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Nicetown aims for transit-oriented development across from Wayne Junction Station

In a neighborhood short on new developments and long on challenges, just about any project is welcomed. In Philadelphia's Nicetown, a transit-oriented development (TOD) project known as Nicetown Court II is being viewed as a key piece in the neighborhood's comeback puzzle as it would bring low-income housing and retail to the community around the Wayne Junction train station.

Nicetown Court II is designed with 50 low-income rental units and ground-floor retail, according to Richard Redding, the director of the Community Planning Division of the City Planning Commission. The complex would be at the intersection of Wayne and Windrim Aves, across the street from Wayne Junction. The apartments would be mostly two- and three-bedroom, with a few four-bedroom units. In addition, Redding adds there would be around 5,000 sq. ft. of retail, which could be frequented by Court residents, other Nicetown residents, or train commuters.

No word on when construction will begin, although it was recommended by the City Planning Commission last week and also has Redevelopment Authority approval. The development is a collaboration between the Nicetown CDC and Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies.  

While part of the story is that Nicetown Court II will provide development nourishment for a hungry Nicetown, the other part is how this is a prime example of TOD. There will be a stop for SEPTA’s Route 23 bus right outside the Court that can take residents to Northwest, North, and South Philadelphia, and Center City. The complex is also a pebble’s flick away from Wayne Junction. “This is a train station that is being re-constructed,” says Redding, who adds that this development is in line with his agency’s TOD plans for both Nicetown and Germantown.

Nicetown Court II follows the December completion of Nicetown Court I, which contains four stories with 37 mixed-income apartments and ground floor retail, a little further down Germantown Ave. The original Nicetown Court is now fully occupied. 

Writer: Andy Sharpe
Source: Richard Redding, Philadelphia City Planning Commission
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