April 4: Preservationists drop Boyd Theater challenges | Blatstein buys back Delaware River property | PennDOT to spend $500 million this year | South Street development | Employees caught scrapping metal

Good morning and happy Friday!

Preservationists who had been fighting to protect the historic Boyd Theater’s interior dropped court and administrative challenges that would have required the building owner and developer to preserve the building’s interior, rather than demolish it. The Inquirer reports that the advocates accepted concessions including the developer’s pledge to preserve interior artifacts, create an exhibit on the Boyd’s history in the redeveloped property and create an easement to protect against future efforts to alter the facade. 

Earlier this week we told you that developer Bart Blatstein was reportedly buying a large property on the Delaware River in South Philly. NewsWorks confirmed that Blatstein has purchased the vacant land where a Foxwoods Casino was once going to be built – land Blatstein used to own. The land sits on Columbus Boulevard, along the Delaware River, just north of the Wal-Mart and Home Depot plaza. While Blatstein doesn’t know what he’ll do with the land, he said he will not build a big box shopping center. Blatstein had sold the land previously for more than $60 million but purchased it back for $13 million. 

PennDOT plans to repave, rebuild or replace about $500 million worth of Philadelphia-area roads and bridges this year, The Inquirer reports. Of the 52 local highway projects getting underway this spring, 18 of them – totaling about $134 million – are the result of the new Pennsylvania transportation funding package. Another 16 projects worth about $200 million will be undertaken by SEPTA.

The large lot on the 1400 block of South Street, which has been used for years by the Jamaican Jerk Hut, will be turned into a five-story, 32-unit mixed-use building. The back of the property will be used for three single family homes and one carriage house. Naked Philly has renderings. 

A Philadelphia School District employee and Philadelphia Streets Department employee have been accused of stealing and selling scrap metal, Newsworks reported. The Streets Department employee made at least six trips, pocketing $850. A school district locksmith sold brass parts, including doorknobs and lock cylinders at a value of $1,747 over two years. 

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