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BUSINESS
March 11, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
If shopping malls are really dying - killed by retail apps, next-day delivery, and those giant "fulfillment centers" rising across Pennsylvania - you wouldn't know it. Not the way big investors like Simon Property Group are buying and selling rival shopping malls. On Monday, Simon - the Indianapolis company that owns one of the largest malls in the United States ( King of Prussia ) and the biggest in Philadelphia ( Philadelphia Mills , the former Franklin Mills) - offered $22 billion, or $91 a share, for national mall chain Macerich Co. , of Santa Monica, Calif.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
People cheered the man who was 50 years sober, but they stood and screamed wildly for the guy who hadn't had a drink in a day. "That's for you, Mr. One Day," someone yelled at the stunned young man who stood before a group of about 1,500 members of Alcoholics Anonymous gathered at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul on Saturday. They were there to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the AA's Philadelphia branch. But, more than a few attendees acknowledged, what people were really celebrating was their still being on the planet after the pain and wreckage the bottle had delivered.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Following the 2013 Center City building collapse that killed six people and injured 13, committees tasked by City Council and the Nutter administration to look into how to reform the Department of Licenses and Inspections concluded that the regulatory agency was underfunded. The department is budgeted at $28.8 million and 353 positions, 20 of which are unfilled. On Thursday, Mayor Nutter responded by calling for an extra $10.8 million for L&I, spread over three years. The first $5.5 million, to be allocated in 2016, would go toward hiring 43 employees, most of them building inspectors, and for new technology.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Sci-fi fans may recall scenes from the classic 1982 movie Blade Runner depicting a futuristic city's exasperatingly gaudy collection of brightly flashing billboards of all shapes and sizes, propelled through the air and secured to depressing structures. Could that be Philadelphia one day? While that may be a stretch, there is reason for concern about recent decisions giving digital billboards a prominent presence near the historic district, close enough to some Center City residents' homes to make them fear the luminous displays will reduce their property values.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Plastic bags, bike-sharing programs, and Philadelphia City Council powers have not been big issues thus far in this year's mayoral race, but Tuesday night, they offered unexpected opportunities for candidates to stand apart. Those opportunities, along with some rather quirky personal questions, enlivened a mayoral forum at the Convention Center held by the Next Great City Coalition, a broad collection of unions, community groups, businesses, churches, and nonprofits. The forum drew candidates Lynne M. Abraham, Nelson Diaz, the Rev. Keith Goodman, James F. Kenney, Doug Oliver, and State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Six months after he announced the project and one month before its scheduled groundbreaking, developer Carl Dranoff begins taking reservations Wednesday for the 82 luxury condos he is building at One Riverside, at 25th and Locust Streets. Real estate agents will get their first look at what is being offered at the 22-story high-rise overlooking the Schuylkill, where prices will range from $685,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $6 million for the 4,200-square-foot bi-level penthouse with elevator.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writer
NO ONE LANDED a knockout punch. No one stumbled badly. Thus, no one broke away from the pack. Instead, at last night's latest mayoral forum, six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia mayor showed themselves to have quite similar views on a range of issues. Hosted by the Next Great City Coalition, which represents 130 community, faith, environmental, business and union organizations, the forum at the Pennsylvania Convention Center focused on the coalition's six key initiative areas: improving substandard housing, supporting small businesses, cleaning up public spaces, improving nutrition for children, creating more trails and bike lanes, and storm preparedness.
NEWS
February 28, 2015 | Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Call it a mayoral race mystery. Just how did former State Sen. T. Milton Street Sr. come to sign the nomination petition for former City Councilman James F. Kenney last week? Both are candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor in the May 19 primary. Brian Villa, a Democratic committeeman from West Philadelphia's 27th Ward, said he attended a "petition party" last week at Ladder 15, a Center City bar. There, Villa said, he circulated nomination petitions for Kenney's mayoral campaign, Helen Gym's bid for City Council at-large, and Carol Jenkins' bid for the Board of City Commissioners.
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | BY DARRELL CLARKE
  GOVERNMENTS are too often inflexible and slow to react, a source of consternation for many of its critics. It's ironic, though, that Philadelphians so frequently forget that the system of checks and balances, formulated decades ago in our back yards, is by design. Governance - the structure of government - matters. And when it comes to planning and development, the structure set forth in the charter no longer suffices. Anyone who has tried to shepherd a development project from the first drawing to the final brick knows that the process in the charter ranges from frustratingly cumbersome to utterly incomprehensible.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Saying he had serious concerns about the city's oversight of demolitions, City Controller Alan Butkovitz subpoenaed voluminous documents from the Department of Licenses and Inspections on Monday. In a letter to L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams, Butkovitz said he was launching an investigation into the department's adherence to stringent safety rules enacted after the Center City building collapse that killed six people in 2013. His action comes one day after The Inquirer reported that L&I allowed an illegal demolition at 26th and Poplar Streets last year.
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