Recently at the Cortez “hole” site (midblock between Ash and Beech, flanked by Fourth and Fifth avenues), I met with Barry Getzel, senior project manager at Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation. The aborted construction site is now filled and graded and coated green. The dry-rotted walkways are also gone. Lynda Sykes, manager of the Beechwood hotel next door, said, “It's about time.” (Click here and here for background on the Cortez “hole.”)
Getzel said Wakeland Housing plans to put up two “green” buildings, connected by an upper walkway. A construction start date is at least “one and a half years away," he said. The site will become a temporary parking lot.
In an email, Jeff Graham, vice president for redevelopment at Centre City Development Corporation, said, “[I]t could take until November or December for the [parking lot] improvements to begin."
Graham said the CCDC will negotiate with Wakeland Housing on the future housing development and that Wakeland has begun searching for an architect to create an environmentally sensitive design — an “affordable housing experience.”