August 7, 2016 |
John J. Dougherty walks a line of contradiction, as ready to mix it up in a street brawl as he is to mingle with the region's political elite. Hailed as "Johnny Doc" in his South Philadelphia neighborhood of Pennsport, Dougherty is a tough-talking union leader who in January traded punches with a nonunion contractor. The same Dougherty sponsored a series of big-name breakfasts at a restaurant on Broad Street - attended by members of the U.S. House and Senate - during the Democratic National Convention.
May 18, 2016 |
LAST WEEK, a federal jury awarded $34,000 to developer Ori Feibush, who said that Councilman Kenyatta Johnson blocked Feibush's purchase of two parcels of land in the South Philadelphia area Johnson represents. Though Johnson cleared the way for Feibush to purchase six other pieces of land, Feibush claimed Johnson blocked his purchase of the two parcels for political reasons. The court agreed, and Johnson says the ruling will be appealed. But the ruling was about more than a fight between Johnson, a sitting councilman, and Feibush, a candidate who unsuccessfully ran against him. The ruling was about crippling councilmanic prerogative, a City Council tradition that gives District members of Council such as Johnson veto power over land use in their districts.
May 17, 2016 |
Only the jurors know for sure what went on during the two hours they deliberated the federal case of Ori Feibush vs. Kenyatta Johnson last week. But, having witnessed much of the court case, I'm willing to bet they came away thinking Feibush and Johnson may well deserve each other. Feibush, a developer in the Point Breeze neighborhood, came out on top. The jury awarded him $34,000 for his claim that Johnson, a City Councilman for that area, had stymied his efforts in 2013 to buy city-owned land.
May 8, 2016 |
The FBI is investigating Philadelphia's process for selling public land to developers amid a pair of lawsuits contending that a city councilman steered vacant lots to campaign contributors, according to people familiar with the probe. The investigation was initially disclosed last October, when an attorney for Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush deposed Tania Nikolic, deputy executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Feibush is suing City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, whose district includes Point Breeze, alleging that Johnson blocked the sale of vacant lots to Feibush after Feibush launched an unsuccessful bid for Johnson's seat in 2013.
March 11, 2016
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Board on Wednesday selected Gregory Heller as its new executive director. Heller, CEO of the Baltimore-based nonprofit development corporation American Communities Trust, will fill the vacancy left by Brian Abernathy, who is now the first deputy managing director. Prior to working at American Communities Trust, Heller worked for Philadelphia-based Econsult Solutions and the Enterprise Center Community Development Corp. in West Philadelphia.
February 11, 2016 |
A DEVELOPMENT OF about 30 affordable rental homes in Point Breeze moved a step closer to reality Tuesday when the Philadelphia Vacant Property Review Committee approved the transfer of two vacant parcels to the Women's Community Revitalization Project (WCRP). The Mamie Nichols Townhomes would consist of one- to three-bedroom apartments and townhouses. It is named for a Point Breeze community activist who died in 2009, said Nora Lichtash, executive director of the WCRP. "This is something we've been working on for the last few months," Lichtash said Tuesday.
October 17, 2015 |
The last time the city developed a plan for Philadelphia's Eastwick section, in 1957, it proved disastrous for residents: Over the next several years, it condemned more than 2,000 acres of private property, evicting 8,636 people to make way for a vision of urban renewal. Today, that vision remains largely unfulfilled: Suburban-style cul-de-sacs lie curled up in wait for houses that were never built. Those who did move in faced years of flooding, sinking houses, and exposure to pollution from two Superfund sites.
November 28, 2014
IN RECENT days, both 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and businessman Ori Feibush gave away Thanksgiving turkeys to the needy in Point Breeze. They did it separately. Johnson is a former state rep in his first term in Council. His district includes parts of Center City, South Philadelphia, Eastwick and Hawthorne, in addition to Point Breeze. Feibush is a high-profile and controversial developer in Point Breeze and elsewhere who will challenge Johnson in next year's election.
February 12, 2013
Sunday's "Town by Town" article incorrectly described the developers of a 64-unit seniors-housing complex at 10th and Ellsworth Streets. Cedars Village is being developed by Ingerman, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Citibank, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, and St. Maron Community Development Corp. The "Big Tent" column Sunday erred in locating the district of U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.). The Fourth District is in the York-Harrisburg area, not the Pittsburgh suburbs.