Lower Northeast Master Plan

As the Lower Northeast District Master Plan takes shape for public comment next month on August 7, some information about the plans development has been released by Plan Philly.

The Lower Northeast District-level Plan, which covers Frankford, Northwood, Oxford circle, Summerdale and Lawncrest, will be part of the new city-wide comprehensive plan, Philadelphia 2035.  The population of the Lower Northeast has increased by 10 percent over the past 20 years.  By 2035, the Lower Northeast is expected to grow by another 5 percent, to about 106,000 people.  About half of the growth between 1990 and 2010 happened near Castor Avenue, and the Castor Avenue commercial corridor is one of three areas the plan will focus on, says project manager Ian Litwin.  The objective is to increase density in a growing neighborhood.

The plan will also pay special attention to the lower, eastern part of Frankford, which the plan calls the Frankford Gateway.  This includes Frankford Creek and part of Frankford Avenue, and a number of former industrial buildings that have been rehabbed.  The third focus area is around SEPTA's Frankford Transportation Center, at Bridge Street and Frankford Avenue.  Staff research showed that 750,000 people can can get to the transportation center on public transportation on a one-seat trip.  "We want to improve the public space, and create a neighborhood center around it," Litwin said.  The majority of public opinion of local residents favors focusing commercial growth in neighborhood commercial corridors instead of strip malls.  More residents thought transit expansion would do more to improve mobility on The Boulevard than roadway improvements would.  Transit is expensive, so the plan will recommend a phased-in approach.

The plan will also recommend phasing in the proposed Frankford Creek Greenway.  Residents support both creating the Greenway and focusing investment on existing recreation centers.  But due to limited resources, more expressed a desire to improve the existing recreation centers, saying that effort would also address other concerns, such as making the community safer.  The plan will suggest grant funding for the Greenway.

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