August 26, 2014 |
Mark Vanderbeck turned 60 on Aug. 5, but his birthday gift arrived five days earlier, in the form of a promotion - to chief executive officer of ACTS Retirement-Life Communities. It's a big job. Based in West Point, ACTS employs 6,200 and operates 23 retirement communities - with housing ranging from independent apartment living to skilled nursing care for 8,500 residents. Question: What's it like to become a newly minted CEO? Did you feel anxious when you realized - "Wow, I'm responsible for all these people and all these employees"?
August 19, 2014 |
STRAWBERRY Mansion residents will be the benefactors of three Philadelphia Housing Authority projects within 24 months. The neighbors say they want and need the housing but they want to make sure they have a say in how it's done. City officials broke ground on the first development Tuesday: the Oakdale Street Apartments, on a longtime vacant lot in the north end of Strawberry Mansion. Twelve units will be built on Oakdale Street near 28th, across from the Widener Library. The three developments will result in a total investment of about $30 million.
August 4, 2014 |
Philadelphia needs more low-income housing for veterans, particularly those who served in recent conflicts such as the Gulf War, says Walter Kubiak of Mission First Housing Group. Kubiak, a Vietnam veteran, knows that vets often have mental-health issues that don't manifest themselves for years, and that they may then have trouble finding housing. "We have a lot of young people in Philadelphia who've spent years in combat under incredible stress," he said. "They come back with head injuries that would have killed them in previous wars.
July 28, 2014 |
David La Fontaine is the new executive director of Community Ventures, a Quaker-inspired builder of affordable housing and one of the few nonprofit developers left in the city. Its latest projects include Ingersoll Commons at 16th and Master Streets, affordable housing with open green space, and Centennial Village, affordable rental apartments behind the Mann Music Center at 52d Street and Parkside Avenue. La Fontaine is pushing for more affordable housing, even as million-dollar homes keep popping up around Center City.
July 18, 2014 |
]When her husband died in December, Lauren Davis knew it was time to move. The rent on her rather tired Grays Ferry home was going up, and her landlord was not terribly responsive. The 63-year-old retired teacher's aide feared, however, that she did not have the means to relocate within her beloved neighborhood. "I didn't know what I was going to do," Davis said. The answer was phase two of the Anthony Wayne Senior Housing complex at South 28th and Morris Streets, which was developed by the Altman Group with the backing of City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.
July 9, 2014 |
A nine-story affordable housing project will break ground at 810 Arch St. in September, thanks to an innovative partnership among nonprofit developers and the city to improve the blighted block. Sister Mary Scullion's Project HOME and the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. (PCDC) will build the $23.5 million apartment complex on an empty lot on the south side of Arch Street. Expected to be completed by late 2015, the complex will provide 94 efficiency apartments for lower-income rental tenants ranging in age from seniors to children aging out of foster care.
June 28, 2014 |
Although real estate developer Ori Feibush plans to run for Kenyatta Johnson's seat on Philadelphia City Council, the first battle between the men may play out in federal court. Feibush filed a lawsuit late Wednesday accusing Johnson of preventing him from buying two vacant city lots and thwarting his bid to build on a larger tract, both as political retribution. "It's unconscionable to retaliate," Feibush said. "You may not like me - and that's OK - but you have to follow the law. " Johnson previously said he halted the sale of two vacant lots on the 1300 block of South Cleveland Street in Point Breeze because he wanted them set aside as part of an affordable housing strategy championed by Council President Darrell L. Clarke.
June 20, 2014 |
In a historic pact, the city's building-trades unions have agreed to cut their wages and benefits by 20 percent when working on residential construction projects for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Kelvin Jeremiah, PHA chief executive officer and president, said the pact would, on average, reduce PHA's cost of building a house by $50,000, allowing the public housing authority to increase the number of affordable homes it can build. "This is unheard-of," Jeremiah said Wednesday.
June 16, 2014 |
The acronym alone, COAH, which stands for the Council on Affordable Housing, evokes fear and distrust among some. But the level of opposition to proposed developments with low- and moderate-income units under court-ordered COAH requirements in three Camden County neighborhoods - including a historic golf course - has been surprising even to some longtime housing advocates. Residents who live near the proposed sites - two in Cherry Hill and one in Berlin - are letting it be known they don't want them in their backyards by filing lawsuits, staging sign-holding protests, and/or packing public hearings.
June 11, 2014 |
The developer of a proposed 472-unit apartment complex for Berlin Borough that would include affordable housing requirements was granted a postponement of a hearing for the project by the borough's nine-member Planning Board on Monday night. Richard J. Hoff Jr., attorney for Berlin Multifamily L.L.C., based in Berlin Borough, made the request on the grounds that the project and the interest it has generated required a bigger venue and that issues remained pertaining to the project's street lighting and storm water system.