The Bridesburg Civic Association (BBCA) hosted a public meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, at Franklin Towne Elementary School regarding development plans for the site of the former Philadelphia Coke Company plant at 4501 Richmond St.
The meeting lasted just over an hour and was attended by over two dozen Bridesburg locals. Representatives from Bridge Development, who plan to build a warehouse and distribution factory on the property, presented updated construction plans, listened to concerns from residents, and answered questions.
Jim Marshall, the senior director of Bridge Development and the meeting’s main presenter, stressed the company’s commitment to working in conjunction with the neighborhood as the project continues to move forward.
“Our commitment is to continue this process, whether it be through these types of meetings or through posts to social media,” Marshall said. “Essentially, we want to be able to communicate what’s going on in your neighborhood throughout this construction process.”
City Councilman Bobby Henon had announced plans to rezone the site via ordinance back in November of 2020 to allow for construction of the warehousing complex not long after Bridge Development purchased the land.
The site, which is bounded by the Delaware River and Buckius, Orthodox, Richmond, Lefevre and Garden streets, was previously occupied by Philadelphia Coke Company from 1929-1982. Over 30,000 tons of highly contaminated soils were removed and disposed of on the property following its closing, according to the EPA.
Despite the cleanup, attendees expressed other concerns about potentially adverse environmental effects to the surrounding neighborhood, mainly regarding excess carbon emissions. Marshall affirmed the group’s commitment to constructing facilities that are in line with a net zero standard.
“What you think of a warehouse is not what we build today,” Marshall said.
Other points of discussion regarding the facilities included increased traffic volume, the neighborhood’s planned greenspace on the riverfront and various infrastructure and security concerns.
Bridge Development expects construction of the facilities to be completed in the fall of 2023, or 18 months after construction starts.