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You are viewing 286 articles by the author Jake Blumgart

    • People cross a street near a construction site on Market Street in Center City, Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Changes to Philly construction tax break under review

With the spring City Council session coming to an end, reform of Philadelphia’s controversial 10-year property tax abatement emerged as a live issue on Thursday. The 18-year-old development incentive waives property taxes…

    • A view of Fairmount Park

City hits pause on digital billboard proposed for land abutting Fairmount Park

Opponents have stymied a plan to put a digital billboard next to Fairmount Park, putting the controversial treeline addition on hold. The double-sided billboard would have overlooked the Schuylkill Expressway, according…

    • Newer homes with garages.

City Council tweaks bill requiring developers to provide more parking in Philly neighborhoods

A measure that would require developers to build more parking along with new housing got a major haircut in City Council on Wednesday. The mandatory parking minimum bill revised by the council’s…

    • The Amos Barnes house

New development controls proposed for a hidden gem of the Northwest

New limits on development are in the works for a leafy Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood best known for its proximity to the sprawling park with which it shares a name. The Wissahickon…

    • Fishtown zoning meeting on St. Laurentius reuse, September 20, 2016 | Brad Larrison for WHYY

New bill would protect neighborhood groups from lawsuit-happy developers

City Councilman Bobby Henon has introduced a bill that would make city funds for insurance available to all registered community groups that hold zoning meetings regarding new development projects in their…

    • Garages on Lombard Street

City Council moves to require more parking in Philly neighborhoods

In the midst of a heated debate about how to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city, West Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell is resurrecting a two-year-old bill mandating…

    • The deadly fire that engulfed 1855 N. 21st St. began on the second floor. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

City Council considering fire code upgrade that could affect all rental properties

There is an old saying that fire codes are written in blood. Reform only comes after a tragic and deadly accident. That’s what’s happening in Philadelphia City Hall right now. Three…

    • People cross a street near a construction site on Market Street in Center City, Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

City budget hearings come to end with no consensus on who deserves a tax break

City Councilmembers raised difficult questions about tax breaks for developers at a time when costs are rising for residents at a Department of Revenue hearing on Tuesday, the last in a…

    • Christian Street Baptist Church is slated for demolition. Developer Ori Feibush plans to build townhouses on the lot.

Neighbors oppose plan to replace Christian Street Baptist Church with $800k townhouses

Residents of Bella Vista love the narrow little side streets that wind through the neighborhood, offering shelter from the buzz of heavy automobile traffic and providing community space for the cozy…

    • Philadelphia Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections Dave Perri. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Dave Perri's controversial solution to Philly's housing crisis

Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Dave Perri wants to radically rewrite Philadelphia’s zoning code to make room for smaller, more inexpensive housing units. Specifically, he wants to allow more rooming or boarding…

    • Crowds stream toward Citizens Bank Park.

Phillies bringing new anti-terror architecture to Citizens Bank Park

The Phillies are going on the defensive. At least when it comes to the architecture of its South Philadelphia ballpark. By this time next year, a hedge of waist-high metal pillars…

    • A rendering of The Laurel, under development at 1911 Walnut St. (courtesy of Southern Land Company)

Design approved for Rittenhouse Square's final tower

After three years of planning, Philly’s official design critics have given a go to the 48-story tower slated to fill the last vacant spot overlooking Rittenhouse Square. The Southern Land Company,…

    • Inquirer Building, North Broad Street

Bill requiring independent appraisals on city real estate deals likely to become Philadelphia law

It's pretty standard to get an independent appraisal of a piece of property before you buy it. Most of us wouldn't consider buying a house without seeing one — and on…

    • A South Philly developer is planning to redevelop a surface parking lot into a small-format Target topped by apartments. (Courtesy of Target)

A second new Target on the way to South Philly

It’s a good time to own surface parking lots in greater Center City. As real estate values climb skyward, these vestiges of the city’s formerly moribund market have become hot commodities…

    • Myia Hurst in her Roxborough home. (Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Housing Authority)

Want to move to a better neighborhood? In Philly, help is on the way.

Myia Hurst lived in a constant state of anxiety for five years. The mother of two went to bed with the sounds of gunshots ringing out below their apartment near 60th…

    • Flowers in Spruce Hill

New historic districts proposed for 3 Philly neighborhoods

After years of only protecting individual properties from demolition, the Philadelphia Historical Commission recently unveiled three new proposed historic districts. If they are approved at the June meeting, the commission…

    • Frankford Chocolate Factory at 2101 Washington Ave. ( credit: OCF Realty)

Neighbors bid a reluctant goodbye to South Philly chocolate factory, welcome new homes and shops

The Frankford Chocolate Factory looms over Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia, covering an entire city block, anchoring the roadway in the industrial uses that dominated it for the past century or…

    • zoning notice

Planning officials put proposed community outreach rules on hold

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Planning Commission put a hold on City Council legislation intended to overhaul community notification requirements about zoning changes. The proposed regulation was initially introduced as a public-safety…

    • The image to the left shows Susan Stolting's new civic association. The image to the right shows the older Francisville group founded by Penelope Giles.(Brad Larisson for WHYY)

Francisville is booming. The community is feuding.

Francisville is under construction.Walk down almost any street in this North Philadelphia neighborhood, and there are houses—or multi-unit buildings—getting built. Fences and ladders jut out onto the sidewalk, annoying residents.  …

    • 600  University Avenue

A mysterious zoning bill hints at a high-rise future for one of University City's last large undeveloped parcels

When drivers exit University City, headed to the Schuylkill Expressway, they breeze past a ghostly Mid-century Modern motel building at 600 University Avenue. Marooned at the edge of the University of…

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