The transformation of 4601 Market, the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance campus, into a new headquarters for the Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Health Department, and City Morgue is creeping along.
As Eyes on the Street previously reported, Mayor Michael Nutter has spoken about the long-rumored project for the last two years in his budget addresses. In March 2012 he announce the long-rumored plan to co-locate the police, health, and morgue facilities, and this past March he said they were still planning on it.
Last week, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell introduced a bill to transfer the property from the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development to the Department of Public Property for consideration not to exceed $4 million.
So is the city getting ready to really start work at 4601 Market in earnest?
The transfer of 4601 Market to Public Property would enable the city to treat its conversion as a capital project.
A request for proposals for design services went out in September, with responses due in November.
Nine firms submitted responses to the RFP, confirmed Public Property Commissioner Bridget Collins-Greenwald. Beyond that she was rather tight-lipped about project progress.
When asked about the project's timeline, including when the deisgn firm would be selected and early-stage selective demolition work, which will pave the way for the property’s complete overhaul, all Collins-Greenwald would say is: “We are working on the time line and schedule and it is premature to release at this point as it is still a work in progress."
Which is to say that this is going to be a long road.