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You are viewing 378 articles by the author Jake Blumgart

    • 2019 01 11 e lee corey loftus 1515 arch philadelphia historical commission penn student preservation advocate 2

23-year-old superfan wins protections for West Philly gingerbread houses

Between the University of Pennsylvania and Cedar Park in West Philadelphia lies what is believed to be the largest collection of Victorian homes in America. Only a handful of them are…

    • An unswept street in the Germantown Special Services District on Nov. 2, 2018. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Germantown businesses revolt against taxing district that didn’t deliver on clean streets promise

Jamar L. Kelly faces a monumental challenge. The interim executive director of the Germantown Special Services District knows his organization is failing at its core mission of keeping the neighborhood’s commercial…

    • Single-family houses with ground floor garages recently rose on the 200 block of Arch Street.

3 reasons why Philadelphia won’t follow Minneapolis’s ban on single-family zoning

For people who follow U.S. housing policy, 2018 ended with a radical suggestion hanging in the air. In December, Minneapolis confronted a growing affordability crisis and longstanding patterns of racial segregation…

    • Historic Garsed-Bromley house, aka Northwood Frankford Community Y, February 2014

Frankford Y's new owner promises he won't bring opioid recovery center to historic mansion

After a decade of vacancy, a new owner has taken control of a neglected 19th century Northeast Philadelphia landmark. The brownstone mansion at 4704 Leiper Street, which most recently operated as…

    •  Representatives of the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities packed a Sept. 26 City Council hearing

Spoiler alert: Philly City Council's season of housing and development reform, recapped

The fall 2018 session of City Council ended with a landmark victory — in the form of Councilwoman Helen Gym’s Fair Work Week bill, which Mayor Jim Kenney will sign Thursday.…

    • Rendering of new coffee shop for Dilworth Plaza

Tiny Starbucks coming to Dilworth Park

A second Starbucks is coming to Dilworth Park this spring. “From the time we opened Dilworth in 2014, we watched how people used it, we looked at things we wanted to…

    • Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building, 2014

Provident Mutual building sale on hold, endangering planned West Philly health campus

West Philadelphia Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell has halted the city’s long-awaited remake of the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 4601 Market Street for reasons that include the interest of…

    • Sheet Metal Workers protest in City Council on Dec.4, 2018.

Labor leaders, city officials spar outside Council chambers

An hour before City Council’s final session of 2018, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 attempted to push through a contested bill requiring costly new annual inspections of the fire protection devices…

    • Spruce Hill | Credit: Neal Santos, © National Trust for Historic Preservation

Demolition 'crisis' gets taskforce's attention

After 18 months, Mayor Jim Kenney’s Historic Preservation Task Force released its final recommendations Thursday. The document includes a range of ideas to incentivize more preservation and encourage citizen engagement in…

    • Ricci Rawls and her children, Patience, 12, Charlie, 7, Izzy, 5, Ava 4, and Faith, 1 on their last day before eviction. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia renters win new protections at City Hall with passage of 'good cause' bill

Ricci Rawls stood before a packed City Council session on Thursday and testified passionately in favor of Councilman Curtis Jones’s “good cause” eviction bill, which is meant to protect renters from…

    • Councilman Kenyatta Johnson responds to report on racial disparities in Philadelphia home loans. Emma Lee/WHYY

City Councilmen respond to land-flip scandal with an offer of reform

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a bill on Thursday that they say creates new safeguards against corrupt land dealing in City Hall. Introduced on the tail…

    • A rendering of 2110 E. Norris St.

Fishtown developer proposes fence; gives neighbors the ‘middle finger’

A 95-unit apartment building is coming to a blighted Fishtown lot near the Berks elevated train stop. In a reprieve from Philadelphia’s toxic parking wars, neighbors aren’t worried about where residents…

    • Sheet Metal Workers protest in City Council on Dec.4, 2018.

Union scores hot win over real estate industry in fire code battle

City officials are brokering a deal they hope will extinguish a feud over Philadelphia’s fire code. The dispute between the city’s Sheet Metal Workers Union and local real estate industry groups…

    • Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. arrives ahead of a anti-eviction rally, organized by Philadelphia Tenants Union, on Wednesday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

City Council downsizes new protections for renters in ‘Good cause’ bill

On Thursday, Councilman Curtis Jones substantially scaled back a bill meant to protect Philadelphia renters. Jones introduced amendments to his “good cause” eviction legislation that would make it applicable only to…

    • A vacant property owned by the city.

City selling vacant lots with eye to 'social impact'

City agencies own roughly a quarter of the 40,000 vacant parcels of land in Philadelphia. It’s a figure that’s barely budged over the last decade despite a building boom and the…

    • 2018 11 07 e lee paul j toner rahil raza vivian vanstory philadelphia zoning board development

What happens when your real estate gets remapped

Rahil Raza was dead tired when he woke up on the chilly November morning of his appearance before Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustments.   There was a lot riding on the…

    • HUD Sec. Ben Carson tours Vaux Big Picture High School in Philadelphia

HUD wants to sweeten the deal for landlords who accept housing vouchers

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson wants to entice more landlords to accept housing vouchers and the agency’s first step in Philadelphia is talking to people like…

    • apkenneysrcannouncementx1200

Five takeaways from Mayor Kenney’s Radio Times interview

On Monday morning, Mayor Jim Kenney stopped by WHYY for a wide-ranging conversation with RadioTimes host Marty Moss-Coane. The two discussed a series of policy questions -- many of them…

    • Project H.O.M.E. Outreach Response Worker Sam Santiago, center, assisting a homeless man sleeping under a bridge in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A Code Blue Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will be the coldest in Philadelphia in about 100 years with daytime highs not expected to exceed 30 degrees. Wednesday morning, the city pre-emptively declared a Code Blue for…

    • City Councilman David Oh

Changes to controversial anti-squatting law advance in City Council

In an unusual display of public animosity, Philadelphia City Council members Cherelle Parker and David Oh repeatedly clashed Tuesday about a new law authored by Oh making it easier for landlords to…

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