Deconstructing abandoned properties topic of Holmesburg Civic meeting

Two representatives of the Philadelphia Community Corps visited the Holmesburg Civic Association last week, promoting their idea of deconstructing, not demolishing, the estimated 40,000 to 60,000 abandoned, vacant or blighted structures in the city.

“This is the 21st century of removing structures,” said community corps director Greg Trainor.

Trainor was joined by Christian Regosch. They explained that the corps has worked on seven abandoned homes so far.

By deconstructing properties, they are diverting materials from landfills and illegal dumping grounds. They are reusing those materials, and the industry is putting more people to work. Deconstruction, they add, is safer than demolition.

All the vacant properties owe a combined $70 million in uncollected real estate taxes, and drag down property values by an estimated $3.6 billion.

For more information, contact Trainor at 201–956–1275 or gregorytrainor@gmail.com

In other news from the March 10 meeting:

• A successful Russian restaurateur has bought the former Marsico property at 3515 Welsh Road.

The property has been shuttered since August 2010, when Guido’s Ristorante Italiano, the Grotto Lounge and a banquet hall closed.

The new owner has been making renovations, and demolition will allow for more parking. The restaurant, Welsh Bar and Grill, is expected to open next month. A banquet room will also open. The realtor handling the transaction will appear at next month’s civic meeting.

The Marsico family opened for business with a water ice stand in 1985. Guido’s Pasta and Pizza followed in 1990 and expanded into a restaurant a year later. After Midwest Beef closed in 2003, the family expanded again, with the banquet hall opening in 2006.

• Pub 36, at Frankford and Sheffield avenues, is expected to open in about five weeks. A sign on the property previously mentioned a fall 2014 opening and a winter 2015 opening. The new bar/restaurant will replace SmokeEaters Pub.

• The Father Judge Theater Arts Club will present four performances of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Show times are 7 p.m. on March 26–28 and 2 p.m. on March 29.

The shows will take place in the Judge auditorium, at 3301 Solly Ave.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Call 215–338–9494, Ext. 1128.

• The Vogue Players and Holmesburg Playground will present four performances of Xanadu at the Venice Island Performing Arts Center, 7 Lock St. in Manayunk.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1; 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 3.

Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Call 215–685–3583 or email edwardflores516@gmail.com

• Holmesburg Boys Club is taking signups for cheerleading and football.

Visit www.hbctigers.org or the Holmesburg BoysClub page on Facebook.

• Holmesburg Library, 7810 Frankford Ave., will hold preschool story time at 10:30 a.m. on the following Tuesdays: March 24, April 7 and April 21. There will be stories, songs and finger plays for children ages 3 to 5. They must be accompanied by an adult.

The library will also begin offering GED preparation classes. There will be an orientation on Wednesday, March 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Classes will take place Wednesdays from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., from April 1 to May 23. Registration is required.

In addition, there will be a scrapbook workshop on Saturday, March 28, at 1 p.m. Registration is required.

Call 215–685–8756.

• Political candidates are invited to attend the civic group’s May 12 meeting. They can email civic@holmesburg.com

• Holmesburg Civic Association will meet again on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmesburg Recreation Center, Rhawn and Ditman streets. ••