A group of residents gather on Tuesday evening to discuss the future of the historic Germantown YWCA building.
The Friends for Restoration of the YWCA of Germantown is hosting a community meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave.
“People are really worried and want to see the restored building,” said Yvonne Haskins, a resident of the community.
“We know there should be affordable housing in this building. Whether it’s senior housing or mixed housing with senior citizens and other ages, we try to let the community express those views. It must be affordable. It cannot be a building at market rate.
The meeting comes as the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority recently ended negotiations with KBK Enterprises – the Ohio-based real estate developer who offered to transform the historic building into apartments and commercial space.
In November 2016, PRA’s Board of Directors approved plans proposed by KBK Enterprises for 12 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units with commercial and retail space on the first two floors of the building.
Residents of the community had urged PRA to remove KBK as the developer of the project, due to six years of inactivity at the site, and to request a request for proposal for a new offering. The Friends for Restoration of the Germantown YWCA sponsored a petition and sent a letter to Mayor Jim Kenney.
In October, PRA sent a letter to KBK demanding that it provide PRA with the necessary documentation proving its ability to proceed with the settlement and begin construction.
“Despite the request, KBK Enterprises (” KBK “), the proposed developer of 5820-24 Germantown Avenue, aka the Germantown YWCA (the” Property “), failed to provide timely evidence to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority ( “PRA”) has requested project funding commitments and other necessary documents proving KBK’s ability to proceed with the settlement and begin construction, “the PRA said in an emailed statement.
“As a result, the PRA formally terminated negotiations with KBK and rescinded its selection of KBK as the proposed developer of the property. “
The next city hall will feature Anne Fadullon, chair of the board of directors of PRA and Jessie Lawrence, director of real estate, Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation. City council member Cindy Bass, 8th arrondissement, who initially supported KBK’s proposal, has been invited.
The historic YWCA building dates back to 1915 and served as a refuge for black and white women from Germantown and was deeply involved in the civil rights movement. The building has been unoccupied for 15 years.