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BUSINESS
May 18, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The company that Joseph F. Coradino leads took a lot of heat over the Gallery. Critics lashed out at the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which includes the Center City mall among the dozens it runs nationwide, for shutting stores and cutting merchants off from their livelihoods. Even the promise of a glittering new shopping mall in a tired section of Market Street East didn't seem to turn down the temperature. But the critics didn't understand the whole story, says Coradino, 63, chief executive of PREIT.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brownstein Group and Vault Communications are in similar businesses: advertising and public relations, which means their success depends largely on people - who can set up shop anywhere. Brownstein is in Center City, while Vault is in Plymouth Meeting, and the tax consequences of their locations separate them far more than the 19 miles between their offices. Vault pays a business privilege tax of 0.15 percent and no local net income tax in Plymouth Township. Brownstein's tax bill in Philadelphia includes a 6.45 percent corporate income tax, a 0.1415 percent gross receipts tax, a 1.13 percent use and occupancy tax, and a 2 percent city sales tax. That heavier tax burden, coupled with the Philadelphia wage tax that is nearly four times higher than the average in the suburbs, has long handicapped the city's job growth.
REAL_ESTATE
May 11, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
It didn't matter when Philadelphia's median home price was $59,000. Back in 1990, the children of longtime owners of rowhouses in the river wards and West Philadelphia walked away from those properties when the last parent passed away. The houses weren't worth the taxes, and no one was interested in them except those who broke the locks and stripped the insides of copper and anything else they thought was worth a buck. Some neighborhoods didn't even have real-estate agents. If someone's son or daughter needed a house and a neighbor had died, the transaction was done off the grid but recorded with the city.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
There's nothing fancy about the ensemble of redbrick houses that line the 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue in Powelton Village. Built in the late 1870s, when the avenue linked country farms to city markets, the modest, wood-trimmed buildings housed working people who tended shops on the ground floor. Folks still live upstairs today, and neighborhood businesses - bike store, nail salon, day-care center - still pepper the storefronts below. Such blocks are what make Philadelphia, well, Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
April 27, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The speedy growth of Nicholas Schorsch 's real estate empire of 4,000 Walmarts, Red Lobsters , and other chain locations stalled last fall, when his publicly traded investment firm, American Realty Capital Properties , admitted falsely inflating profits. Last month, the company restated three years of earnings, acknowledged millions in unreported losses, and replaced top bosses. American Realty's admission - amid what the company said are investigations by federal prosecutors in New York, securities regulators in Massachusetts, and the Securities and Exchange Commission - has given investors ammunition to fix blame for the $3 billion decline in the company's share value since last fall.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
When was the last time anybody said, "Please raise my taxes"? But that was the message Gerard Sweeney, president and chief executive of Brandywine Realty Trust, one of the region's largest commercial real estate developers, delivered Wednesday at a news conference outside City Hall. "We're prepared to pay more to make our city grow," Sweeney said. The proposal, backed by organized labor and civic and business associations, would change the city's tax structure by increasing the tax rate for commercial real estate above the rate for homes.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. When the housing bubble exploded in 2007, it ripped away nearly 25 percent of the value of Bristol Township's homes. For many in this Bucks County community, short sales and foreclosures followed, slowly and painfully, over the next five years. Veteran Coldwell Banker Hearthside agent Ellen M. Cassidy, who has been selling homes here for three decades, offers this welcome news: The real estate market has started to improve.
BUSINESS
April 17, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than half the suburban real estate agents involved in Philadelphia transactions during the four years ended June 30, 2014, did not comply with license and tax requirements, according to a survey by the Philadelphia Office of the Controller. Of the 389 agents surveyed, 108 responded, and 56 of them admitted that they did not have a commercial activity license or a business income and receipts tax account number. Those agents accounted for $56 million during the period under study, which means the city missed out on $380,000 in taxes from those sales.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Despite the lingering downturn and the "tiny house" craze, mostly upscale suburban buyers continue to favor larger new houses on ever-shrinking building lots. The age of the buyer doesn't seem to matter. About 43 percent of 2,000 adults surveyed nationally would prefer homes bigger than what they live in now, the real estate search engine Trulia found. Baby boomers preferred bigger by a narrow margin, while millennials and those considered Generation X favored larger in even-greater numbers.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of the nation's biggest retail landlords says it has turned the page on last year's troubles and is ready to grow again. Five months after its stock lost more than half its value in a financial-reporting scandal, American Realty Capital Properties (Nasdaq: ARCP), one of many firms set up by Jenkintown scrap-metal heir-turned-property mogul Nicholas Schorsch, still controls impressive assets: nearly 5,000 Lowe's building-supply stores, Red Lobster restaurants, CVS pharmacies, Citizens Bank branches, and others, totaling over 100 million square feet.
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