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.
March 9, 2013 |
It was not much more than 12 hours after neighbors lost the fight to preserve the 130-year-old Bunting House at Roxborough and Ridge Avenues that the gracious, flat-topped stone landmark with maroon trim began to come down. By day's end, it was a pile of rubble. Three months later and still mourning the building's loss, neighbors are fending off a battle on a new front: what will replace it? Will it be a drive-through Wendy's, as rumored? And is the home of the Baconator really a worst-case scenario?
December 31, 2012
Police on Saturday found the body of a man who had been shot in the lower back in a vacant lot on the 5400 block of Akron Street in Philadelphia's Frankford section. A neighbor of the lot reported the body about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Police found the man, about 30 years old, wrapped in a brown comforter and lying face down in the dirt. No other information was available, a police spokeswoman said. - Walter F. Naedele
December 31, 2012 |
Philadelphia police found the body of a man, shot in the lower back, in a rear driveway of a vacant lot on the 5400 block of Akron Street in Frankford, a police spokeswoman said. After a neighbor of the lot called 911 to report the presence of the body at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, police found the man, about 30 years old, wrapped in a brown comforter and lying face down in the dirt. No other information was available, the spokeswoman stated.