A construction project is underway on the corner of Norris and Broad streets. The university has decided to knock down the long-abandoned graduate housing with plans to make it a “pocket park” for the community.
“It would be fair to classify it as a pocket park,” Temple University spokesman Brandon Lausch said. “It is just some green space and areas to sit, well-lit, and for people to traverse going to campus or to the west side of Broad.”
The apartments are currently fenced off around the entire block and are surrounded by no trespassing signs. Lausch said the reason is they are so run-down and dangerous.
“There were a number of safety and structural concerns with the property, which was beyond the point that Temple could use it or repair the property,” Lausch said.
Some students said they would rather see the university build new apartments because of its prime location.
“This is an ideal location, like it’s right on Broad Street. That would be crazy to live here,” Kevon Chambers, freshman, said.
As for permanent members of the community like Janel Dia, the constant changes have gotten overwhelming.
“it’s hard to see Temple continually change the neighborhood where she grew up,” Dia said. “Being from the Philadelphia area, the landscape has changed significantly due to Temple’s influence.”
Another student has a different perspective on the park. Genna Pyles says she thinks it’s a space that can be used not just by Temple students, but the whole community.
Although the park won’t be ready until the spring of 2016, a Temple spokesperson said the apartments will be knocked down in the next couple days.