Philly’s crumbling vacant buildings, & what to do about them


An April 9 fire at a Kensington warehouse killed two Philadelphia firefighters. (Claude Schrader/For NewsWorks)

Hour 1

Last week’s fire at the former Bucks Hosiery factory in Kensington killed two firefighters and cast a spotlight on a longterm problem confronting Philadelphia: the economic opportunities, challenges and physical dangers presented by its many old and abandoned and underutilized buildings. What does the fatal warehouse fire mean for the city’s years-long efforts to address its vacant-property inventory? How does it complicate legislative efforts to address the problem at the city and state level, and will/can government act fast enough to prevent another tragedy? Joining us in studio are RICH NEGRIN, the city of Philadelphia’s Managing Director; PATRICK KERKSTRA, a freelance reporter who has been covering the vacant land crisis for PlanPhilly and his former employer, the Philadelphia Inquirer; and CHRISTOPHER SAWYER, an East Kensington neighborhood and zoning activist.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 041712_100630.mp3]

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