Last summer, we told you about big plans from the People’s Emergency Center for the 4200 block of Powelton Avenue. On the south side of this block, across the street from Drexel’s Vidas Athletic Complex, a row of blighted buildings sat for years. Owned by City agencies, these properties were begging to be torn down and redeveloped into anything viable. Thankfully, a deal was struck with PEC that would eliminate the blight while bringing some much-needed services to the neighborhood.

Years ago

Last summer

A couple of years ago, the blighted buildings at 4226-4234 Powelton Ave. were razed, and the property sat as a large vacant lot for awhile. But in the last couple of months, construction has gotten underway here for Bigham Place, a project that will ultimately include seven affordable apartment units for for formerly homeless women with special needs and their children. Onsite, there will be case managers present to assist residents with making the transition to living in individual units rather than shelters. Another goal will be to connect residents to counseling, job training, childcare, skills training, and health care assistance services provided by PEC.

Current construction site

An old rendering from Digsau. We imagine the look of the project has changed some.

A PEC e-newsletter from last month also provided the good news that another blighted building nearby will also be renovated as part of this project. In the construction photo above, you can see a large vacant building in the background that’s located behind the project. That building will be transformed into four affordable housing units, eliminating yet another blighted building from this area.

View of the building, which is on little Filbert Street, from Market Street

But the reinvestment in this area isn’t limited to public investment. Just next door to the future Bigham Place location, a blighted and vacant home was recently purchased by a private investor, ostensibly with plans to renovate. Projecting forward a couple of years, this entire block will be completely transformed. Looking forward to seeing it come to pass.