September 23: City controller pressures L&I | Culture boom struggling to keep pace | Hub II | Baida Institue’s new home | MOTU turns 5 | NASA air pollution map | Street artist pranks PPA
Welcome back to the work week, Eyes on the Street! Today’s forecast includes cool, sunny fall-like weather. Enjoy!
City Controller Alan Butkovitz threatened to hold up Licenses and Inspections paychecks if the department doesn’t speed up cooperation with Butkovitz’s probe into how the city regulates demolition projects, but Mayor Nutter’s chief of staff said the administration has been cooperating and accused Butkovitz of abusing his authority.
The art and culture boom that was largely anchored in new or bigger, always more expensive buildings and often credited with reviving Center City is starting to show stress cracks as philanthropy and ticket sales are failing to keep pace. “At the same time we’ve made a huge capital investment [in new facilities], the operating costs have not always been there,” said David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corp. and cochairman of the Comcast Foundation. The Inquirer’s culture writer Peter Dobrin looks at how Philadelphia’s culture boom is straining under the costs of upkeep.
Developers behind Hub II are dusting off the plans for the Hub’s sister building at 3939-41 Chestnut Street. The $11.5 million project was originally approved in 2008 under the old zoning code but was recently granted zoning relief to proceed. The building, which will sit on University of Pennsylvania property, will include 40,100 square feet with seven floors – two floors for commercial use and the remaining stores for 65 residential units.
Drexel University’s business incubator Baida Institute is moving to a new $92 million LeBow College of Business headquarters, reports Technically Philly. The incubator’s new home will be on the third floor of the 12-story, 177,500-square-foot building. The building is scheduled to open Oct. 3 and Baida will move sometime after that.
In celebration of its fifth year, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) has announced a month of festivities beginning this October. The fun will kick off on October 9 with “MOTU at Nerd Nite” and continue with a MOTU and First Person Arts StorySlam collaboration October 14 and “MOTU @5” on October 21 where the office will release its five-year progress report.
A new NASA map shows that the Mid-Atlantic is among the areas of the United States where people are most likely to die from the effects of air pollution. The Great Lakes and Midwest regions are the most deadly, along with parts of southern California. The map is intended to show pollution’s impact on the world’s health.
Increasingly popular street artist “Kid Hazo” pranked the Philadelphia Parking Authority this weekend when he left an oversized, mock parking violation on one of PPA’s parked cars. Hazo has been gaining attention for his mock traffic-control signs, which he hopes will make people laugh. So far his work has include things like a “Uni Lane” sign affixed to a post with a bike lane sign and a unicycle propped beneath the post and added directions to “Adrian’s Pet Shop, Famous Steps and Mighty Mick’s Boxing Gym” under the green bicycle route signs in Schuylkill River Park.
The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.
Follow us on Twitter @EOTSPhilly | Like us on Facebook | Share your Philly photos in our Flickr Group
WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.