Residents and businesses divided over proposed development in Manayunk

- "For us people who been down here for business we want to see houses going up and apartments and condos. That generates the business," said Joey DeMalavez. He owns Joltin' Jabs Boxing Fitness on Main Street in Manayunk.  He’s excited about a developer's plans to build 27 townhomes on the lower end of Main Street along the 3900 block.  He says the area has struggled because of business owners packing up and moving out over the past few years.

"You had top notch retail down here like Pottery Barn and Banana Republic and right now rents are high," said DeMalavez.

But not everyone is excited about the development. The Manayunk Neighborhood Council President told me over the phone that the developer presented the plan to them last month.
A newsletter shows a rendering of the homes.  The MNC recently voted against it.  They're concerned about flooding and people who don't evacuate.
Jane Lipton is the Executive Director of the Manayunk Development Corporation. She has similar concerns.

"The down side is where these properties sit is the lowest point on Main Street Manayunk so it will be subject to being surrounded by water if there's a high water event of flooding.  And that's a problem if first responders have to get to people there for any reason. It's riskier," said Lipton.  But she says in the long run the project could be good for Main Street.

"That would enliven the lower part of Main Street. People would be down there walking around, there would be more pedestrian traffic and if there's more people better for the neighborhood," said Lipton.
The Zoning Board is expected to vote on a permit for the project in December.
 

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