Manayunk Neighborhood Council
Saint Mary of the Assumption
Letters to Saint John's asking for a meeting with Father Lawrence and the Parish Real Estate Committee to consider a different plan for the Saint Mary's property

From: Kevin Smith
To: Monsignor Lawrence
Cc: John Hunter, Irene Madrak
Subject: Saint Mary's Redevelopment Proposals
Date: Fri, 5 May 2017

Monsignor Lawrence,

It's been over a month since the public meeting in March. I trust you received our email with the questions from the attendees.

Since the March public meeting we (Manayunk Neighborhood Council, and North Light Community Center) have met with Mr. Bienenfeld and Councilman Jones one more time. Unfortunately, Mr. Bienenfeld remained steadfast with his plan and steadfast with his inability to commit real parking to North Light, as he has for over a year.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Councilman Jones asked us to put our positions in writing, which we have done. I've attached our letter to the Councilman, and North Light's letter (with their permission), for your information.

You have indicated, previously, that the choice of Mr. Bienenfeld's bid was made believing it to be the best option for the community. However, the response at the public meeting and on the petitions (now over 1100 on-line signatures and 240 on-paper signatures opposing Mr. Bienenfeld's proposal) suggests that this hope is not shared by the community.

In a few weeks it will be a year since the St. Mary parking lot was closed. The community remains united against the current proposal and we remain committed to opposing Mr. Bienenfeld's plan with every resource we have.

However, from the comments at the public meeting and from the petitions, the community also has a clear sense of what it would support in terms of a viable, realistic alternative to multi-family managed development.

We therefore request that when the opportunity arises to extend the current Agreement of sale, that you take the opportunity to reconsider continuing to support the current project. We also hope that you allow us to address the real estate committee with an alternative proposal which would allow redevelopment to proceed with the support of the community.

We believe we have a direction that provides a path to constructive negotiations and a plan that can benefit both the Church and the community. We also believe this is an opportunity to build stronger relationships between MNC, North Light Community Center, St. John's, and the neighborhood.

Thank you,

Kevin Smith, President, Manayunk Neighborhood Council.
(p)215-487-2125 (f)215-487-3812

MNC Letter to Councilman Jones, April 21, 2017
North Light Community Center letter to Councilman Jones, April 21, 2017

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