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NEWS
October 24, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
The architect on site before the deadly 2013 Market Street building collapse told a jury this month that he knew the conditions were unsafe and reported his concerns to the contractor, but not to the city. He should have been legally required to do so, according to a member of Philadelphia City Council who has proposed legislation that would compel architects and others to report dangerous conditions on construction and demolition sites. "If you don't like the shade of the color of the drapes, that's not what I'm talking about," said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. "But if there is something structurally unsound that could cause a catastrophe, then you have the responsibility to say something.
BUSINESS
October 22, 2015 | By Jacob Adelman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brandywine Realty Trust is shedding some South Jersey holdings as part of a sell-off aimed at raising money to sustain development plans in Center City and other core markets. The company, Philadelphia's biggest office landlord, has sold land in Mount Laurel to a hotel operator and is unloading five office buildings nearby, according to documents filed with Burlington County officials. Radnor-based Brandywine also is said to be shopping the former 30th Street Main Post Office building, which now houses the Internal Revenue Service's local staff, according to John Guinee, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Proceeds from these sales will likely be funneled into projects such as the FMC Tower near 30th Street Station and the eventual redevelopment of recently acquired properties on Market Street, Guinee said.
NEWS
October 21, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW & WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writers shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AFTER JUST four hours of deliberations yesterday, a jury acquitted demolition contractor Griffin Campbell of six counts of third-degree murder, but convicted him of six counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deadly 2013 collapse of a Center City Salvation Army thrift store. Campbell, 51, a burly man who ran his small construction company out of his Nicetown home, did not react when the jury foreman read the verdicts. His wife, Kim, and one of his four daughters, Amella, 21, cried.
NEWS
October 19, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two images emerged Friday of Griffin Campbell: greedy demolition contractor willing to sacrifice public safety to maximize the salvage value of the four-story building that flattened an adjacent Salvation Army store, or scapegoat taking the full weight of the tragedy that killed six people and injured 13. In his closing before a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury, defense lawyer William D. Hobson described Campbell as a simple North Philadelphia working...
NEWS
October 19, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
GRIFFIN CAMPBELL, the burly North Philadelphia demolition contractor on trial for six counts of third-degree murder, is a "monster" who caused the victims' deaths in a 2013 Center City building collapse by putting money over safety, a city prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments yesterday. At times impassioned and animated, Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron quoted late comedian Flip Wilson to mock Campbell's defense that he was just following orders from the doomed project's conniving Ivy League-educated architect.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
FOR GRIFFIN Campbell, landing the job to demolish a group of buildings on Market Street, including the four-story building next to a Center City Salvation Army thrift store, was a big deal. It was his biggest demolition project, the contractor who ran his small Griffin Campbell Construction Co. out of his Nicetown home, on Butler Street near 16th, told a Common Pleas jury. Campbell, 51, charged with six counts of third-degree murder and related offenses in the June 5, 2013, collapse of the Salvation Army store, at 22nd and Market streets - which killed six people and injured 13 - took the witness stand in his own defense late yesterday afternoon.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After years eking out a living on odd jobs, selling food from a truck, and housing rehab projects to try to dig out of bankruptcy, Griffin Campbell saw the 2013 contract to demolish four Market Street buildings as promising a future where he would "never again have money problems. " On Wednesday, the 51-year-old Hunting Park demolition contractor took the witness stand trying to persuade a Philadelphia jury not to find him guilty of charges that could send him to prison for life. Campbell insisted he was not solely responsible for the 2013 collapse of a building at 22d and Market Streets that crushed a Salvation Army thrift store, killing six and injuring 13. His every move on the site, Campbell said, was directed by Plato A. Marinakos Jr., the architect hired by property owner Richard Basciano to oversee the demolition.
NEWS
October 16, 2015 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
GRIFFIN CAMPBELL, the contractor on the June 5, 2013, Market Street building collapse, was on the stand yesterday. And while he was there, his attorney, William Hobson, repeatedly and facetiously referred to another man, Plato Marinakos Jr., as his client's friend. But the longer Campbell was on the stand, the clearer one thing became: With friends like Marinakos - the project's architect and expeditor, who was not criminally charged and was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony - Campbell didn't need enemies.
NEWS
October 15, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The defense opened its case Tuesday in the murder trial of Griffin Campbell, the demolition contractor charged in the 2013 collapse of a Salvation Army thrift store in Center City. Virtually the entire day was spent questioning an architect hired by defense attorney William D. Hobson, who tried to shift blame from Campbell to the demolition architect who became the prosecution's key witness. Clifton Fordham, an architecture professor at Temple University, told the Common Pleas Court jury that there was poor planning and coordination of the demolition of five buildings in the 2100 and 2200 blocks of Market Street.
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