As part of a national roundup on how cities are dealing with gentrification, the New York Times honed in on our fair city, specifically our fair neighborhood:
Rene Goodwin, who lives in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood her grandparents lived in during the 1920s, has seen the value of her home rise to $281,000 from $90,000 in a single year.
“To keep an urban area vital, there has to be an infusion of new people and buildings, but that doesn’t mean you destroy people who have kept up the neighborhood, who’ve swept the sidewalk,” she said. “It’s that commitment that has made developers interested in the neighborhood — and then you’re going to penalize the people who’ve stayed?”
The story also discussed the city’s LOOP property tax program for longtime homeowners and the homestead exemption that was part of the new AVI system. Here’s one sad little nugget of the story:
Jacy Webster, 56, who lives on what had until recently been an Italian-American block in South Philadelphia, said he had come to feel like a stranger. The new arrivals, mostly young families, seem to move a step faster than he does or to not see him. Old courtesies like waving hello and casual chats have become rare.
“I don’t belong anymore,” he said.
So, to all you newcomers out there, do you feel like you engage with the longtimers? What about the longtimers, how do you like your new neighbors?