Source: KYW News Radio
Byline: Paul Kurtz
Date: 12/2/2018

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia has launched a new initiative to improve neighborhoods by selling off some of its vacant lots and buildings.

For the next two months, competitive bids will be accepted for the initial batch of properties scattered throughout neighborhoods in South Philly and the river wards — 24 vacant lots and two empty buildings. Anyone can apply, but Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Gregory Heller says they won’t simply sell to the highest bidders.

“We evaluate every proposal based on a variety of factors,” Heller said, “and one of the factors that we score a project on is called social impact, which looks at how the project contributes back to its block neighborhood and community.”

Reducing blight is a key aspect of the agency’s long-term campaign to unload more than a hundred parcels.

“What this first batch of 26 represents is a concerted effort to start moving the gears, tell everybody that we’re open for business and that moving forward we’re gonna be cranking out batches of properties on an ongoing basis,” Heller explained.

For a complete list of neighborhoods or to apply, visit the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s website.