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REAL_ESTATE
January 5, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Treetop Development, a Teaneck, N.J.-based real estate firm formed by two high school friends, is making a second major investment in Philadelphia by renovating the 504-unit apartment towers at 5450 Wissahickon Ave. in East Falls. Many commuters no doubt will drive by what is now known as Charter Court without noticing the new ownership. But plenty of people live in East Falls, too, and "we were interested in buying it as a transport hub-based development," said Adam Mermelstein, co-founder of Treetop.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chief financial officers typically have a solid grasp of costs and how to cut them. It's their job. "Yet when it comes to health care, they leave that at the door," said Stephen P. Kelly, president of ELAP Services, a Chester Springs company with a painstaking approach to cutting hospital bills for self-insured employers. Instead of paying premiums to an insurance company, which then pays medical bills, self-insured employers set aside money to pay the bills themselves through a third-party administrator.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Morgan Lewis & Bockius L.L.P. closed on its acquisition of the Boston law firm of Bingham McCutchen L.L.P. in November, it brought on more than 500 new lawyers and hundreds of millions in additional revenue. The firm also took on a new caseload of pro bono work, growing its legal practice for the needy and other legally underresourced groups by 50 percent. Like the newly expanded firm itself, the pro bono practice promises to be deeper and more complex as a consequence. "This is important for our recruiting and retention," said Amanda Smith, the Morgan Lewis partner who manages the firm's sprawling pro bono program from offices in New York.
NEWS
January 4, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden's L3 Communications building on Market Street, long seen as housing some of the city's best office space, was sold this week to a major South Jersey real estate firm for $35 million. The 575,000-square-foot property was owned by the state Economic Development Authority, which last year reached a sales agreement with the city's Cooper's Ferry Partnership. This week, the Cherry Hill-based Needleman Management company, along with a group of investors, purchased that agreement, company president Howard Needleman said.
NEWS
December 21, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
For the better part of 52 years, Joseph Rosati Plumbing & Heating has offered its employees fully paid health insurance. "My father prided himself in being able to offer health benefits to his employees," says Regina Weinhardt, who, along with her brothers, Joe Jr. and Anthony, took over the company after their father died in 2007. But when the company was ready to renew its group policy last month, Weinhardt got a bad case of sticker shock - an 87 percent rate increase. Her broker was able to find Weinhardt a more affordable policy with less coverage.
NEWS
December 19, 2014
K ENNETH OKUGBENI, 32, of South Philadelphia, is founder of Lafiya Foods. The firm, which makes natural and organic foods and personal-care products, connects small farmers and co-ops in West Africa with American consumers. Lafiya donates 2 percent of gross sales to community-development programs in health care, education and sustainable agriculture in Ghana. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for Lafiya? A: I have a background in finance. I saw a disconnect between African farmers and American consumers who wanted to lead healthy lives and use organic and natural products.
BUSINESS
December 18, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Local real estate firm Arden Group, founded by Craig Spencer, on Tuesday sold the 19-story Center City property 1635 Market Street to New York real estate investment firm Nightingale Properties, for an undisclosed price. Nightingale's CEO, Elie Schwartz, has committed $5 million to renovations, starting immediately. Real estate agents with CBRE in Philadelphia, Kevin Maloney, Mark Adzick, George Cauffman, and Joe Wolff, will market the property. "This is an exciting opportunity for this building.
BUSINESS
December 15, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Now that Apple Inc. has hooked the world on smartphones that pack voice calls, Internet, video, cameras, antennas, sensors, and chargers in smooth pocket boxes, engineers are busy finding ways to unpack those features and make them disappear - into clothing, eyeglasses, and other "wearable" systems. Consumers will buy an estimated 19 million wearable computers this year: fitness trackers like Fitbit , wrist computers like Pebble Smartwatch , "augmented- reality" video-game helmets, Google Glass optical computers, and more on the way, says a report by Ramon Llamas , mobile analyst at International Data Corp.
REAL_ESTATE
December 15, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
MM Partners real estate development company aims to help transform Philadelphia's Brewerytown neighborhood. By buying and rehabbing shells, stores and empty or underused warehouses, MM Partners hopes to revive the West Girard Avenue retail corridor along with its residential developments. All Philadelphia locals, David Waxman and Jacob Roller are co-managing partners of MM, and Aaron Smith is partner and director of property management, sales and marketing. Currently, they have an office in a recent rehab at 1234 N. 30th St. To date, MM Partners, founded in 2001, has renovated and owns 50 properties in Brewerytown, including mixed-use, multifamily and single-family projects, about $45 million worth within a five-square-mile radius.
NEWS
December 11, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Delaware River Port Authority has paid about $72,500 this year to the law firms of two DRPA commissioners to represent the pair in an ongoing federal grand jury investigation. The two commissioners, William Sasso and Jeffrey L. Nash, were among several DRPA officials subpoenaed late last year by the grand jury that is investigating millions of dollars of politically connected "economic development" spending by the DRPA. Sasso and Nash, both attorneys, were permitted by the DRPA board to be represented by their own law firms, at DRPA expense.
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