February 25: Preservation stakes in Sharswood | Design guide for mixed-use affordable housing | LOVE at Dilworth

At Hidden City, Ryan Briggs takes stock of what’s at stake for preservationists in PHA’s Sharswood redevelopment plans. “What makes this project different–and a source of concern to preservationists–is that PHA will also condemn at least 372 structures, including hundreds of row houses and more than two dozen commercial properties along Ridge Avenue, along with more than a thousand vacant lots spread across 40 city blocks.”

Controller Alan Butkovitz says Philadelphia’s tax lien sales are coming up short, writes Tom MacDonald. “The city apparently did not analyze the liens so the ones that were the most marketable were being pushed and they even ended up selling some of the liens to people that are already listed to people who are tax delinquents themselves,” Butkovitz said.

New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Design Trust for Public Space released a new guidebook for ground-floor design in mixed-use affordable housing developments, reports Oscar Perry Abello. “The 87-page guidebook, “Laying the Groundwork: Design Guidelines for Retail and Other Ground-Floor Uses in Mixed-Use Affordable Housing Developments” (print versions available for $20), features checklists, illustrations and real-life examples from NYC as well as from other cities” for how to make commercial space design more than an afterthought in affordable housing developments. 

Frankford CDC commissioned a market study of the Frankford neighborhood to see what kinds of businesses the area needs and would be able to support. Kim Washington is seeking community feedback as part of the study. 

How much of your life are you wasting on your commute? Christopher Ingraham has a darkly intriguing translation of daily time spent in transit into the number of years off your life. 

Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture is hanging out in Dilworth Park while LOVE Park renovations are underway. 

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