Here's what we're reading this week about the projects, people and policies driving local development:
Council still reworking rules for community orgs in development process
5/1/17, Jake Blumgart
Two bills related to Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) were approved by Council’s Rules Committee. Both address developer notification, and both were amended after introduction after input from the development community that would be effected by both bills.
Councilman offers $2,500 reward in Point Breeze arson
5/3/17, Claudia Vargas
The fire that destroyed new townhomes under construction in Point Breeze was ruled an arson. Many are wondering if there is a link between this arson and the anti-gentrification rampage in South Kensington on the same day.
N. Philly resident: We helped cops nab 2 after dozens of anarchists hit area
5/3/17, Stephanie Farr, William Bender & Chris Palmer
A group of up to 50 self-defined anarchists (based on tagging on buildings) went on a vandalism spree in South Kensington on May 1st, targeting upscale cars and homes, leaving anti-gentrification graffiti alongside smashed windows and paint bombed homes and cars. Two vandals have been arrested so far, one from Doylestown and one from the Far Northeast.
Councilman Johnson introduces budget amendment to maintain Schuylkill River Trail funding
5/2/17, Jim Saksa
Councilman Johnson calls for increased, not decreased, funding for the Schuykill River Trail, which still lacks a connection between the Bartram Trail and Center City sections.
How are other cities reinvesting in civic infrastructure?
4/28/17, Malcolm Burnley
PennPraxis held a forum on urban infrastructure and public/private partnerships on April 28th, with speakers who have been working on examples in Detroit, Atlanta and New York City.
CIVIC INFRASTRUCTURE: A Model for Civic Asset Reinvestment
March 2017, Elizabeth Greenspan & Randall Mason
PennPraxis released a related white paper.
Philadelphia City Council committee unanimously votes to replace Wells Fargo with Citizens
5/1/17, Jeff Blumenthal
City Council voted to move $2 billion in payroll accounts from Wells Fargo Bank to Citizens Bank, starting with the new fiscal year, and through a six month transition period.
Study: Philadelphia-area pay growing slower than national average
Consistent with the Center City District’s recent study, Glassdoor also found slow wage growth in the Philadelphia region, compared with national wage growth.
Council advances bill aimed at unblocking sidewalks
5/3/17, Jim Saksa
A bill to more strongly push for protected walkways at construction sites moved a step closer to passage, with the support of the General Building Contractor’s Association.
Hoteliers hope to fill rooms by charging more
5/3/17, Tricia Nadolny
City Council and the local hotel industry are proposing a small hotel room tax to create a fund that would be used for incentives to attract more conventions and special events in competition with peer cities.
Pennsylvania sees exodus of educated millennials
5/4/17, Katie Meyer
While the City of Philadelphia continues to improve on its retention of college educated Millenials, the Commonwealth is seeing a net outward migration of this desired demographic.