By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Plans to renovate The Lincoln, an apartment building at 12th and Locust Streets in center city, could begin to move forward in the coming weeks.
It's been eight years since fire gutted The Lincoln, leaving it to sit as an eyesore on Locust Street.
But new construction site fencing and posted work permits have area residents breathing a sigh of relief.
"Finally, something good is happening," says Chris Ehrmann, a Washington Square West resident who lives three blocks from The Lincoln.
The building was recently purchased by developer David Perlman, who plans to turn it into at least 40 high-end apartments.
"The Lincoln is a beautiful building, and we need the apartments here," notes Ehrmann.
"I am just absolutely thrilled that it is actually happening," adds Judith Applebaum, a board member of the Washington Square West Civic Association. She says she met with contractors who noted that the building is in such disrepair, the renovation could take a while.
"We are so happy people are actually in there working," she tells KYW Newsradio. "I actually met with the head of the construction to go over what they have to do. We are just thrilled that somebody is in there and will actually make the building safe, because right now it's a disaster."
She says the timeline on development is unclear at this point and could take some time.
"It's going to be a painstaking process just to make the building safe," she says, noting years of deterioration could add months onto the process.
Applebaum, the civic association board member, says the sidewalk adjacent to the site remain blocked off during renovation and there could be some related traffic issues. But that did not seem to bother Ehrman.
"Nothing that could happen there could be worse than it's been the last seven years," he said.
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