April 12: North Broad rising | Wiota Street Garden sale | MeterUP out

MeterUP, PPA’s parking payment app, was shut down at midnight Tuesday night, due to unpaid bills by parent company Pango USA. According to PPA, “Pango was recently late paying the PPA parking revenue, and two weeks ago it shut down its Philadelphia office without notification.” Jason Laughlin reviews how Pango came to town and mysteriously left. PPA will issue an RFP for a new parking app at the end of the week.

The historic restoration of Divine Lorraine anchors kicks off North Broad’s long anticipated revival. However, “significant chunks of North Broad’s historic architecture currently stand unprotected.” Hidden City traces developer Eric Blumenfeld’s efforts in the neighborhood and the buildings that Divine Lorraine’s success may save or make more vulnerable.

The Redevelopment Authority board will vote on the fate of the decades-old Wiota Street Garden in West Philadelphia on Wednesday. In a no-bid process Developer AJR Endeavors LLC is purchasing the land, where it plans to build eight single-family homes. The Inquirer reports that neighbors and advocates were surprised and question “whether there was community involvement in the decision.” Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s office says that four of the six Registered Community Organizations in the surrounding area supported the sale by a vote in July 2016. The resolution to sell the property says it is “at the direction” of the councilwoman, but she told philly.com that she did not authorize the sale. John Lindsay who started the garden in 1984 and has fought back development, says “Jannie double-crossed us.” 

Penn announced that Acme will replace the flagship Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut after the Fresh Grocer failed to renew its lease by a November 2015 deadline, Philadelphia Magazine’s Sandy Smith reports. But the Fresh Grocer is staying put, and is taking Penn to court, rejecting “Penn’s contention that the lease is now no longer in effect.” The supermarket will continue to operate as landlord-tenant dispute remains scheduled for a trial. 

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, while undergoing $525 million transformation, has turned its 450-foot-long construction fencing into an outdoor gallery featuring reproductions of 75 works of art, Co.Design reports. In what the design firm Pentagram calls “constructionism,” the wall aims to cover the work in progress while making art accessible to the public, in an effort to combat the “high-culture and elitist” image of traditional museum-going.

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