Music as neighborhood anchor | Mayor Blondell? | Gray’s Ferry garden fight | Delaware waterfront development limbo | reviewing Economic Opportunity

Can music venues actually improve neighborhoods? They often face community opposition but Flying Kite considers the examples of Fishtown’s Johnny Brenda’s, Union Transfer on Spring Garden, and planned rebirth of South Broad’s Boot & Saddle.

Blondell Reynolds Brown: Dancer. Committeewoman. Councilwoman. Mayor? The Daily News profiles Councilwoman Brown, tracing her rise from Mantua Committeewoman to majority whip in Council, and her serious exploration of a run for mayor in 2015.

In Gray’s Ferry part of a decades-old garden tended by Mabel Wilson and the children in her Central Club for Boys and Girls could be lost at a sheriff’s sale this week. The Daily News reports that two of the garden’s eight lots are up sale this Wednesday because of back taxes that predate the Central Club’s official ownership. Wilson’s son will be in Common Pleas Court to try to stop the sale. The IRS granted the Central Club tax-exempt status retroactive to 1947, and they await a ruling from the city.

Ensemble Real Estate has proposed a new mid-rise apartment building just north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge along Delaware Avenue. As PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates explains, the project is tricky because its timing falls in a gap between the Master Plan for the Central Delaware and the forthcoming zoning overlay for the waterfront. That means that the proposed building’s 120-foot height is legal but doesn’t conform to the Master Plan.

City Council’s new Economic Opportunity Review Committee will examine the enforcement and effectiveness of the fair hiring and minority participation rules for city contracts. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports from the Committee’s first meeting on Monday.

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