You are viewing 74 articles for 2019 by the author Jake Blumgart

    • screen shot 2019 05 06 at 6 09 42 pm

Protections for Philly parking industry workers advance at City Hall

Two City Council bills aimed at regulating labor practices in Philadelphia’s parking industry advanced easily at a hearing on Monday. One bill would require that industry employers show “just cause” before…

    • Curtis Jones in City Council chambers

Eight Philly locales likely to be off limits for medical marijuana dispensaries

Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones doesn’t want City Line Avenue to become “the Atlantic City of recreational and medical marijuana.” That’s why he introduced a bill last year to ban medical marijuana…

    • View of the garden entrance to the condo project behind the Dilworth House

Society Hill’s Dilworth House condo tower wins final city approval

After almost two decades of legal disputes and neighborhood enmity, a proposed super-luxury 12-story condo development behind the Dilworth House cleared its final hurdle this week. A Wednesday presentation to the…

    • Anastasi Seafood in the Italian Market. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Protecting the Italian Market’s walkability is the goal of new City Council bill

Councilman Mark Squilla is stepping into a fight over a driveway that opponents say threatens the pedestrian nature of the Italian Market. The driveway in question would interrupt 9th Street south…

    • A former garage located behind homes on 51st Street is slated for redevelopment into an apartment building. (Kim Paynter/WHYY)

Yes in your backyard? Apartment building to rise behind West Philly homes

Hidden behind the stately townhomes to the northeast of West Philadelphia’s Malcolm X Park, there lies an abandoned auto garage. Covered in creeping vines and sprouting saplings from its empty windows,…

    • Permits have been filed to build apartments on the sit of this partially demolished church.

278 apartments will rise on site of partially demolished Gothic-style West Philly church

A massive new apartment building will rise on the site of the partially demolished Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Church on 43rd and Chestnut streets in University City, according to construction permits…

    • 4136 Mitchell St: rendering | KCA Design Associates, January '17 CDR

Kenyatta Johnson introduces reform to ‘fresh food’ zoning bonus that rewarded developers for ‘bananas in the window’

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wants to overhaul a development incentive designed to bring fresh fruit and vegetables into Philadelphia neighborhoods without grocery stores. The zoning bonus for developers who put “fresh…

    • 2019 04 18 e lee erika almiron kendra brooks philadelphia city hall tax abatement protest

Allan Domb has made millions selling Philly real estate. Now critics want him to recuse himself on the city’s tax abatement

A group of activists wants Allan Domb out of City Council. They say he shouldn’t be making decisions about development policy because of his lucrative second job as one of Center…

    • Recycling bins on Cuthbert Street in Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Streets Department: Philadelphia to stop burning recyclables

The Philadelphia Streets Department is responsible for a host of important functions including trash pickup, road safety infrastructure, and street sweeping (or not). But few of these policy areas were given…

    • Philadelphia fire commissioner Adam Thiel at The Original Apostolic Faith Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in North Philadelphia in March of 2018.

Q&A: How Philly’s firefighters keep the city’s historic buildings safe

Philadelphia is an especially historic city and one that is especially fire-prone too. Neighborhoods like Old City have seen a series of conflagrations in recent years, as historic buildings without…

    • Siobhan Reardon stands in the Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement, part of a massive renovation of the Parkway Central Library. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philly councilwoman calls for Free Library director to step down

The Philadelphia Free Library leadership faced harsh questioning from City Council in the wake of controversies about racial and religious diversity in the system. “You need to do more, you need…

    • Derek Green | Emma Lee/WHYY

Councilman proposes change to Philly bidding system to boost small businesses

Philadelphia Councilman Derek Green wants to make it easier for small businesses to win contracts with the city. “This would help us to keep dollars in the city of Philadelphia, in…

    • Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon wears a Local 98 T-shirt at the Labor Day parade in 2016. Henon's office at City Council was searched by the FBI a month before. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Indicted Bobby Henon pushes for more L&I inspectors, dominates budget hearing

Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections met with rapturous praise at its Wednesday budget hearing, as City Council members suggested that the agency ask for far more funding than officials planned…

    • A house once stood on an empty lot on Tulip Street in Old Richmond. It collapsed because of faulty demo next door. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Illegal construction is causing an uptick in building collapses. Will Philly hire more inspectors?

Jim Hopp didn’t know it would be his last time seeing his childhood home whole when he pulled up to pick up the mail a month ago. The Fishtown house was…

    • All Day Breakfast at the corner of 3rd and Market | Theresa Stigale

City Council bill targets Philadelphia food trucks

Northeast Philly Councilman Brian O’Neill wants to ban sidewalk vendors in his district. If the legislation gets the needed approval votes, it would be the second district-wide ban, making food trucks…

    • A demolition permit was filed for the  19th Street Baptist Church.

City taskforce unveils new approach to preservation aimed at saving unrecognized Philly history

Historic buildings often get knocked down because owners can’t afford to keep them standing. A package of legislative and regulatory reforms introduced by Mayor Jim Kenney and other city leaders Thursday…

    • Artist's rendering of Midwood's proposed Italian Market apartment building, as seen from Washington Avenue and Ninth Street looking east.

Could a driveway kill the Italian Market?

The entrance to an underground parking garage has become the latest flashpoint in a fiery battle over the future of the Italian Market. A crowd of South Philadelphia residents waited hours…

    • An aerial view of the 1800 block of East Hilton Street, where a supervised injection site has been proposed.

Councilman Mark Squilla moves to block supervised injection site

Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill that could prevent the nation’s first supervised injection site from opening at the Kensington location secured by project backers. Squilla on Thursday in City…

    • Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown is shown in City Council chambers. (Nathaniel Hamilton for WHYY, file)

Lead-safety bill passes Philly City Council, more ambitious companion measure stalled

The city of Philadelphia will soon be required to have inspectors give many refurbished municipal buildings lead safety certifications. The proposed regulation is part of a sweeping lead-safety legislative package introduced…

    • Caption/Description: James Smith Jr. rents a room in Victor Pickney's rooming house. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Rooms for rent: Inside Philadelphia’s shadow housing market

James Smith Jr. got lucky. The 68-year-old pays $80 a week to live in a safe building in Brewerytown, one of the city’s quickly gentrifying neighborhoods. He moved in five years…

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