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  1. #1
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    Default 52nd st economic development plan community meeting, Wednesday December 14th 6p.m.

    52nd st economic development plan community meeting, Wednesday December 14th 6p.m.

    White rock baptist church, 5240 chestnut st, Philadelphia, PA

  2. #2
    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Cool. Is this organized by the 52nd Street Business Association or what?

    Reminds me, the following day there's a meeting about the Apple Storage building on 52nd:
    Cedar Park Neighbors is hosting a community meeting on a proposed new use for the long empty Apply Storage building located at 780-782 S. 52nd Street. The property owner, Apple Iron Stone, intends loft apartments with a retail use on the first floor with resident parking located in the rear.
    Cedar Park Neighbors
    invites you to a
    Community Meeting
    Regarding: 780-782 S. 52nd Street
    (Apple Storage Building)

    Thursday, December 15th, 2011
    7:00 pm
    Wayland Memorial Baptist Church
    5126 Baltimore Avenue

    Many who participated in the Baltimore Conversation last year expressed interest in seeing vacant buildings renovated and occupied once again. We hope you will come to learn more about this proposed project for our community. Questions? Contact CPN at: 267-531-4147; contact@cedarparkneighbors.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    I didn't get to 52nd Economic Development Plan on Wednesday. Did anyone?

    The Apple Storage proposal is called "Apple Lofts" and (obviously) needs zoning to go from Industrial to Residential. 112 "loft-style" apartments: 25 studios, 41 1 beds and 46 2 beds with prices ranging from $700-1,400. They seem to think the 52nd and Baltimore transit corridor will make the project especially attractive. All market-rate, no subsidized (the company Ironstone, has other affordable rental buildings in the area, the Madison at 50th and Spruce and the Commodore at 48th and Locust, recently acquired). Hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and exposed brick walls. 92 parking spaces in back included plus bike storage and Philly Car Share spots (they meant ZipCar, I guess). On the ground floor they want to put in 2,000 square feet of C2 commercial space for which they don't have a tenant (someone suggested a co-working space with possibility for community group usage). The building will look pretty much the same except with a lot more windows. They will be redoing the 52nd Street sidewalk. Sewage connection actually runs up 52nd Street and then under the building so they won't need to tear up 52nd Street for that.

    Ironstone are not general contractors, they will have to hire a general contractor, want to use local contractors, mixed shop, mostly open, some union. Long-term maintenance etc. positions in the building will likely be local. Business is looking to grow.

    They would be applying for a 10-year tax abatement. Redevelopment of the building should not impact real estate taxes on the two-story homes surrounding it (taxes are based on like buildings).

    Zoning hearing is on January 4, 2012. They want to break ground in April with the project finished in a year but begin renting within 9 months and have the property fully-rented one year after completion.

    Community concerns: parking because of the funeral home and church nearby, property taxes going up anyway, it not being affordable and/or senior housing, construction disrupting 52nd Street traffic, the project attracting rowdy students, the project attracting the kinds of people who ride bikes(?), the additional tenants making it harder to catch a trolley in the morning and developers not willing to commit to making improvements to the 52nd and Baltimore intersection because that's neither in their budget nor their property.

    I imagine if you want to support this project or voice your concerns, you should be emailing marty.cabry@phila.gov and sandy.hayes@phila.gov at Councilwoman Blackwell's office (be sure to provide your name and address), Cedar Park Neighbors apparently wants to be cc'd at contact@cedarparkneighbors.org and to reference "Apple Lofts" in the subject line and/or testifying at the zoning hearing.
    Last edited by annie; 12-16-2011 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Adding Cedar Park Neighbors to email list

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    sounds like a great project. in the long run it may make it easier to catch a trolley, more frequencies, and perhaps larger cars when SEPTA reorders them, and perhaps more impetus to move forward with stop consolidation/transit first which would reduce trip times for people further out (like 52nd st). not that it would make them feel better, but 700-1400 is more affordable than a lot of other new market rate stuff. thanks for the update, that's a pretty sizable project...hopefully renovations will make their way down to regent st
    Last edited by eldondre; 12-16-2011 at 10:27 AM.
    "It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past"
    Jonathan Safran Foer

  5. #5
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    That's a great building - would make for killer apts. I've driven past it a million times...always wondering if it would turn into loft apts.

    Pretty serious proposal for what some would call a blighted 'fringe' area. It's development would help the immediate area in a HUGE way. South? of Baltimore between 50-52 needs some major help.
    Like PS on Facebook!

