Officials get a peek at Mantua's Promise Zone

Posted: March 09, 2014

MANTUA Walking through trash-strewn lots and past dilapidated houses, Mayor Nutter and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante listened to officials and community leaders talk about the future transformation of Mantua.

The tour was the first one for city and federal officials since President Obama designated Mantua a Promise Zone.

"We will bring back Mantua," the mayor said.

The one-hour jaunt, which started at 37th and Brown Streets and ended about an hour later at 35th Street and Fairmount Avenue, allowed the entourage to envision possibilities, such as a transit stop at Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Mantua Avenue, and a 10-block greenway along Mantua, a street now littered with diapers and other trash.

Residents, however, will not see the fruits of the Promise Zone until funding is secured. The initiative does not come with funding, but it gives Mantua and the four other zones first dibs when applying for federal grants and other assets.

Though two dozen people, including the mayor and his security detail, walked through neighborhood, there was little interaction with residents.

Eva Gladstein, one of the managers of the city's Promise Zone effort, said community engagement activities such as job training and health and wellness fairs, were planned for the spring.


cvargas@phillynews.com

215-854-5520 @InqCVargas

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