September 19, 2016 |
James Seward, the son of a South Carolina sharecropper, stayed connected to his roots through a vacant lot next to his West Philadelphia home where he cleared the brush and planted collards and cabbage, giving away what his family couldn't eat. But a few years ago, the lot was bought by a developer. A vinyl-sided home, the kind shooting up all over the neighborhood of West Powelton, grew in its place. Seward began volunteering at the community garden across the street. Now developers are eyeing that land, too. It's not the only garden facing potential closure in the rapidly developing area, which has been identified as one in need of community-garden preservation by a nonprofit devoted to the cause.
April 18, 2016 |
For a native such as David Waxman, Philadelphia's current building boom is one for the books. "It's crazy," said Waxman, who, with Aaron Smith and Jacob Roller, is developing for-sale and mixed-use properties as MM Partners. "I grew up here," said Waxman, a graduate of Friends Select School and Boston University. "I've never seen anything like it. " The trio has long focused on Brewerytown - the five-story Braverman Building at 2617-19 W. Girard Ave. is their latest - but MM Partners' $45 million in completed projects since its start in 2008 are not limited to one neighborhood.
March 28, 2016 |
A man died after being shot Saturday night on the 1500 block of North 19th Street in North Philadelphia, police said. Police responded to a call of gunshots at about 12:40 a.m. They found a man with a gunshot wound to his chest in a vacant lot. He was transported to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he died. Police did not release the victim's identity. No arrests have been made. email@example.com 610-313-8232 @Kathy_Boccella
June 14, 2015 |
Jim Nichols came to the auction ready to spend. But his $6,000 limit - more than twice the advertised opening bid for the vacant lot at 2646 Ritter St. in Kensington - never stood a chance. "Wow," he said, his auction card wrapped tightly in his hand, where it would remain as a man in the front bid $10,000. "It's because they're building over that whole street. " The number swelled higher, then stopped - "Sold!" - at $25,000. Nichols hadn't seen that coming. And neither had the auction's organizer, City Councilman Mark Squilla, who had hoped Friday's modest sale of city-owned lots in his district would bring in $1 million.
May 19, 2015 |
AS GIFTS GO, this one might not seem like much: a vacant lot so full of debris that a dozen trash bins wouldn't be enough to clear it down to the dirt. But to Ellis Ferrell, the lot on Fletcher Street near 26th in Strawberry Mansion is heaven-sent. For decades, Ferrell, 76, has longed for land of his own to build stables and a clubhouse for the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, of which he is president. The club has been around since the 1950s, squatting on a field across the street from that vacant lot on Fletcher Street.
May 2, 2015 |
Andrew Olson, a horticulturist and co-owner of Farm 51, a West Philadelphia vegetable garden, spends his days navigating all the familiar obstacles that come with farming on vacant lots: limited water access, soil contamination, land tenure, and security concerns. But these days his harvest is fewer turnips, more tulips. Last fall, he and business partner Erica Maust launched Chicory, an urban flower farm and design studio on two quarter-acre parcels, one in West Philadelphia and another in Roxborough.
August 29, 2014
WHEN ADAM Lang got a bill in July from the Water Revenue Bureau, it hit him like an ALS bucket of ice. Part of the jolt was the amount - $760.60 due on a property he bought at a Philadelphia Housing Authority auction in April 2012. The bill jumped to $943.62 in August. The biggest shock was the address. The bill was for water used at 2047 Master St., an empty lot. There is no building on it now and there was no building on it when he bought it. A computer network engineer, Lang also bought a house at 2129 Master St. at the same time, both as investments.
December 16, 2013 |
CODE OFFICERS looking to rid nuisance conditions in locked-up, vacant lots around town just might get a pair of shears to gain access, if a bill becomes law by the end of January. Legislation passed in City Council on Thursday would allow workers in city's Community Life Improvement Programs, or CLIP, to clip the locks on vacant and abandoned fenced-in lots whose owners are either lost, unknown or unresponsive. The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, gives greater power to CLIP, which works to improve the appearance of neighborhoods and eradicate blight.
October 26, 2013
Bliss not Christie's Contrary to popular opinion, Gov. Christie is not to be congratulated for dropping his challenge to state Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson's declaration of marriage equality ("Across New Jersey, making it official," Oct. 22). It was Christie, in the first place, who had a tantrum when rebuked by the courts, and immediately said he was going to drag his losing issue all the way to the state Supreme Court, wasting even more taxpayer dollars. Even after conceding defeat, Christie still mumbled his sour grapes about how marriage equality ought to have been settled by a voter referendum.
September 11, 2013 |
THE MOMENT Mayor Nutter got to their neighborhood for a ceremony to open a new basketball court, the women of North Sydenham Street began plotting to get him on their block. They dutifully attended the festivities Friday at nearby Heritage Park. They enthusiastically applauded the state-of-the-art court donated by Beyond Sports and ESPN. They nodded when organizers and residents noted what a boost such a gift would be for a neighborhood that just months ago was begging the city to replace a basketball hoop inside the park.