by Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority issued a statement this week saying that it will soon put out a request for proposals to develop a supermarket in Mantua.
With its close proximity to Drexel and UPenn, Mantua is considered a neighborhood on the way up. In fact, last year, President Obama named it a promise zone, but area residents have yet to see it fulfilled.
“I think there should be some type of accountability,” said De’Wayne Drummond, President of the Mantua Civic Association, a four-year-old non-profit that serves the residents of the area.
He says Mantua is a food desert, residents have wanted a supermarket for decades.
“We had developers talking about a supermarket but it never happened,” said Drummond.
Back in 2012, the city tried to use several parcels between 36th and 37th on Haverford to create a plan, but lost a key parcel when a property owners fought its eminent domain claim.
Now it hopes build around it, but Drummond wonders who the promised market is really for.
“Is it for the current people or is it for people who will be here when we are all gone?” he asked.
The PRA is expected to send out requests for proposals early next year, and issued the following statement this week:
“We are actively working with our partners to determine the most beneficial use for the PRA-owned parcels between 36th and 37th Streets, and Haverford to Wallace Streets. PRA is going to put these properties out for competitive RFP in early 2017 in order to identify the most advantageous development plan. We are committed to helping facilitate a high-quality, well-designed development that will benefit the residents of Mantua, and that includes much-needed community services, including retail such as places for the community to purchase fresh food.”