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Point Breeze development project raises concerns among neighborhood residents

2/6/2012 | Real Estate Blog

Philadelphia’s Point Breeze section is currently the subject of ongoing controversy regarding a plan to turn dilapidated properties into high-end homes. The developer, Ori Feibush, plans to build 13 high-priced apartments, and the project is going to raise the cost of living for neighborhood members. That news is worrisome to those who are struggling to get by right now.

On Monday, a meeting was held by South Philadelphia H.O.M.E.S. Inc. on the proposed development plan. The group is a non-profit organization which works for the creation of quality affordable housing and improving residents’ quality of life. Both supporters and opponents of the proposal showed up. Supporters say bringing in new housing will have a positive impact on the neighborhood. Opponents say it will force some neighborhood members out, because of increased costs.

According to the developer, the apartments would be “affordably high end” housing units, mostly moderately sized one-bedrooms, with ground-floor retail. The plan has raced concerns over race issues, with some saying that Feinbush’s plan preys on the poor and minority.

The developer has expressed that the plan does not have the intention of forcing anybody out of the neighborhood, but of improving its quality of life.

The site being proposed for the new high-end apartments has reportedly been abandoned for years, though opponents of the development plan say it would be better to put a business there to help the community.

Developers proposing a neighborhood project such as this one do well to ensure they have the support of the community. That is not always easy, of course, but it makes thing easier going forward. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this project.

Source:, “Development Battle in Point Breeze Neighborhood,” January 30, 2012.