March 24: Open data frustration | Family Court art | Feibush cultivating committee people | Rental trends | Collapsing buildings, L&I triage | 27th/Girard mixed-use plans

Welcome to the working week, Streeters. Bundle up for the next few cold days, and think spring as snow blows through tomorrow.

Why did the city’s open data chief quit? On Axis Philly Patrick Kerkstra explores why Mark Headd is walking away from his role as the city’s open data officer, possibly out of frustration with some government agencies being resistant to making public data easy for the public to access. A particular sticking point was the release of downloadable and searchable data sets from the Office of Property Assessment and Department of Revenue. 

The new Family Court will feature art after all. Back in 2010 the Art Commission approved designs for the new courthouse at 15th and Arch on the condition that it would include public art. That condition was not being met, so the Art Commission nudged the court in January. Now, Inga Saffron reports, Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille has hired an art consultant to adorn the building’s blank walls with art.

Ori Feibush is trying to build political power in the second ward, by recruiting 100 individuals to run for committee person across three wards. The Inquirer looks at Feibush’s efforts to stimulate political involvement and his plan to challenge Councilman Kenyatta Johnson for his seat in 2015.

Since last January rents are climbing in Cedar Park, stable in Germantown, and dropping in Graduate Hospital, according to online service Lovely. Technically Philly shares the top neighborhoods where rents are shifting and stable, according to Lovely’s compilation from 60+ data partners.

A rash of building collapses, and the number of “imminently dangerous” buildings rising, can the city keep pace? City Paper explores the scope of the problem and L&I’s limited resources to address all of the buildings that seem to be falling down. 

Case in point: A building collapsed on the 2510-2512 block of North 6th Street on Sunday, after one’s rear wall collapsed a week ago. NBC10 reports neighbors had worried about the buildings’ safety. After the partial collapse L&I evacuated the buildings and urged the owner to find a way to fix the building. Now that the building substantially collapsed L&I has started demolition work.

Naked Philly shared revised plans to turn a long-vacant lot at 27th and Girard into a mixed retail/residential development by MM Partners and American Development Company. The current plans, shown to neighbors last week,  include 10 rowhouses along 27th Street and large retail spaces along Girard, which will be topped with 68 apartments. Parking will be located to the interior of the lot. 

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