above: Warren Presents Banks with Street Name Dedication
Mayor Lovely A. Warren dedicated a previously unnamed road to longtime City employee Phil Banks, whose vision led to the cleanup of several Brownfield sites, paving the way for future job creation.
“Phil Banks dedicated his career to improving our community,” Mayor Warren said. “He was a true public servant, a visionary who put the community above all else.
We lost Phil too soon, but his legacy lives on. His work led to the creation of more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities, and for that we are grateful.”
Phil Banks Way leads to the former Photech Imaging site, located at 1000 Driving Park Ave. It was once a Brownfield site, abandoned in 1991 and contaminated with asbestos and other toxins.
While working as the City’s Manager of Business Development in 1998, Phil Banks saw the site not as it was, but as it could be – a hub for jobs and industry. He helped the City acquire the property, making it eligible for grant funding and assistance for cleanup.
For more than a decade, Phil worked with his colleagues in Economic Development and the Department of Environmental Services to secure the funds to remediate the site and return it to productive use. Unfortunately, Phil died in 2009 while serving as the City’s Deputy Commissioner of Economic Development.
In 2010, the final Photech building came down, and in 2014, the state cleared the site for development.
Earlier this year, the City sold the property to Imburgia Brothers Holdings, Inc., who plan to develop it for light industrial use.
“Phil Banks Way will be a road to innovation,” Mayor Warren said. “It will be a road to jobs. It will be a road to progress and prosperity. From this day forward, everyone who drives or walks or bikes past this road will be reminded that persistence pays off, and that even the most difficult challenges can be met.”