Protect Washington Avenue from Streamline
Over 30 years ago, Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees opened small businesses, providing cultural goods and services for communities around 16th Street and Washington Avenue. But 2 years ago, the Hoa Binh business owners learned that a developer, Streamline, was proposing to demolish the plaza and replace it with market-rate housing units. Hundreds of community members came together to oppose Streamline’s development and protect the Hoa Binh businesses.
Despite these efforts, we could not prevent the businesses from closing. In April 2020, they were dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and with their leases ending. They were forced to leave the plaza. Most have not been able to relocate and re-open. South Philly lost a historic and cultural asset that provided resources and local jobs.
However, our fight continues. Streamline presented their most recent plans to the South Philly community in October 2020 and February 2021. At both of these meetings, neighbors were strongly opposed to the project because Streamline had not addressed their concerns. They were worried about a 7-story building being put next to 2-story rowhomes, worsening traffic and parking issues, housing prices going up, and the loss of the Hoa Binh businesses. Now Streamline is directly lobbying Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to sponsor legislation to allow them to build their project despite community objections.
VietLead has continued to work together with the two neighborhood Registered Community Organizations - North of Washington Ave Coalition (NOWAC) and South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) - to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement to hold Streamline accountable to community needs.
We need your support. Help us tell Councilman Johnson that we DO NOT want Streamline’s project in the community unless they will negotiate with SOSNA, NOWAC and VietLead to make sure their project’s issues are addressed. We want to require that Streamline will:
Reduce the size of the 7-story apartment building
Make 20% of the housing units affordable to low-income residents
Prioritize minority- and women-owned businesses for construction jobs and commercial space
Offer the commercial spaces to the former Hoa Binh business owners at an affordable price
Compensate those they have displaced (such as the Hoa Binh business owners)
Please show your support for our community’s concerns by signing and sharing this letter that will be sent to Councilman Kenyatta Johnson!