October 3: Refinery ribbon-cutting | City loses company HQ | Widow sues over Kensington factory fire | Transit app hackathon results | RentMatch | Rats in Rittenhouse

Happy Thursday Streeters!

Hundreds of business people joined refinery workers for a ribbon-cutting at Philadelphia Energy Solution’s revamped refinery complex in South Philly. A year ago the 140-year-old Sunoco refinery was on the verge of closure, but now the facility is a key player in America’s energy boom as the single largest consumer of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. Each day two trains carrying more than 160,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil roll into the facility. 

Philadelphia lost another company headquarters to New Jersey. This time BK Speciality Foods, which has 50 employees, moved to a larger space in Swedesboro, N.J., the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. The move, which quadruples the company headquarter’s floor space, was aided by financing and a grant from the N.J. Economic Development Authority. 

The widow of a firefighter who died in last year’s Kensington factory fire is accusing the owner of wrongful death and negligence because, she said, the owner ignored the dangerous conditions that led to the two firefighters’ deaths. The widow, Diane Neary, claims the owner knew that more than 60 vandals, vagrants, drug dealers, prostitutes, looters and others were illegally living in the factory and did nothing to oust them. 

Last weekend ten teams competed in the third annual Apps for Philly Transit hackathon, and Technically Philly offers a glimpse at the apps created. They ranged from apps that displayed bike parking and Penndot traffic cameras to climate trackers and SEPTA trip planners. First, second and third place prizes were awarded to “PHL Works,” “Kiqstand,” and “SEPTA Climate Tracker.”

Seattle-based RentMatch, a “TripAdvisor for renters,” expanded to Philadelphia and 11 other cities last month. The website offers reviews, information and photos on rental properties, and the company plans to hire on-the-ground community managers in each of its new cities. 

One breed of Rittenhouse residents – rats – seems to be on the rise. While rats have always been in the park, residents and the city noted an influx of rats in the late spring. The city is making efforts to clean the park and bait rats but said that Rittenhouse has “historically been more problematic with rats” than other parts of the city, in part because of the nearby restaurants and dumpsters.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.
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