June 6: Shopping Center conversion | DeFelice to HUD | SustainPHL nominees

Would you live at the shopping center at 23rd and Oregon? Its owner, Cedar Realty Trust, wants to rework the center by adding low-rise buildings with ground-floor retail, topped with residential units. Jacob Adelman writes it is part of a growing trend to add retail to otherwise struggling malls and shopping centers to help insulate owners against the instability of brick and mortar chain stores.

Former Philadelphia GOP chairman Joe DeFelice will be the Trump administration’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator for the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reports the Business Journal. DeFelice is from Mayfair and stayed involved in the neighborhood, serving as president of its civic association and chair of Mayfair Community Development Corporation.

Federal prosecutors allege that Renee Tartaglione, of the powerful Philadelphia political dynasty, money-laundered and used a shell company to purchase buildings that she then rented back to a Juniata mental health clinic for which she served as board president. Max Marin reports that Tartaglione seems to have similarly profited from state and federal prison contracts. “Philadelphia Weekly found that Tartaglione maintained a similar stewardship over a publicly funded halfway house for a decade while she worked as a high-ranking city employee — even during her husband’s stint in federal prison for bribing a trio of Atlantic City councilmen.” Filings for the trial focused on the Juniata clinic show prosecutors are also looking at records related to the Kintock halfway house and Tartaglione’s connections.

Green Philly Blog has released its list of the 2017 SustainPHL nominees, with nods to activists, businesses, mentors, and community leaders helping advance the cause of a more sustainable city. 

The redevelopment of the former National building in Old City will finally get underway this week, Curbed reports. After a cycle of failed proposals and upzonings, the old building was demolished in 2015. The new 192-unit apartment building will bring back the National’s orange, ground-floor retail, and a host of amenities including a pet spa.

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