Mormon temple coming to Philadelphia

    The graceful spires of a Mormon Temple may soon rise over center city with Monday’s approval of the delayed $70 million project.

    Mormon leaders wanted to build a 68,000 square foot temple and meeting at 17th and Vine. But plans hit a snag when the Nutter administration wanted the owner of the parcel to share his sale profit with the city, because he’d failed to meet earlier promises to develop the property.

    City redevelopment chief Terry Gillen says the city relented because it was important to get this project moving, and it’s one that city-dwellers will like.

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    “We’ve been told by the Mormons it will be an attractive building,” she says. “They’re generally known for building good, attractive buildings. It will have green space around it, where people can walk.”

    Gillen says the city got a modest payment from the developer. If the art and planning commissions approve designs, the temple could be open in 2013.

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