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April 29: $70m reno for 401 N. Broad | Cheesecake Factory demo | OpenDataPhilly overhaul | Parking meter hikes | Clarke talks PGW sale, affordable housing

Good morning Streeters. Dodge those raindrops today, because they’re a sure thing tomorrow. Here’s what we’re reading this morning:

401 North Broad is headed for a $70 million renovation and is seeking to fill 300,000 square feet of vacant space. The building is a “telecom hotel,” and “is considered one of the most important mission critical data centers along the East Coast,” writes the Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni.

Make way for the Cheesecake Factory: Foobooz notes that the corner of 15th and Walnut is being demolished.

OpenDataPhilly is getting a $35,000 upgrade thanks to Knight Foundation funding. Technically Philly reports that the project funding comes through the Knight Prototype Fund, and will include technical upgrades, instructional materials and outreach tools. Casey Thomas, formerly of Axis Philly, and OpenDataPhilly’s five-person board, will oversee the project.

It costs $2.50 to park on Walnut Street for an hour but on East Passyunk it costs 50 cents. City Council is considering doubling 50-cent parking meter rates on neighborhood commercial corridors. It’s an effort to funnel a few more million dollars to the struggling school district, the Daily News reports. “The adjustments are modest and we believe will not provide a deterrent to shoppers and visitors in these areas,” said the PPA’s Vincent Fenerty.

Council President Darrell Clarke shared his thoughts on the PGW sale and Clarke’s Affordable Housing Units Initiative in a lengthy interview with the Philadelphia Tribune. Under the affordable housing initiative the city will use publicly owned land to create a mix of affordable rental units and for-purchase housing. “You have these areas that there is a concern about gentrification, with one of those areas being Point Breeze,” Clarke said. “What you end up with is a balanced community, generating revenue from the market-rate sales, building workforce housing and affordable housing.”

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.
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