September 7: FBI targets Local 98’s “market recovery” funds | Jumpstart Kensington | Inside the Met

After years of rebuilding its credit rating, Moody’s warns that Philly’s rating could be downgraded. Claudia Vargas reports that Philadelphia’s outlook was lowered from “stable” to “negative” due to the city’s inadequate reserves.

The FBI raid on IBEW Local 98 targeted records for “market recovery” funds, aka subsidies paid to contractors from the union. The Inquirer takes a deep look at these funds and reports that the practice may be controversial because it’s not clear it work and because it can be abused. But it’s also standard practice. “‘We call it crack-cocaine for our contractors. They all want it,’ lamented John Kane, who leads Plumbers Local 690.”

You’ve heard of Jumpstart Germantown, but what about Jumpstart Kensington? Shift Capital is partnering with New Kensington Community Development Corporation and Impact Services to help locals become social impact developers. It’s part of a larger strategy to attract jobs, rehab buildings, and provide community resources for Kensington.

Take a peek inside North Broad Street’s Metropolitan Opera House via Curbed Philly. Developer Eric Blumenfeld and funding partner Bill Procida, the same team behind the Divine Lorraine’s resurrection, are planning a concert venue and a $35 million renovation.

GroJLart looks into the past of a charismatic building at the corner of Frankford and Clearfield in Kensington, where locals have been gathering for 120 years. It’s been a liquor store, meeting hall, bar, flophouse, office, and these days it’s Chuckles Bar and Grill, plus a bodega and apartments upstairs. 

OCF Realty’s Naked Philly reports that the low-rise ex-Wawa Queen Village Shopping Center at 2nd and Christian will see a two-story addition to add 14 apartments upstairs. The project will retain the ground-floor retail and appears to be a by-right development.

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