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What We're Reading: Week of August 28, 2023

What We're Reading

Here's what we're reading this week about the projects, people and policies driving local development:

The Shapiro administration has dramatically cut wait times and backlogs for permits, licensing and certifications across a range of state agencies: Pennsylvania slashes wait times, backlogs for state permits, licenses, other filings (

by Gillian McGoldrick, Sep 4, 2023

The New York Post blasts the limited data collected by Kastle Systems being used as a generic metric for overall back-the-office numbers in Central Business Districts nationwide: Philadelphia's Center City district head condemns Back-to-Work Barometer (

by Steve Cuozzo, Aug 27, 2023

🚙 The Bipartisan Policy Center examines the likely impact on the federal Highway Trust Fund of increasing sales of EV vehicles: The Future of the Highway Trust Fund: The Impact of EVs | Bipartisan Policy Center

by Richa Goel and Owen Minott, Aug 25, 2023

Hersha Hospitality, owner of Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse and Westin hotels, as well as hotels across the US, is being acquired by private equity firm KSL: Hersha Hospitality Trust to go private in $1.4B acquisition by KSL Capital Partners - Philadelphia Business Journal (

by Emma Dooling for the Philadelphia Business Journal, Aug 28, 2023

🏗️ A pair of social-impact developers from New York are acquiring a large parcel adjacent to Amtrak’s North Philadelphia train station and are planning a mixed-use development with two million square feet of new construction and adaptive reuse of an existing historic industrial building: Developers buy long-vacant site next to North Philadelphia train station, plan massive mixed-use project - Philadelphia Business Journal (

by Paul Schwedelson for the Philadelphia Business Journal, Aug 21, 2023

A group of young social impact small-scale philanthropists made a big impact in erasing medical debt for many local residents, stabilizing the financial situation for many needy households: RIP Medical Debt helps forgive $1.6 million owed by Philadelphians (

by Ximena Conde, Aug 28, 2023

Inga Saffron provides an overview of the current status of plans to expand the current short strip of park on the Reading Viaduct, and the many challenges of the current ownership of the viaduct:

by Inga Saffron, For The Inquirer, Aug 15, 2023

🏫 The Tribune-Review calls for an overhaul of education in the wake of the Commonwealth Court decision on school funding in Pennsylvania: Editorial: Pennsylvania's education funding should be rebuilt |

by TribLIVE's Editorial Board, Aug 29, 2023

🦺 The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the differences in new construction trends in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs: Philly suburbs are still in demand, but developers aren’t building there (

by Jake Blumgart and Ryan W. Briggs, Aug 8, 2023

Philadelphia actually has among the lowest real estate property tax burden of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, ranking 62nd, despite its low household income; of the collar counties Delaware had the worst burden, coming in 9th across all 67 counties, while the other three counties ranked from 18th to 29th: Monroe County Has PA's Highest Tax Burden (

by Steve Ulrich for Politics PA, Aug 29, 2023

🔦 Spotlight PA has been following three first-term PA State Representatives as they learn the ropes in Harrisburg: Follow 3 new PA reps through a rocky 1st session · Spotlight PA

by Kate Huangpu of Spotlight PA and Angela Couloumbis of Spotlight PA, Aug 29, 2023


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