Borski hopes to do more with waterfront

Tom Waring

Northeast Times

Former congressman Bob Borski is a big fan of Pennypack on the Delaware, a park that features soccer and softball fields and recreational trails. Knowing that the manufacturing industry will never return to the river, Borski is promoting the waterfront for recreation and other uses. “This is what we’re trying to do with the rest of the waterfront,” he said.

Borski, chairman of the Delaware River City Corp., was at the park on Friday to accept a $1 million check from Michael DiBerardinis, secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. A portion of the grant will be used to extend the trail at Pennypack on the Delaware, located near Rhawn Street, north to the mouth of Pennypack Creek. Construction will be completed next year. Eventually, Borski would like the trail to extend to Linden Avenue.

The remainder of the money will be used to help create Lardner’s Point Park on 4.5 acres of ground just south of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge. Lardner’s Point will be the 63rd park in Philadelphia and the first built since Pennypack on the Delaware.

“It’s a great day in Northeast Philadelphia,” said state Sen. Mike Stack (D-5th dist.). “The people of Northeast Philadelphia deserve this.” Added City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski (D-6th dist.): “This is like a dream that’s coming true.” DiBerardinis, a longtime Fishtown resident who once served as the city’s recreation commissioner and 10 years as a member of the Fairmount Park Commission, also delivered $375,000 to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council for an off-road bike trail and better public access to the river.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Mike McGeehan (D-173rd dist.) announced that the House of Representatives has voted to give developers seven acres of state-owned land just south of Rhawn Street. The Senate has to approve the legislation. Developers have already purchased 77 acres and plan 1,700 homes, a marina, commercial enterprises and open space.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13th dist.), who also attended the news conference, has delivered federal funding for riverfront development. And Pete Ciarrocchi, an East Torresdale resident and owner of the popular Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurants, has agreed to donate $100,000 per year for the next 10 years to the Delaware River City Corp.

Borski introduced Sarah Thorp as the DRCC’s first executive director. Thorp and the corporation will be busy. Other long-term plans include extending Delaware Avenue to Carver Street, making improvements to Pleasant Hill Park at Linden Avenue and creating a pedestrian trail that would stretch from Allegheny Avenue to Morrisville, Bucks County. All of that is in addition to four private development projects — near Rhawn Street, Princeton Avenue, Magee Avenue and Orthodox Street.


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