City Council Approves Transfer of Land in Burholme Park to Fox Chase Cancer Center
PHILADELPHIA (December 6, 2007)—Philadelphia City Council today approved two ordinances that will allow the transfer of 19.5 acres of Burholme Park to Fox Chase Cancer Center. The first is a Council ordinance that makes legal a resolution passed in 2006 by the Fairmount Park Commission to lease the land to the Center. The second is an Institutional Development District (IDD) that allows the Center to develop a master plan for the proposed campus expansion. The final step in the process will take place in Orphan's Court, which will review the City's ordinance to assure it complies with the statute that governs the transfer of public lands.
"The approval of this plan is a testament to the public process," said Robert C. Young, MD, Chancellor at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "We have worked closely with the Burholme Civic Association and the Fox Chase Home Owners Association throughout the last three and a half years and listened closely to their concerns and suggestions. We have also received ongoing support and input from Councilman Brian O'Neill who introduced both ordinances last month. We are especially grateful for his leadership and commitment to making this project work for all parties."
In addition to keeping Fox Chase's world-class cancer treatment and research center in Philadelphia, the expansion will create approximately 4,000 new jobs through $1 billion of phased development over 20 years and add an estimated $40 million in local tax revenues. The first phase of the proposed expansion has already begun with construction underway of the Cancer Research Pavilion on the Center's existing campus.
The Fox Chase expansion is necessary to accommodate new cancer research and the growing number of cancer patients requiring care each year. In 1980, Fox Chase treated 800 new patients a year. In 2007, Fox Chase expects to care for almost 7,000 new patients with that number expected to grow to 12,000 by 2015. Future phases of the Fox Chase expansion plan include a new state-of-the-art hospital, an outpatient treatment center and advanced research facilities.
The Fox Chase expansion plan leaves intact the Burholme Park playground, ballparks, sledding hill and Ryerss Museum. Much of the land to be used is currently being leased for a commercially operated golf concession, which under the approved agreement can continue to operate until Fox Chase needs the land.
The Fairmount Park Commission originally approved the proposed lease in 2006. The agreement designates more than $1 million for Burholme Park improvements and an endowment fund; authorizes Fox Chase to make all lease payments directly to the Fairmount Park Conservancy; and ensures that parkland being leased will remain public until such time as the land is needed.
"We're pleased that this agreement earmarks money for Burholme Park," said Young. "That was our goal from the start. The City and the Fairmount Park Commission have demonstrated great leadership in developing this unique partnership to keep Fox Chase in Philadelphia and to ensure that people in this region will continue to have access to world-class cancer care. In addition, by remaining in the region, Fox Chase helps Philadelphia maintain its leadership role as a national hub of excellence in biomedical research."
Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase also was among the first institutions to receive the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious comprehensive cancer center designation in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has achieved Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research and oversees programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, call 1-888-FOX-CHASE (1-888-369-2427).