Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Residents of Bridesburg are about to enjoy many new shopping opportunities, but not without some controversy. This is courtesy of a 500,000 square-foot shopping center that is being proposed at the site of the former Frankford Arsenal, just off I-95 on the north side of Bridesburg. At the demolition of part of the old Arsenal, an influential group of politicians heralded the new shopping and employment options to be offered at “The Shopping Center at the Arsenal.” The people present included Mayor Nutter, United States Representative Allyson Schwartz, State Representative Tony Peyton, and district Councilwoman Joan Krajewski.
Proponents of the shopping center tout its potential to serve residents of Bridesburg, people in other parts of the city, and travelers on I-95. Krajewski was quick to point out that one of the main benefits of the shopping center would be to give Bridesburg denizens their first supermarket. In addition, the proposed center is close to, not only I-95, but also the Bridesburg Regional Rail station and the Betsy Ross Bridge, making it accessible to people in other sections of the city, as well as suburbanites in Lower Bucks County and South Jersey.
However, many environmentalists and planners are shaking their heads at this proposed development. They complain that big box stores and a large paved parking lot go against sustainable trends in urban landscape. In fact, one proposal being floated is to create a shopping area that resembles Northern Liberties’ Piazza at Schmidt’s, which is in the same council district, rather than a suburban-like complex.
Andy Sharpe and Taara Savage-El
Posted by Sharpe points at 11:23 PM