March 21, 2013
More snake eyes on casino plans? Imagine that a choice must be made among six massive development proposals, ranging from $400 million to $900 million in capital investment. The agency charged with this important decision has no urban redevelopment experience, has not engaged consultants in the fields of architecture and planning, and is not accountable to the city in which the development will take place. What could possibly go wrong? Actually, that is the situation with the state Gaming Control Board in its second effort to pick a casino site for Philadelphia.
February 3, 2013 |
Brandywine Realty Trust says it will redevelop 1900 Market St., which houses Nasdaq's Philadelphia Stock Exchange operations and investment and law offices, "as a Class A office building. " Work will start next year and be done by 2015, the company said. Separately, Brandywine, of Radnor, has asked Campus Crest Communities, a Georgia company known mostly for building student housing at suburban and small-town colleges in the South and West, to put up student housing on a site approved for a 36-story high-rise at 2930 Chestnut St. in University City, according to two real estate industry sources familiar with the deal.
December 17, 2012
Chuck Ulmann, who has lived a few minutes outside the borough proper for the last 42 years, has kindly agreed to provide as comprehensive a tour of West Chester as six hours allows. Ulmann, who worked in the pharmaceuticals industry from college through retirement, is not only well-versed in West Chester's architectural history but has, over the years, shepherded groups through the borough's streets and alleys, showing them the highlights. In the first hour of the tour, Ulmann proves that just about every style of housing from the early 19th century to 2012 is represented in West Chester.
December 15, 2012 |
Nancy Jamanow pulled into a parking lot on Main Street in Marlton last week and gazed at the "For Sale" sign on the vacant Beneficial Bank building. "I love this building. I really wish we could do something with it," Jamanow, Evesham's development director, said of the Federal-style brick structure. "But it needs so many upgrades to be compliant. I think it would be very, very difficult to save. " Built in 1927 and topped by a louvered cupola, the former Farmers & Mechanics Bank is one of seven vacant or "underutilized" commercial properties the township has identified for possible inclusion in a redevelopment plan.
November 23, 2012 |
Saying it had run out of patience with the owners of long-neglected commercial properties, Evesham's township council has embarked on a plan to revitalize or even condemn sites it deems blighted or eyesores. "It's hammer time," Mayor Randy Brown told the council Tuesday night after its members agreed informally to begin establishing a redevelopment plan with authority to designate the properties and take steps to improve them. Under state guidelines, a redevelopment plan allows municipalities to grant tax incentives of up to 30 years for the improvement of sites deemed unsafe, unsanitary, or abandoned, and to use eminent domain to seize sites whose owners persistently neglect them.
October 25, 2012 |
Efforts to secure public financing to redevelop the Gallery at Market East are a "work in progress" and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust is working on "a number of government concessions that need to occur," Preit chief executive Joseph F. Coradino told investors Wednesday in a quarterly earnings call. "The scope and scale of the project is going to be driven to a great extent by the amount of public financing that we end up getting," Coradino said. The Philadelphia-based regional shopping mall owner reported a quarterly net loss of $14.7 million, or 27 cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept.
October 20, 2012 |
Everybody used to call it The Strip, and it was an avenue worthy of the nickname. For decades, West Philadelphia's 52d Street was one of the city's premier boulevards, a regional retail magnet and an entertainment corridor with nightclubs, restaurants, and as many as five movie theaters. More recently, though, 52d Street has been, in the words of Mayor Nutter, "a hot mess. " Like so many of Philadelphia's neighborhood commercial districts, the 52d Street corridor was clobbered by the rise of malls and the overall decline of its surrounding residential neighborhoods.
October 11, 2012 |
Reeling from negative publicity over its handling of a trash-filled lot in Point Breeze, Philadelphia's Redevelopment Authority has a new controversy on its hands there. Real estate investors are complaining that the city plans to take their land for affordable housing in the up-and-coming neighborhood just south of Center City, depriving them of the ability to build, profit, and pay taxes. "The city has dozens of lots. Why don't they do something with them first?" asked Turlough Harte, whose company, Harte Investments, owns two parcels in the 1200 block of South 17th Street that are on a list of 43 properties slated for takeover by PRA. Indeed, the city or other government agencies own 311 lots in the neighborhood.
March 10, 2012 |
By the time all the dignitaries, friends, and others close to former Camden Mayor Melvin R. "Randy" Primas Jr. arrived at his funeral Friday, most were done mourning. Friday's ceremony, which started with a two-hour viewing and concluded with a 90-minute "home-going" service at St. John Baptist Church in East Camden, featured more laughs than tears. It was a reunion for current and former politicians, clergy and residents. People hugged and waved from opposite sides of the church, which was filled with nearly 1,000 people.