Here are 5 Questions, a regular feature in which we check in with a prominent figure in the neighborhood and pick their brain for a handful of answers. To suggest someone you have a few questions for, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Sherman, via yptc.com|
Sam Sherman: I think its proximity to Center City. The fact that this neighborhood is connected via a reliable transit system by bus, plus you have three subway stations in close proximity. It’s affordable, but it’s also so close to Center City that people can work there, and live without a car, and housing prices down here have not exploded like they have in other parts of the city. They’ve gone up, but it’s still affordable on a middle class salary.
SS:Schools. And I think this speaks to the entire city but especially down here, long-term. I think you have a lot of young parents with toddlers, so in 10 or 15 years are they still gonna want to be here and send their kid to a public school or parochial or private charter schools? The second biggest obstacle – you have these beautiful parks. You have Columbus and Capitolo, and long-term, PARC is going to be interested in helping the city maintain and improve those public spaces because parks are important for recreation, but also for sitting, having some green space to look at. Improving access to green space, by creating more pocket parks, like we did at the fountain. More amenities like that will help it make it a softer, gentler place to live and make it more attractive for people who want to move here.PP: So, you’ve got your eyes on 12th and Reed?
SS: I’ve had some preliminary discussions with some of the community groups and people who have an interest in that park. The question is, how much is it gonna cost and how long is it gonna take? It would require collaboration with the city, so that’s a longer term thing that we’re working on. But its something we have to understand that has to be done at some point.
SS: It would have to be managed properly.The real question is, is it music, is it theater, is it musical, is it a performing arts center? As opposed to a bar that happens to have a stage with an amplifier. And the other thing you have to remember is those types of venues have to be managed very, very carefully and I, personally, would rather see a performing arts venue that you could go in a theater style setting, where you could go see a play, or a band. Kind of like TLA or the Arden. The question is, on the avenue where’s the space.
[We suggested below the avenue on Juniper Street]
Or the bank that’s now vacant at Snyder and Broad. If you have two methadone clinics, a Dunkin Donuts, a McDonald’s and a dollar store, who are they gonna complain to? Because that is the gateway to the avenue, and if you’re going to do something like that, that’s the place to do it. Because you’re not bumping right up against residential, you’re right at a transit stop. There’s a parking garage right across the street. And it’s an anchor because then it has the potential to change the dynamic of that block.PP: Tough question. Where do you come down on the King of Jeans sign? Should it be saved?
SS:I think it should be saved. I understand that as a developer, keeping that sign on the building is probably impractical, but there might be a place for it where you could – I don’t know where you would put it on the avenue. There’s some people that want to burn it in effigy. They want to chop it into pieces and burn it. But you know, I think it’s become an iconic thing. Whether you love or hate it, at least everyone has an opinion. That says something about that, that there’s passion on both sides.This was but a snippet of our conversation, so are there any other questions you have for Sherman you want to know? Let us know in the comments and we just might have the answer.