Welcome to the working week, Streeters. Today is the last day to register to vote before the primary election on May 20. Here’s how to register.
One Riverside’s new design is better for all, wrote Inga Saffron in her Friday column. Neighbors and developer Carl Dranoff negotiated to improve the proposed tower on a wedge of land near the Schuylkill Banks Locust Street entrance . Dranoff got an extra floor of height and in exchange the neighborhood got no more blank street-level walls, underground parking, fewer curb cuts, and breathing room for the community garden next door. “The big surprise isn’t just that the new version is superior; it’s that both sides enthusiastically agree it’s better. Dranoff says he will break ground in the fall.”
The Board of Revision of Taxes is plodding through 23,000 appeals of reassessments under the Actual Value Initiative and demanded a pay increase to work harder. A Daily News editorial decries the BRT’s approach to its job evaluating appeals, reminding us that their poky pace is costing the school district money since appealing property owners pay their old rate. “The difference between the old rate and the new one for those cases under appeal is about $5 million for the district alone. And that’s just for this year’s appeals. At its current rate, the last of the appeals for next year’s tax bills will be five years away.”
The Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the first phase of a residential redevelopment plan for the Mt. Sinai hospital site at South 4th and Reed streets. The Inquirer reports that construction on 37 rowhouses could begin soon. Meanwhile the developer is pursuing tax credits for rehabilitating the hospital into apartments. Passyunk Post wonders if residents prefer the contemporary rowhouses first shown or the neo-traditional designs that the developer is pursuing?
Efforts to make the Vietnam War Memorial at Spruce Street and Columbus Boulevard a more inviting, attractive place are underway. The Daily News reports that work involves opening the site up to the street, moving huge granite slabs depicting scenes of the war, and installing new concrete. There is an online campaign to help close the budget gap.
The Enterprise Center plans to open the Venture Acceleration Center in its headquarters next month, West Philly Local reports. Through the Venture Acceleration Center startup companies can take advantage of business coaching, learn from each other, and use a new coworking space. Businesses in construction, beauty, hair and food industries open for six months are eligible to use the Venture Acceleration Center. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more at an event on Saturday.