Storefront Property Owner Faces Possible Order Of Possession By Court In Wissahickon

 

5101 Rochelle Ave in 2013, prior to recent renovations | Photo: Neema Roshania, for NewsWorks

5101 Rochelle Ave in 2013, prior to recent renovations | Photo: Neema Roshania, for NewsWorks

  •  A 2008 state law allowing the assumption of blighted properties by its court-appointed conservator is being challenged in the Wissahickon section of the Lower Northwest, reports NewsWorks. Ed Sacks, owner of a vacant pizza parlor at Rochelle Avenue & Sumac Street, says he has invested almost $180,000 into rehabbing the neglected property, addressing structural concerns raised by the Department of Licenses and Inspections in October 2013. Nevertheless, the Wissahickon Interested Citizen’s Association is pushing to have the property taken into legal possession and redeveloped by Innova Redevelopment LLC by way of Act 135 (the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act). “I believe what is happening is the unintended consequences of a good law,” says Sacks. “People are hijacking the concept of the law, and they are not operating out of concern for the heart of the neighborhood.” Innova president Jeffrey Allegretti is also a member of the WICA’s zoning committee.
  • Property talks with Chris Cordaro, executive director of EB Realty Management, home to Eric Blumenfeld’s continued efforts to catalyze North Broad’s re-ascendence. He says that restauranteur Stephen Starr’s commissary at 667 North Broad is in the firm’s pipeline, set to expand on Starr’s space while adding 20 apartment units and three restaurants, including a New Orleans-style coffee shop. To be renamed the Studebaker Building in homage to the its days as a dealership, the building’s mid-century exterior alterations will be undone: “those multi-colored panels will be removed in order to restore and showcase the ‘brick skin’ of the original Studebaker showroom.”
  • CBS Philly previews the city’s first Spanish immersion pre-school, Mi Casita, set to open its doors at 15th & Ridge Avenue in a few weeks. Eventually some 70 young children will be inculcated with bilingualism and the cognitive advantages it brings, an alluring prospect to Philadelphia parents like Molly Michel, whose daughter will attend Mi Casita. “I’m excited. What better way to wed our love of diversity in Philadelphia…with something that really does benefit our kids.”
  • The 37-story headquarters for Beneficial Bank and Five Below at 1818 Market Street have been on the market for over a year-and-a-half now. Though, as Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni shows, this hasn’t been the most straightforward of trades. Majority owner Sovereign Capital Management Group Inc. of San Diego sued three other fractional owners when they moved to block the sale, eventually opening up arbitration proceedings on the West Coast. Now, those California companies have filed for bankruptcy, leaving the $203 million sale further away still.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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