October 8: Fewer property tax appeals than anticipated | New Urban Mechanics awards civic design grants | Butkovitz intervenes to prompt demolition | TIF for new W Hotel on Chestnut?

Good morning Streeters! Here’s what’s making news this fine Tuesday:

Monday was the deadline for property owners to submit an appeal of their reset property taxes, but the Inquirer reports that the Board of Revision of Taxes wasn’t as inundated with property tax appeals as had been anticipated. Yesterday a BRT board member estimated that they would review about 10,000 appeals. Is this a product of confusion about the process or property owners facing the music about their new tax reality?

The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is giving out $20,000 in matching grants to a handful of design projects to help improve shared spaces in the city, Flying Kite reports. Grants were awarded to University City District, North 5th Street Revitalization Project, Friends of Maplewood Mall, and Public Workshop.

It took City Controller Alan Butkovitz calling 9-1-1 this past weekend to get a half-standing rowhouse at 24th and Thompson demolished. The Inquirer reports that neighbors had been complaining to L&I for weeks about the dangerous condition of the building but weren’t getting results. 

Developers planning to build a W Hotel on the vacant lot at 1441 Chestnut Street could receive $33 million in tax increment financing if City Council approves of the deal. The Business Journal reports that Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilman Bill Greenlee introduced a bill “to designate the site at 1441 Chestnut as a ‘Headquarter Hotel Tax Increment Financing District’ and deem the parcel as blight.” The question is: Is the site really blighted? And would development happen there without the incentives?

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