Blumenfeld partners on Metropolitan Opera House | Station at Manayunk and Paine Park break ground | 52nd St renovations | more NE red light cameras | water main break at 42nd and Market

The restoration of North Broad’s Metropolitan Opera House now has developer Eric Blumenfeld in its corner. The Inquirer’s Jennifer Lin visited the decaying, incredible building with Blumenfeld, and spoke with its owner, Reverend Mark Hatcher. Hatcher purchased the building for $250,000 in 1996, saving it from demolition, and has been talking with Blumenfeld nearly since then. The two signed an agreement two weeks ago to work together to bring the building back to its full potential. Why now? Hatcher said: “He was always telling me, ‘Reverend, you keep holding onto the Metropolitan and when I move on the Divine Lorraine, your project is next.'”

On a bluff overlooking the Manayunk Canal next to the Ivy Ridge Train Station, a four-building 149-unit apartment complex will soon rise. Amy Z. Quinn reports for PlanPhilly/NewsWorks that The Station At Manayunk project officially broke ground on Friday and is expected to cost $40 million.

Franklin’s Paine Park, Philly’s long-awaited skatepark, broke ground off the Parkway last week and the project organizers have high hopes for hosting major events, Flying Kite reports. The project has already attracted lots of attention, in part because “it is considered to be the first open space in the country designed specifically with skateboarders in mind.” Construction on the park should be completed by mid-2013.

After nearly $300,000 in streetscape improvements, will West Philly’s once-thriving 52nd Street commercial corridor draw more businesses and customers? The Daily News reports that after the large canopies were removed, 21 business owners benefitted from storefront improvement grants. “We’re hoping that it will change the overall perception of the corridor to bring more people out,” said Aiisha Herring-Miller of the Commerce Department.

New red-light cameras installed this summer in far Northeast Philly will be activated early Friday morning, NEast Philly reports. The cameras are at the intersections of Bustleton Avenue and Byberry Road, Academy Road and Grant Avenue, and Woodhaven and Knights roads. At first drivers caught by the cameras will be warned, but after December 18 the fine will be $100.

And, yes, another water main broke today: this time a 12-inch line on the 4200 block of  Market. This is becoming surreal.

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

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