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PHILADELPHIA-Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. released its short list of developer teams that will submit plans for the 131-acre former Philadelphia State Hospital for the Insane site, better known as Byberry. Plans are due March 1, 2004.

The joint-venture teams are: Binswanger/Realen Properties; Berwind Property Group Ltd./Realen Homes; Brandywine Realty Trust/Westrum Development Co.; Liberty Property Trust/Nolen Cos.; and Preferred Real Estate Investments/Pulte Homes.

The site, located at the northwest corner of Southampton Road and Roosevelt Boulevard at the far northeastern border of the city, opened in 1907 and has been closed for 13 years. Since then, it has gained ghoulish notoriety as a Halloween haunt. This July, the state transferred ownership to PIDC for $850,000. The cost of cleaning up the site and demolishing the more than 20 existing buildings is estimated at $15 million.

PIDC, in cooperation with the surrounding community, has prepared a conceptual master plan that includes a mix of low-density, market-rate housing, suburban-style office development, and 25 acres of open space. Once it selects a developer team from the short list, PIDC will proceed with rezoning and related legislation. Demolition and traffic improvement work will be followed by construction, which is scheduled to begin in late 2004.

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