1948: Penn Master Development PlanLabeled “The Great Expansion” and was the largest expansion in Penn’s history (John Puckett 2013) 1959: West Philadelphia Corporation FormsPenn’s president at the time, Gaylord P. Harnwell led the formation of the West Philadelphia Corporation a coalition of “eds and meds” that Penn dominated and used to control urban renewal in University Redevelopment Area (RDA Unit 3) with the Redevelopment Authority (John Puckett, UCHS Panel, 2021). 1966: The Redevelopment Authority (RDA) condemns RDA Unit 3 for Urban RenewalThe RDA Declared Unit 3 to be “blighted” which opened the area, then known as the Black Bottom, up to receive urban renewal funding for land clearance. 1967-68: RDA bulldozers demolish large swaths of the Black BottomWest Philadelphia Corporation projects in Unit 3 displaced a total of 2,653 people. Roughly 78% of these people were Black. Blocks along the Market Street corridor experienced some of the most demolition to pave way for the University City Science Center and the University City High School (John Puckett, UCHS Panel, 2021). Feb. 1969: University Students ProtestRoughly 800 local college students and activists protested the displacement and demolition of the previous years through a six-day seizure of Penn’s College Hall and demand replacement housing for dispossessed residents of the Black Bottom (John Puckett, UCHS Panel, 2021). After Sit-in: Formation of the Quadripartite CommissionThe sit-in created “a pathway for the appointment of a Quadripartite Commission” that brought together community leaders with Penn faculty, students, and trustees. They negotiated “with Science Center officials to divert a block of Science Center land to the city for public housing” (John L. Puckett). The Quadripartite Commission approved a revised redevelopment plan which called for the creation of an additional 400 units of low-income housing Feb 1970: 3900 Market Set Aside for Affordable HousingUniversity City Science Center gives the parcel that is the 3900 block of Market Street to the Commission on University-Community Development (made up of Penn student activists and local neighborhood organizations (Source: OFC Realty Post) Early 1972: Quadripartite Commission DisbandsThe Quadripartite Commission on University-Community development disbanded due to irreconcilable differences, which left the fate of public housing in the Science Center district “in limbo.” (John Puckett @ BlackBottom Panel) 1979: Townhomes Design Process BeginsCity rezones parcel from commercial to residential, offers it to HUD for use as low-income housing. IBID Associates then proposed a 70-unit federally subsidized development called the University City Townhomes designed by Friday/Richard Kline (now called Friday Architects/Planners Inc) (Source: OFC Realty Post). 1980: Local Business Owners Sue to Stop Housing DevelopmentLocal business owners sue over the proposed development, arguing that full residential use wasn’t appropriate for the commercial block and that the site actually didn’t meet Section 8’s housing guidelines (Source: OFC Realty Post) They lost the case but tried to hold up the development by saying that too much time had passed since the development team was granted a zoning variance to start construction. This attempt also failed. 1982: Altman Group buys 3900 MarketThe RDA sold the block to a private developer the Altman Group which contracted with the federal Department of Housing & Urban Renewal (HUD) to build low-income apartments on the site” (John Puckett @ BlackBottom Panel) As part of the deal, Altman Group agrees to keep the development as Section-8 housing for forty years, until 2022 (John Puckett @ BlackBottom Panel) July 2021: Altman Announces they will Sell the TownhomesAltman announced that it would not renew its contract with HUD when it expired in 2022 and would instead evict the current/time/>Bidding process begins for 3900 Market St. overseen by Newmark, a commercial real estate brokerageReal estate companies that focus on developing lab and manufacturing space for life sciences companies begin circling 3900 Market St. (Philadelphia Business Journal)Companies showing an interest in the property include deep-pocketed national real estate firms and pension funds, which are all looking to seize upon the increasing demand for life sciences space and the lucrative rents that those tenants are willing to pay (Philadelphia Business Journal). September 2021: Councilperson Jamie Gauthier Introduces Bill to Protect TownhomesTemporary pause on demolition at 3900 Market but will be challenged in the courts. May be struck down.