April 14: SEPTA official to work for smart card consultant | Old City’s vexing blight | Johnson v. Feibush: vacant land | Mid-City YWCA annex gone | Franklin Flea returns

Welcome to the working week, Streeters. Today brings another beautiful warm spell and the beginning of Passover.

An official who oversaw SEPTA’s new payment technology project has retired and gone to work for the company that is helping SEPTA transition to smart cards. The Inquirer reports that John McGee, formerly Seta’s chief officer of new payment technologies, is not allowed to work on the SEPTA project for his first year at LTK Engineering Services. SEPTA contends that McGee’s departure will not add delays to the slow-moving transition to smart cards, which is anticipated to begin in fall.

Even as Old City becomes more desirable there are confounding pockets of neglect and dereliction. Inga Saffron echoes the refrain that these problems stem from a tough combination of inherited buildings owned by families or individuals, spotty public enforcement, and speculation.

The campaign contest between Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and his challenger developer Ori Feibush is now playing out in vacant land dispositions. Johnson rejected the approved transfer of two city-owned lots in Point Breeze to Feibush for market-rate development.

Gone is the long-vacant Mid-City YWCA annex on the 2000 block of Chestnut. The Daily News reports Aquinas Realty Partners and city officials celebrated an official groundbreaking last week, making way for a 12-story tower that should be completed later this year.

The Franklin Flea will return for a run in the former Strawbridge’s space at 8th and Market for six Saturdays. The Inquirer reports that the Franklin Flea, a market with vendors selling handcrafted goods and antiques, will be inside the Strawbridge’s first floor from April 19-May 24.

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