PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and PA State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams joined Philadelphia-based developers AJR Endeavor, LLC in the first Osage Pine Community Progress Report and Tour, at 6212 Pine Street, here, in the neighborhood wherein 36 homes were damaged and improperly rebuilt as part of the City's response to the 1985 MOVE incident, in West Philadelphia.
AJR Endeavors was selected to complete the rehab project by the city's Redevelopment Authority in April 2017 and the company had committed to completing the restoration of the damaged properties within 33 months.
Today's tour included three properties; the first, wherein an opening presentation was made by elected officials and the developers; a second, where visitors had an opportunity to see and hear about the structural integrity of the rehabbed homes as they visited one that was still in the process of completion; and a final unit that was completed and fully furnished so that visitors might gain an appreciation for what the units would look like, once the properties would be occupied by their new owners.
To date, the developers have completed the rehabilitation of four of the 36 homes and reported today that they are on schedule for meeting the overall project completion date and that their work is being accomplished within budget.
Indeed, according to AJR principal Rodney Ross, two of the four completed homes have already been sold at price levels in the area of $240,000, a price range consistent with the commitments made to the city and to the Osage Pine community, at the project's initiation, for home sales prices in a range of $175,000 to $200,000 per unit.
The 36 homes will also range in size from 2000 to 2300 square feet, and will each include four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, said AJR principal James Robertson. The developers are also making a special effort to ensure that the facades of each of the homes, in the 6200 blocks of Pine Street and Osage Avenue, would have a consistent street-facing appearance, whether they had been directly damaged, or not.
Given the long-term damage and resulting depressed real estate values suffered by the original Osage Pine neighbors and by those in adjacent communities, over the past 30 years, the City's Redevelopment Authority plans to make special efforts to provide enhanced opportunities to purchase the finished, modern homes to families from the Osage Pine community, and within a two-city-block radius of the impacted neighborhood.
As part of the Community Progress Report, AJR principal Anthony Fullard said that the developers felt a special responsibility to ensure that the rehabbed homes would be high-quality and durable. That being the case, he explained, all work on the project was done in keeping with a construction engineering assessment of the damages that were incurred, and the specific work required to appropriately repair each impacted property, by structural engineers Orndorf & Associates, Inc. The Orndorf Report was submitted to AJR Endeavors, in July 2017, and was done with input from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Councilwoman Blackwell, in whose Councilmanic District, the Osage Pine Community is located, was very pleased to hear the Progress Report, especially after having fought for so long, from her Council Offices to ensure that steps would be taken by the City to restore the dignity and value to the venerable West Philadelphia neighborhood.
"I heard quite a few things that encouraged me," said Councilwoman Blackwell, "especially the information about the rigid construction engineering guidelines. What the Osage Pine Community certainly doesn't want to endure, again, after so many years, is another case of poor-quality workmanship on homes in their neighborhood. Given what we've heard and seen today, that's something we won't have to be concerned about with these beautifully rehabilitated homes."
Also commenting favorably on the quality of the work in the rehabilitated homes was Senator Anthony Williams, whose senatorial district includes Osage Pine.
"Even though it has taken an unacceptably long time to bring stability back to this neighborhood," said Senator Williams, "it appears that we're finally going to wind up with homes and a neighborhood that families can, once again, be proud of."
CONTACT: A. Bruce Crawley
SOURCE AJR Endeavors