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A recent editorial (“Starved for options,” 3/3/2011) appears to be informed by a story (“Last store standing,” 2/28/2011) that omitted a key piece of information supplied in my interview.

Penn is not participating in the relocation of the McDonald’s restaurant from the northeast corner of 40th and Walnut streets, and any such references are simply untrue. McDonald’s is a private business on privately owned land, and it has operated there for decades.

In my interview, I explained that Penn approached the McDonald’s Corporation to describe our vision and strategy for the 40th Street corridor. We encouraged them to think beyond the dated single-story, single-use strategy from the 1960s and consider a redevelopment of their property that would be mixed-use and higher density in character. We believe such a redevelopment would contribute to the urban scale of the intersection and corridor. We suggested to McDonald’s officials that the redevelopment could include a modern street-level McDonald’s restaurant.

We see the intersection as the anchor to what has been a renaissance over the last decade. Starting in the mid-’90s our intent was to support the growth of 40th Street as a successful corridor. We invested in tree-lined streets, proper lighting, clean and maintained sidewalks and storefronts filled with locally owned small businesses. Our hope was that it would become a place where campus and community coexist — as local residents, students, faculty, staff and visitors socialize, shop, dine and see a movie. We also aspired for mixing uses by adding a grocery store below a parking garage and increasing residential density by adding apartments above businesses. Today, several hundred new apartment dwellers reside in the Hub and the Radian. In becoming a destination, it also is a national model profiled in The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, honored by the Urban Land Institute and studied for replication by countless universities.

-- Craig Carnaroli The author is the executive vice president of Penn.

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