It’s a crisp morning, Streeters but at least it isn’t snowing. Did you hear that the last five years have been Philly’s snowiest? Fret not. Like the poet said, you can never hold back spring. Flowers are starting to pop, trees are in bud, and we promise spring is just around the bend. Here’s what we’re interested in today:
Demolition started inside the Boyd Theatre yesterday, three days after a Historical Commission vote that paves the way for the substantial demolition of the Boyd. Permits were posted over the weekend and workers were seen and heard inside the building Monday. The Daily News confirmed with the owner’s attorney that permitted interior demo work was underway and the Preservation Alliance is seeking a court injunction to stop the demolition. The aggressive action was intentional in the minds of preservation advocates, who called it “disgusting.” Because Friends of the Boyd and the Alliance vowed to appeal the case, advocates believe that the owners are taking a “scorched earth” approach, designed to ruin the elaborate interiors and dissuade advocates from undertaking a lengthy appeal. Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger told Inga Saffron that the city did not intend to intervene and that the hardship process was legitimate. “We didn’t want to see this building sit around for another 10 years,” he said.
Council President Darrell Clarke wants the city to build 1500 new units of affordable housing by developing city-owned and tax-delinquent properties in appreciating neighborhoods. The Daily News reports that 1000 units would be rental and 500 would be targeted for homeownership in zones that include parts of Point Breeze, Mantua, Kensington, and Germantown. The rental units would be built by the city, financed through a $100 million bond, federal tax credits administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and Philadelphia Housing Authority subsidies. “In characteristic Clarke fashion, the proposal was developed in near total secrecy. Even some Council members whose districts are in the proposal didn’t know what was coming until yesterday morning.”
The fledgling Philadelphia Land Bank will be one tool Clarke wants to use, but there hasn’t been too much public movement on the Land Bank yet. Generocity reports that the city has not appointed a permanent board, hired a strategic planning consultant, or incorporated the Land Bank with the state yet.
It turns out that Post Brothers may not be looking to develop the Atlantic Building on South Broad after all. The Business Journal reports that Post bought the 21-story building last year for $27 million, but is now in contract to sell the property for more than $50 million to Jefferson Apartments of Virginia.
Want to own a building at South 11th and Ludlow? The Business Journal reports that 15-21 South 11th is on the market for $5.4 million. It’s a 30,000 square foot building that is about 20% occupied.
PATCO has suspended weekday track work on the Ben Franklin Bridge until Memorial Day, the Inquirer reports. Sometime after Memorial Day, however, riders can expect long waits as one of two bridge tracks will be closed 24/7 for at least two months. PATCO posted its new construction schedule online.
Last night the poor 2013-2014 Sixers set a franchise record for the most consecutive losses: 21. Will they win a single game for the rest of the season?