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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A groundbreaking today in North Philadelphia has signaled the start of a significant neighborhood makeover.

The old, graffiti-ridden and burned-out Edison High School has stood as a symbol of urban blight for years.  But now, in its death throes, Edison has become a symbol of hope and change.

Developers are ready to tear it down so they can get started on a 37,000-square-foot development that’s expected to breathe new life into the area of 8th and Lehigh.

“It’s going to bring a Save-A-Lot, a Family Dollar, a Kicks (USA shoe store), and a Burger King for this neighborhood, in place of what you have right now,” said developer Scott Orens.  He says the 15-month project will create about a hundred construction jobs, then 85 full-time jobs once the stores open for business.

For neighbors like Joyce Martinez, the shopping center can’t come soon enough.

“It’s definitely needed before this building ends up in flames like a lot of the other ones,” she said today.  “Plus, I live around the corner, so maybe now I may decide to stay in the neighborhood with a convenient market.”

The development will also include housing for seniors.

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