Philadelphia’s Gateway to the Northwest

The $20 million plan hopes to transform upper Ogontz Ave. into Philadelphia's "Gateway to the Northwest."]

The streetscape portion of the plan is already underway on Ogontz Ave. and should be finished by July.

A $20 million redevelopment project was announced Wednesday that will transform upper Ogontz Avenue into Philadelphia’s “Gateway to the Northwest.” The plan is to make the transition from the suburbs to the city an easy one.

“It will basically make people who are unfamiliar with crossing over the line into the Philadelphia area comfortable because it will be a seamless transition,” said Erika L. Griffin, director of community and government affairs at the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp.

Senior Project Manager Keith L. Miller is excited about the plan and the effects it will have on the West Oak Lane community.

One part of the plan that is already underway is a new streetscape that extends from Middleton Street to 80th and Ogontz Avenue A new SEPTA bus loop will also help to alleviate some of the vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the intersection of Cheltenham Avenue and Ogontz Avenue. Upgrades will also be made to the Cheltenham Mall and Brown’s ShopRite. The project will not only beautify the entryway to Philadelphia but provide residents with jobs.

“We estimate this project will create about 400 permanent and temporary jobs,” said Griffin. “It’s about half and half with construction jobs at the streetscape as well as permanent jobs at the ShopRite and Cheltenham Mall.”

The already shut down Jaguar Club will be turned into office and retail space in the future as part of the plan.

Another part of the plan is to transform the shut down Jaguar Club into retail and office space and demolish the adjacent check cashing agency to make room for a parking lot.

The multiple phase project does not have a final completion date because of some details that still need some finalizing. The already underway Ogontz Ave. streetscape portion of the project should be finished by the first week of July.

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