The Conservatorship Program, in which the Mayfair CDC has been actively involved since 2013 when the program was first developed on a state-wide basis, is an effort by community leaders to restore neglected or abandoned properties and return them to productive use. This strengthens the community by improving one of the neighborhood’s most valuable assets, its homes, and thereby makes the community more attractive to both long-time residents as well as new homeowners looking for a stable well-maintained neighborhood where they can raise a family.
The Conservatorship Program was made possible through a new tool in fighting neighborhood blight created under Pennsylvania Act 135 (“Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act”), which authorizes a process whereby a judge may designate a conservator—most often a non-profit entity such as the Mayfair CDC—to bring a blighted property into compliance with property maintenance and building code standards.
Although the process can be lengthy, the rewards are great, especially for the community.
Mayfair Conservatorship Houses
The first property that the Mayfair CDC undertook under Act 135 was the property at 3569 Sheffield Street, at the northwest corner of Frankford Avenue and Sheffield Street. Its prime location along Mayfair’s Frankford Avenue commercial corridor marked an important start in returning neglected properties to a productive new life as an asset to the neighborhood. The renovations—including new mechanical systems, floors, contemporary appliances and an improved façade—were completed in 2013.
The most recent completed Conservatorship property is the house at 3446 Ryan Avenue, just a block or two from the center of Mayfair’s commercial corridor at the intersection of Frankford and Cottman. The property was substantially damaged by fire and was completely rehabbed over the course of the last two years—with new mechanical systems, a new kitchen with contemporary finishes and new appliances, central air, new windows and a restored façade. The house is now a great single family home on Ryan Avenue, where once it was a problem derelict property.
The project is the result of a true community partnership: the Mayfair CDC as the project sponsor; Scioli Turco—a non-profit corporation that restores dilapidated properties to return them to productive use—managed the project; BSI Construction did the construction work and rehabilitation of the property; and local Mayfair real estate agent Jennifer Curran of the RE/MAX MILLENNIUM Agency is the listing agent. The property at 3446 Ryan Avenue was listed for sale in July 2015.
Upcoming Conservatorship projects include the properties at 3246 Ryan Avenue, between Rowland Avenue and Sackett Street, and 3318 Bleigh Avenue, between Rowland Avenue and Crispin Street.