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Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 8, 2016 | By William Bender, STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
September 28, 2012
The rift between the city and Ori Feibush has been moving closer to healing, with both sides saying they are working on an agreement that would allow the Point Breeze developer to lease the disputed trash-cleared lot near his coffee shop until the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority sells it. Paul Chrystie, a spokesman for the authority, said the sides had not signed anything but hoped to reach a deal soon. - Miriam Hill  
NEWS
September 27, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The rift between the city and Ori Feibush has been moving closer to healing, with both sides saying they are working on an agreement that would allow the Point Breeze developer to lease the lot until the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, or PRA, sells it. Paul Chrystie, a spokesman for the PRA, said the two sides had not signed anything yet but hoped to reach a deal soon. News organizations around the world had picked up the story of how Feibush cleared trash from the lot at 20th and Annin streets and added landscaping out of frustration with ongoing blight there, only to have the city tell him to stop the improvements.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
May 17, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Columnist
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.
NEWS
November 15, 2012 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
CITY COUNCIL'S Rules Committee moved forward with a controversial plan Tuesday that would allow the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) to take more than two dozen properties through eminent domain to build affordable housing in Point Breeze. A month ago, that plan, sponsored by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson on behalf of the Nutter administration, included 43 properties, some of which private developers owned and planned to develop. PRA had since reduced the number of properties it will condemn to 28, including 17 privately owned and 11 city-owned properties, after it found that owners have projects under way, applied for permits or are using the lots as side yards to their residences.
NEWS
September 28, 2012 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Daily News Staff Writer
The brew-haha over the cleaned-up, vacant lot next to the coffee shop owned by Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush may end this week. "I'm considering an option to lease the property, where my office will take over 100 percent liability of the lot and maintain it as public space," Feibush said Thursday. The lease would remain in effect until the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority sells the lot, on 20th Street, near Federal. Feibush has made no bones about the fact that he's been trying to buy it. "We want to make sure there is an open bidding process and that when the property does go up for auction, language [in the agreement]
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 7, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
May 18, 2016 | By Solomon Jones
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.
NEWS
May 17, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Columnist
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.
NEWS
May 8, 2016 | By William Bender, STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
February 11, 2016 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
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.
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