April 30, 2014 |
Come October, when discount designer-apparel chain Century 21 opens an outpost at the Gallery at Market East, Philadelphia will gain a part of a New York City retail institution known for both its business acumen and its community engagement. The department-store company last week signed a lease with mall owner Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust to fill 100,000 square feet, mostly on the second floor of the old Strawbridge & Clothier store at 801 Market St. In announcing the agreement, Joseph Coradino, PREIT's chief executive officer, called Century 21 an "iconic" retailer that "meets or exceeds the sales of any luxury department store in most malls in this country.
April 25, 2014 |
Four environmental advocacy groups filed to intervene formally in Sunoco Pipeline L.P.'s application for public utility corporation status, which would exempt its 299-mile Mariner East pipeline to Marcus Hook from local zoning codes. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Clean Air Council, the Pipeline Safety Coalition and the Mountain Watershed Association filed requests by Monday's deadline with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to intervene in the case. The advocacy groups argue that Sunoco does not meet the legal standard for classification as a public utility corporation and should not be exempt from the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
April 22, 2014 |
MOUNT HOLLY On paper, the map of Mount Holly's latest redevelopment zone resembles a squiggling salamander. But to many of the affected homeowners and business proprietors, the map appears to be a battle plan that targets their land. Left alone for decades to carve out a living in this hardscrabble Burlington County town, 119 property owners are now subject to eminent domain if their buildings interfere with the Mount Holly council's vision and sense of aesthetics. "This hits home," Karl Konen, owner of Foreign Car Services, said at a recent meeting, his voice trembling.
April 16, 2014 |
MOUNT HOLLY The township council voted, 3-1, Monday to create a redevelopment zone, after listening to concerns expressed by about a dozen residents and shop owners who worry that their properties may be seized through eminent domain. The 30-acre zone includes 120 businesses and homes in the central part of the township, not far from Mount Holly Gardens, which was declared an "area in need of redevelopment" more than a decade ago, sparking litigation that headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
April 14, 2014 |
MOUNT HOLLY The memory of bulldozers ripping apart rowhouses and menacing the holdouts in a neighborhood that was deemed blighted a decade ago now colors the debate over plans to declare another large area "in need of redevelopment. " The owners of 120 properties in a 30-acre section that borders the Mount Holly Gardens neighborhood recently received certified letters and notices that labeled most of their homes and shops dilapidated, substandard, obsolete, or outdated. The properties would be included in a new redevelopment zone.
April 10, 2014 |
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Phil Mickelson plays the majors these days looking comfortable and confident, and he'll own that same expression this week in the Masters. But it wasn't always that way for the popular lefthander. In his first 11 appearances at Augusta National Golf Club, Mickelson ended up third on four occasions and posted three other finishes in the top 10. He also had come agonizingly close in other majors and had seen his streak as a professional reach 42 starts without a victory prior to the 2004 Masters.
March 25, 2014
IF YOU are a business in Pennsylvania, you can live in a tax paradise without having to move to the Cayman Islands. In some cases, you just have to move across town. In 1998, in order to stimulate job growth, the Legislature created a device called Keystone Opportunity Zones - areas where businesses could move and pay virtually no state and local business taxes for 15 years. Philadelphia has a number of KOZs - the Cira Centre and the Naval Yard, to name just two - where businesses have clustered.
March 21, 2014 |
Under Pennsylvania's Keystone Opportunity Zone Program, 617 businesses received city tax credits worth $384.7 million from 1999 through 2012, according to a report released Wednesday by Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz. But 424 of those firms were partnerships or limited liability companies that had no employees paying wage taxes - the main short-term payoff for Philadelphia under the KOZ program, which virtually eliminates state and local business taxes for companies that move into underdeveloped, desolate areas.
March 9, 2014 |
MANTUA Walking through trash-strewn lots and past dilapidated houses, Mayor Nutter and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante listened to officials and community leaders talk about the future transformation of Mantua. The tour was the first one for city and federal officials since President Obama designated Mantua a Promise Zone. "We will bring back Mantua," the mayor said. The one-hour jaunt, which started at 37th and Brown Streets and ended about an hour later at 35th Street and Fairmount Avenue, allowed the entourage to envision possibilities, such as a transit stop at Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Mantua Avenue, and a 10-block greenway along Mantua, a street now littered with diapers and other trash.
March 2, 2014 |
MIDDLETOWN TWP. A decade after the Franklin Mint closed, its round museum building still sits vacant along busy Baltimore Pike in Delaware County. Development of the prominent property has been plagued by opposition from residents, a slow economy, and - most recently - a legal battle among the developers. But the plan took a step forward this week when a revised zoning ordinance won approval from the Middletown Township Council. The site, with more than 170 acres, could now have 350 townhouses, offices, retail space, and a hotel.