The Yorktown Community Organization requested a permanent office space in the View II, but the Goldenberg Group, the owner and developer of the building, allegedly denied the request in August, an organization official said.
Construction on the $199 million student housing complex on 12th Street between Montgomery and Cecil B. Moore avenues began earlier this month. Kevin Trapper, the senior vice president and development director for the Goldenberg Group, said the building will have a designated community space, but the programming for the space has not yet been determined.
Robert McMichael, the president of the Yorktown Community Organization, said a representative from the Goldenberg Group told the organization it could use the community space for its meetings.
But the organization wants a written offer from the Goldenberg Group to ensure it comes to fruition.
The organization wanted a small, permanent office space in the building because it does not have a permanent space, but was not told why the request was denied, McMichael said.
Yorktown Community Organization serves residents in the area bounded by Girard and Cecil B. Moore avenues and Broad and 11th streets.
Trapper told The Temple News that the community space could offer programming for children or elderly residents in the community.
Ellen Rosenberg, the vice president of development and civic engagement for the Goldenberg Group, has been in contact with McMichael and the Yorktown Community Organization, McMichael said.
A Goldenberg Group spokesperson could not confirm if the request for office was denied and added that the use of the community space has not been finalized.
“As we approach the development of the second phase of our student housing project, we are committed to continuing to build those relationships and to creating a project that serves the community as a whole,” a statement from the Goldenberg Group read.
“They’re not giving us what we’re asking for,” he said. “You can be in contact, but if you’re not really serving the community, it’s an ego thing.”
The Goldenberg Group partners with Paul Dunbar Elementary as a part of the developer’s “Adopt-A-School” program. The development group has repaired parts of the building on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near the construction of the View II.
“They want to do these things, but not really put out where it costs them money,” McMichael said. “They like to do service stuff, but that’s not the answer to our problem.”
McMichael added that the organization is concerned with trash and parking issues when the building opens and that they want to be “reimbursed” for these problems.
The housing complex will have 984 beds and 94 parking spots for residents to use at a fee.
McMichael expects that students will prefer to park in Yorktown for free which leaves little space for permanent residents to park, he said.
“It’s easier to park in Yorktown and leave the cars sitting for sometimes weeks at a time,” he added.
The organization is still open to negotiating with the Goldenberg Group about how the building can serve the community, but McMichael said members will demonstrate and protest as a “last resort” if their requests are denied.
“Being nice, talking to the community, that’s fine,” McMichael said. “But it’s not really solving the problem. So, they’re really not solving our problem.”