Philadelphia Housing Authority completes another phase in transformation of Sharswood neighborhood

Cherri Gregg
December 18, 2019 - 4:37 pm
The ribbon was cut to Blumberg 83, a factory-built, $35 million project that provides 83 affordable rental units in Sharswood.

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Housing Authority is celebrating the completion of 83 brand new affordable housing units in the Sharswood neighborhood. Agency officials say residents will be able to move in just in time for the holidays.

The ribbon was cut on Wednesday to Blumberg 83, a factory-built, $35 million project that provides 83 affordable rental units, ranging from 600 square feet to more than 1,600 square feet townhomes and walk-ups. 

The project marks the completion of phase four of the transformation of the Blumberg-Sharswood neighborhood.

"We haven't built units like this before. This is not your grandmother's public housing," said PHA President Kelvin Jeremiah.

Jeremiah says the homes include washer and dryers, and outdoor space, and are a huge change from the tower-style projects that were a magnet for crime in North Philadelphia.

"It was just time for a change. Those buildings needed to be knocked down," he said.

A room in a rental unit in Blumberg 83.
Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

Kitchen in a unit in Blumberg 83.
Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio

Tempest West, a former resident of the Blumberg towers and a mother of three, will be moving back into one of the 83 units in the coming days. Her 12-year-old son Malachi already picked out his room.

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"I think this is better. This is wonderful, and I would like to live here," West said.

PHA officials say the $700 million, seven-phase remake of the Sharswood community will bring in 1,200 new affordable housing units, commercial space and much more when it's all complete. 

Groundbreaking on a $50 million commercial plaza, including a grocery store and bank, is expected to take place next year.