Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority gets flogged

    City Council demands answers on stalled projects

    Philadelphia City Council is angry with the city’s Redevelopment Authority. The council is frustrated over stalled development projects

    “How dare you come and insult us this way.”

    Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell shouted at Redevelopment Authority head Terry Gillen about her refusal to explain why they are holding up construction of a $70 million Mormon Temple and Community Center at 17th and Vine Streets.

    Stephen Klein, is a developer for the Latter Day Saints Church Project. He says the construction project is at risk because the RDA claims the developer is in default of an agreement on the project and the city agency wants the property back.

    “Unfortunately and in spite of the broad support that this project has received from the community and City Council The RDA continues to stand in the way.”

    Gillen says an audit of the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative caused problems.

    “In order to fix the system we’re going to have rethink the way we do business in certain city agencies.”

    Councilman Darrell Clarke says he’s afraid the Mormon’s will go to another location outside the city.

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