November 8: W Hotel closer to tax break | Large buildings must report energy use | Former Kraft plant may close | Police to use crime prediction software | Regional income shifts

Good morning and good Friday, Eyes on the Street. 

After much debate, City Council’s Committee on Finance approved a bill that would create a tax-increment financing district (TIF) for the proposed 700-room W Hotel and Element project at 15th and Chestnut streets. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the TIF would offset $33 million of the project’s estimated $280 million cost. The TIF combined with other state and federal incentives the project has received would offset $75 million, or 27 percent, of the total project cost. The bill will go before full Council in the next few weeks.

Only 19 percent, or 400, of Philly’s more than 2,000 large buildings have reported their energy usage and water consumption, Technically Philly reports. Under a city law implemented in June, buildings with more than 50,000 square feet of indoor floor space must report their annual energy usage, but few have. The original deadline was yesterday, but the deadline was extended until Nov. 25 because the EPA tool used to report usage was inactive during the government shutdown. Businesses could face stiff fines if they do not comply. 

Northeast Philly’s former Kraft plant at Roosevelt Boulevard and Byberry Road may be closing. Mondelez International, formerly part of Kraft International, owns the plant where Oreos, Ritz and other cookies and crackers are currently made. The company wants to close the Northeast Philly plant and consolidate its operations at existing bakeries in New Jersey and Virginia. 

Philadelphia Police will become the first major U.S. city law enforcement agency to use crime prediction software, HunchLab, developed by local firm Azavea. The software uses data on past crimes, weather, special events and more to calculate the level of risk for different types of crimes in various neighborhoods.

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, a recent Census survey shows money, particularly income, is shifting regionally from the suburbs to the city. Between 2011 and 2012, Philadelphia saw household income increase 4.3 percent and median family income rise nearly 4 percent. 

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