February 26: City and white-collar union reach deal | Coyle fallout continues | PHA planning to redevelop Blumberg site | Beer on Independence Mall | Mercantile Library | ‘Quaker Zeus’ | Mike Schmidt, broadcaster

Happy Wednesday, Streeters. 

The city and its white-collar union have reached a long-awaited, tentative deal addressing pension plans, health benefits and three wage increases. The Inquirer reports that deal is expected to cost $122 over the next five years, which Mayor Nutter acknowledged would present “a substantial challenge for our budget but one that we believe is warranted on behalf of our employees and taxpayers.” AFSCME District Council 47’s members still must vote to ratify the deal.

The fallout from slumlord Robert Coyle’s empire in Kensington and Port Richmond continues, the Inquirer reports. After hundreds of Coyle’s properties went into foreclosure, Kenpor, a holding company, struck a deal with the city in 2012 to rescue about 100 of Coyle’s properties, pay the city $300,000 and put $630,000 in escrow to pay for rehabs or demolition. But now the city hasn’t been paid, the properties continue to rack up violations and Kenpor wants to walk away. The city will serve Kenpor with a notice of default and demand it makes good on its obligations.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is mobilizing to remove and redevelop the Norman Blumberg Apartments, a low-income housing project in North Philadelphia. AxisPhilly reports that Phase I of Blumberg redevelopment received tax credit funding from the state and meetings are starting with neighbors. The towers look like they’ll be coming down and PHA is leading a planning effort with a host of partners to develop a new vision for the site.

The foreboding Rohm & Haas building (now home to Dow) on Independence Mall will get a beer garden this summer. Michael Klein reports that restaurateur Michael Schulson will control 30,000 square feet at the base of the building and Groundswell has been brought in to design the space. Groundswell is the design force behind Morgan’s Pier, PHS’s recent pop-up garden, and Winterfest at Penn’s Landing. Think pergolas, trees, food trucks, and shuffleboard.

Anyone want to buy the mid-century modern Mercantile Library at 10th and Chestnut? It’s back on the market, this time for $1.7 million, reports Naked Philly and shares photos of past and present. The library building is listed in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

PhillyHistory explores the story of how of Philadelphia “Quaker Zeus” came to top City Hall, and how Alexander Milne Calder chose to depict William Penn.

Again, the only really good news coming out of spring training is the broadcast team. The Daily News reports that Phillies legend Mike Schmidt will join the broadcast team for all 13 Phillies Sunday home games this season.

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