By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Construction is underway on a much-needed shopping center in a part of North Philadelphia that is seeing better days.

Developer Bart Blatstein described the 9th Street Marketplace, saying, “This is a 40,000 square foot, $20 million shopping center at 9th and Girard.”

By next spring, the shopping center will put a Bottom Dollar and a Dollar General in the up-and-coming Ludlow section.

“Everybody was pretty excited and happy about the rebuilding and the rebirth of this neighborhood,” said Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke, “but there was one thing missing: a place to shop. So when we talked to Bart and Rich and asked them to look at the site and said, guys, can you do this? They said, it’s going to be a challenging deal for a number of reasons, but at the end of the day it has to happen.”

The challenges included financing, tenant projections of success and making sure the city got out of the way and let the project proceed.

It does have a tax abatement, but no other city money.

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