to $7,500 for closing costs, down-payments, or other related costs associated with purchasing a home. The loan is also available for improvements, like carpeting, plumbing, roofing, or radon removal.
This program is limited geographically to areas surrounding Penn and this year, those boundaries expanded a smidge. They now extend westward beyond 52nd Street, the old border, to the east side of 56th Street, from Market to Paschall Avenue. The northern boundary runs along Market until 44th Street when it moves to Haverford Avenue. Interestingly, the new boundaries also include some blocks of the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood, which sits adjacent to the South Bank Campus. This is the first time the program's boundaries have extended outside of West Philly.
Just south of the South Bank campus is the Forgotten Bottom neighborhood, which we've mentioned a handful of times in the past. It's tucked between Grays Ferry Ave., I-76, and the Schuylkill River, and it's pretty easy to miss. Along with a few hundred homes, the neighborhood has a newer baseball field, a large FedEx building, and the entrance to the underutilized Dupont Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail. This neighborhood, which has seen little change in recent years, will soon be experiencing an unprecedented amount of development.
Penn is up and building again, this time in the form of a six-story office building with a green roof at 39th & Walnut. This will mark the second new structure on the block in the last few years, joining the Radian, a 14-story residential tower with various commercial offerings, including City Tap House.
An innovation district, an energy corridor, and a logistics hub are three major elements of the Lower Schuylkill Master plan, a long-term vision released by the City this month that accounts for 68 percent of the city’s underutilized and vacant industrial land.