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    • 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…

    • This rendering shows a perspective view of Liberty on the River's first phase of development. (Barton Partners Architects)

Developer to extend Delaware River trail for OK on extra-tall towers

A mega development coming to the Delaware River waterfront will include a swath of a long-planned river trail in exchange for permission to build taller towers than local regulations permit. Developer…

    • There was a full house at Janes Memorial United Methodist Church for a community meeting on the future of Germantown's old high school building. (Michaela Winberg/Billy Penn)

Germantown High reimagined as $30 million housing development — with a lot of question marks

At last, for Germantown residents, there was an end to the silence. Northwest Philly packed the pews of Janes Memorial United Methodist Church on Monday evening when, after two years, they…

    • Marilyn Rodriguez was formerly a teacher at Fairhill Elementary School (Kimberly Paytner/WHYY)

From schools to scourge: Why 7 Philly schools remain empty 5 years after going on the auction block

Broken glass, withered pieces of cardboard and used diapers lay at the front door of former Fairhill Elementary School. Graffiti pierces through a careless paint job. Windows are pried open. Marilyn…

    • 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…

    • 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…

    • 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…

    • ap 19105714468392 1024x684
Eyes on the Street

Rebuilding from loss in Philadelphia and Paris

Like a lot of people, I spent half a minute on Monday afternoon in stunned silence watching a video of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris go up in flames. For…

    • 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…

    • Rev. Clarence Hester and Tinamarie Russell point to North Station District development site. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Neighbors want a role in building North Station District

Latonya Talford had questions for the New York investors behind an ambitious plan to transform her quiet North Philadelphia neighborhood into a highrise village that developers and local officials are calling…

    • 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…

    • 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…

    • 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.…

    •  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…

    • Comcast will not pay property taxes on the value of its soaring 1.2 billion Technology Center until 2027 thanks to the 10-year  abatement. (Comcast)

Domb proposes 10-year tax abatement reform

After more than a year of sharp debate over Philadelphia’s 10-year property tax abatement, City Councilman Allan Domb has introduced legislation to shrink — but not substantially change — the controversial…

    • St. Laurentius Church is a Fishtown landmark. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

City wants to rezone St. Laurentius and sidestep legal drama

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission unanimously recommended a spot zoning bill that would allow St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown to become apartments without any further public approvals. The bill, reviewed at…

    • Midtown II diner (Google Street View)

High-rise hotel coming to the site of the former Midtown II diner in Center City

From greasy spoon to silver spoon. The site at 122 S.11th Street in Philadelphia once occupied by Midtown II Restaurant is set to become a 14-story, 86-room hotel with restaurants on…

    • Emanuel Lutheran Church, more recently Phat Quang Buddhist Temple, on 4th Street in Queen Village. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Buddhist monks cash out with ‘secret’ sale of historic South Philly church

A 150-year-old Queen Village church turned Buddhist temple is on a path toward residential reincarnation. The pending metamorphosis is no shocker from a real estate perspective — sacred spaces across the…

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