October 29: Land bank bill out of committee | Granary sold for $120m | SEPTA stations becoming WiFi hotspots | Marketing Ave. of the Arts | Capturing Reading Terminal Market

Happy Tuesday, Streeters.

Philadelphia got one step closer to having a municipal land bank yesterday as the land bank bill moved out of a City Council committee. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports on the four-hour hearing, during which a broad coalition of land bank advocates testified. “The text of the bill was also being debated, behind the scenes, for all four of those hours,” Brey writes, noting that the bill was passed with amendments that were alluded to but were not specifically discussed.

The Granary, a new luxury apartment building at 20th and Callowhill, was sold for $120 million to a Los Angeles-based investment group. The Business Journal reports that half of the new development’s 229 units have been rented has already been half rented out.

SEPTA and Comcast are installing free WiFi at about 70 stations over five years, the Inquirer reports. While WiFi won’t be available on trains it will help Comcast expand its network of WiFi hotspots. “Comcast agreed to provide free WiFi as part of a $1.7 million advertising campaign in SEPTA stations, the transit agency’s spokeswoman, Jerri Williams, said Monday. SEPTA will benefit with $1 million, she said, and $700,000 will go to the advertising firm that negotiated the deal, Titan Outdoor L.L.C.”

Since its inception, Avenue of the Arts has been about marketing. So, how’s it doing? Paul Levy shared his thoughts on the relative successes of Avenue of the Arts as a branded, marketed place that helped change Center City. “The key to the attractiveness of downtown was the live-work environment. Arts is a key piece of that. It’s not the sole driver. But in our case it was first.”

Former District Attorney Alan Barr has been photographing Reading Terminal Market for about 10 years. Barr talked with Hidden City Daily about shooting Reading Terminal Market and shared some of his fabulous photographs capturing the human life of Reading Terminal.

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