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PHILADELPHIA-After six years and some hurdles still to be overcome, Blue Bell-based Goldenberg Group plans to break ground in summer 2006 for the 308,000-sf Park West Town Shopping Center at 52nd and W. Jefferson streets in the redeveloping Parkside neighborhood. Goldenberg has obtained a grant of nearly $2.3 million and a low-interest, 20-year loan of $3.5 million from the state’s Commonwealth Financing Authority and is applying for tax-increment financing of $6 million over 20 years from the city.

The TIF application was introduced today. There will be a hearing in January, and, if approved, permits can be obtained by February, Leslie Smallwood, Goldenberg’s director of development, tells GlobeSt.com. Asked if approval was expected, she says, “we don’t want to be presumptuous, but we have the support of the mayor (John Street) and councilman (Michael A.)Nutter and others.” The all-in cost, not counting the Lowe’s outparcel and three proposals now out for pad sites, is $50 million, according to Smallwood.

Lowe’s, which currently has two stores in the City, both at Goldenberg developments, has committed to build at 171,000-sf anchor at Park West. There is also a commitment for a 65,000-sf Shop Rite supermarket, a Wachovia bank branch and a McDonalds. “We’re in lease negotiations with Modell’s Sporting Goods, Fashion Bug and some others,” Smallwood adds.

The center was initially to be 110,000 sf, “but we had a tough time getting a supermarket interested without offering more space,” says Smallwood. Consequently, Goldenberg acquired an additional 17.1 acres to bring the total to 30 and expand the plan. “We have to condemn 10 private, vacant properties and some that are not vacant. We’re privately acquiring those properties and relocating the occupants, and the owners are very amenable.”

“We don’t really know the rent rate yet, because there will have to be some allowances. It is a somewhat challenged site,” Smallwood adds that the community has “waited a long time for this.” If Goldenberg’s plans stay on track, the waiting will end in November 2007.

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