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You are viewing 34 articles for 2019 by the author Ryan Briggs

    • Lauren Vidas (left) ran as a challenger to incumbent Kenyatta Johnson (right)

In race spotlighting South Philly gentrification, Kenyatta Johnson wins

Call it the urbanist reality check. Urban planning policy generally doesn’t make the cut for election season banter. Candidates run on education, safety, crime, jobs — not development policy. This primary…

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City streets safer than suburban roads, study finds

New research from the University of Pennsylvania shows that denser cities and towns can save lives. The four-year long study compared Pennsylvania Department of Transportation records of all car accidents in…

    • Market-rate town homes are under construction at 3300 Mantua Avenue. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell steered the lot to the project's developer. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Why Philly's councilmanic prerogative isn’t going away

Philadelphia’s 2019 municipal primary will be remembered for the sheer number of candidates running for spots on City Council. But it is also a political cycle in which broad themes like…

    • A rendering for Residences on Race. (Credit: Steven Eizen Real Estate)

17-story condo tower to rise in Comcast Center’s backyard

A string of row houses in Center City are set to come down to make way for a 17-story condo tower proposed just a stone’s throw from the Comcast Center, according…

    • William Bess, 19, (center) with his mother and father on their porch in East Mt. Airy. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Temple U cops sued over alleged racial profiling incident

A black Philadelphia college student has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Temple University Police Department over an alleged May 2017 stop-and-frisk incident. In the filing, plaintiff William Bess…

    • Demolition permits have been filed for this building standing at 1208 Chestnut St. (Ryan Briggs/Google Streetview)

Slim tower to replace Chestnut St. Rainbow building

A residential tower is coming to the 1200 block of Chestnut Street, bringing 49 new apartments to the Center City neighborhood.  The planned nine-story building will replace a vacant storefront last…

    • Daimler's car-sharing service allows users to park anywhere. (Daimler)

New 'park anywhere' car-sharing service vying for a spot on Philly’s jammed streets

After months of lobbying, a German company could be on the cusp of making a new method of car sharing legal in Philadelphia. The company, operated by the Stuttgart-based corporation Daimler…

    • Iron workers help build the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Lawsuit seeks to break Building Trades’ hold on city construction contracts

A lawsuit filed in federal court is challenging Philadelphia’s long-held tradition of reserving city construction work for certain labor unions. But the suit comes from a surprising source: Rival union contractors,…

    • Candidates hold yes signs signaling their agreement with a  proposal at a March candidates forum at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

Most Philly Council candidates oppose the 10-year tax abatement

Philadelphia’s 46 City Council candidates may not agree on much, but the majority do agree on one point –– it’s time to renegotiate the city’s 10-year real estate tax abatement on…

    • Concentrated poverty is growing in certain Philadelphia area suburbs.

Northeast Philly, suburbs become poorer as inner city gentrifies

Philadelphia’s innermost neighborhoods were shedding residents and businesses as the suburbs boomed in the mid-20th century. Moving to a tract house in a place like Levittown in Bucks County or the…

    • The Wharton Centre at 22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A historic haven for black Philadelphians slated for demolition

A string of buildings that once housed one of the city’s first social service providers for black Philadelphians are set to meet the wrecking ball. The Wharton Centre was founded in…

    • Market-rate town homes are under construction at 3300 Mantua Avenue. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell steered the lot to the project's developer. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Blackwell helped a developer get city land. Now he’s hosting a fundraiser for her.

Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell will be feted at a $250- to $1,000-plate campaign fundraising dinner hosted by a for-profit developer who has benefitted from city land sales orchestrated by the…

    • A Philadelphia judge owned this rowhome at 1514 N. Hollywood St. bought the adjacent vacant lots from the city to use as sideyards. He then sold all three properties. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

An end to sweetheart deals? Kenney orders competitive city land sales

Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration issued a directive to all City Council offices Thursday outlining reforms to Philadelphia’s controversial and dysfunctional process for selling unused city-owned land. Many of these sales have…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Philadelphia council introduces bill to phase out soda tax

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney just got handed a new and potentially dire challenge to the city’s soda tax — the signature achievement of his first term. A bill introduced by City…

    • A rendering of a mixed-use development Parkway has proposed for a surface parking lot it owns at the intersection of North Broad and Spring Garden streets. ( BLT Architects/ Parkway Corp.)

Philly's Parkway Corp. seeks $5 million grant for Center City office tower

Parkway Corporation, a parking lot operator with extensive downtown real estate holdings, wants state redevelopment dollars to underwrite the construction of an 18-story office tower near 23rd and Market streets. The…

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Swank swim club to top off former PHA building

The city is building a park on top of I-95, the old Royal Theatre is turning into luxury apartments and now, a swanky rooftop swim club is coming to the Philadelphia…

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A park that makes money? Dilworth generated $2.5 million in 2018

When construction began last month on a second Starbucks-branded cafe in Dilworth Park outside City Hall, some Philadelphians started asking why businesses and ads were in the city-owned plaza at all.…

    • A Philadelphia judge owned this rowhome at 1514 N. Hollywood St. bought the adjacent vacant lots from the city to use as sideyards. He then sold all three properties. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Troubled city land sale office facing takeover after scandals

A once-obscure city office that critics link to Philadelphia’s pay-to-play political culture will soon be taken over by the Philadelphia Land Bank, according to a memorandum of understanding obtained by PlanPhilly.…

    • A city street sweeper cleans Chester Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Filthadelphia no more? Kenney seeks to ‘vastly’ increase street sweeping

Mayor Jim Kenney announced a new anti-litter proposal in his budget address that could bring the city a step closer to shedding the unwanted sobriquet “Filthadelphia.” Kenney said he would seek…

    •  Developer Ken Weinstein at a lot he tried to purchase from the city in Philadelphia’s Wayne Junction neighborhood. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

How City Council broke Philly’s app for selling blighted land

When developer Ken Weinstein wanted to buy two vacant lots from the city of Philadelphia, he went online. The city has an app for selling off its thousands of unused publicly…

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