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    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Yeah, the CPN Baltimore Avenue Conservation was brought up by a resident not happy that the Senior Housing that was in the rendering hadn't been built already in the subsequent year. It was explained to her that it was just a rendering to reflect the community's wishes, not something from an actual developer, and that those kinds of developments take 5-10 years to line up because of the government financing required for those projects.

    From what Marty Cabry said at the meeting yesterday, the sale of the city-owned southwest lots at 51st and Baltimore seem to be in a holding pattern with three bids to buy them: one from the proposed garden center, one from the Francis funeral home for parking (but really advertising) and one for a medical center. I suspect it might stay that way for some time so that Blackwell can avoid irking any one constituency.

    Also, while I'm on it, the Dexter's Laundromat catty-corner on the northeast corner of 51st and Baltimore is being renovated (no permits as far I can see) by its owner into a sit-down African/African-American restaurant with offices upstairs. I just happened to run into the owner, an African immigrant, a weekend or two ago and got nosy. He said he would be selling coffee/tea in the mornings too and was VERY surprised I lived nearby. Got the sense he hadn't exactly been around very much in the last few years since purchasing the property.

  7. #7
    I LOOK LIKE THIS thoth's Avatar
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    Wrote in support. Can't believe people would oppose this at that intersection. It's real creepy there at night, mostly because of the lack of activity and people. It's not like parking is exactly tight there in the evening.

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    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Does anyone know the status of this? I thought I heard it passed zoning but then I saw a flyer for a Zoning meeting about it again. The meeting was yesterday apparently at a church on 53rd Street. Maybe CPN wasn't enough, they needed to get approval from Cobbs Creek?

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    My Committeeperson (read largely self-appointed local representative for Team Blackwell - as one of his favorite E-day t-shirts says) has made it a personal mission that zoning meetings have to be held by him (as an "elected representative") rather than the ones already held by Cedar Park Neighbors. He has a somewhat dubious non-profit that used to get money from the Councilwoman for clean-ups in the general area. He's the guy that planted the little flower bed at 51st and Baltimore. Even though the voting division he's "elected" to cover is strictly north of Baltimore and east of 52nd, he's pushed for a 30 day extension, basically so he can drum up opposition it would seem. Or at least opposition till he can maybe shake free some money for his non-profit of one, I rather suspect.

    Same guy was the one who tried to derail the Baltimore Ave. planning meetings last year insisting that everything had to go through him and there didn't need to be a community input process open to the public - he's the "elected official" and he already had the area covered.

    I loathe, loathe the idea of having to go to ward meetings with Blackwell (who probably would not inform me anyway were I or anyone she did not hand-select were to win) but I may run against the guy next time just so he can stop using his B.S. little soap box to cause everything to grind to a frigging halt.

    Basically he does nothing except try to sabotage anything productive he hears about in the general area, well outside of his actual electoral division. Real jerk by the name of Shawn Kelly.

    It was Kelly who insisted on the second Zoning meeting and from what I heard even there support was mixed. Usual fears about parking (even though project will have just under a spot a piece per apartment behind it and the area in front is currently marked loading only for the non-functional storage facility and we be switched back to residential adding easily another 15 spots). There were concerns as usual about increased property values driving up taxes.

    BTW Cedar Park Neighbors board and the Baltimore Ave. Business Association both voted unanimously to support the Apple Loft project.
    Last edited by seand; 01-27-2012 at 04:05 PM.

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    Also FWIW there is not really a Cobbs Creek civic, there is a group centered around 57th and Baltimore but there is no city chartered civic in between say 52nd and about 56th.

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    I LOOK LIKE THIS thoth's Avatar
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    What is his non-profit called?

    Quote Originally Posted by seand View Post
    My Committeeperson (read largely self-appointed local representative for Team Blackwell - as one of his favorite E-day t-shirts says) has made it a personal mission that zoning meetings have to be held by him (as an "elected representative") rather than the ones already held by Cedar Park Neighbors. He has a somewhat dubious non-profit that used to get money from the Councilwoman for clean-ups in the general area. He's the guy that planted the little flower bed at 51st and Baltimore. Even though the voting division he's "elected" to cover is strictly north of Baltimore and east of 52nd, he's pushed for a 30 day extension, basically so he can drum up opposition it would seem. Or at least opposition till he can maybe shake free some money for his non-profit of one, I rather suspect.

    Same guy was the one who tried to derail the Baltimore Ave. planning meetings last year insisting that everything had to go through him and there didn't need to be a community input process open to the public - he's the "elected official" and he already had the area covered.

    I loathe, loathe the idea of having to go to ward meetings with Blackwell (who probably would not inform me anyway were I or anyone she did not hand-select were to win) but I may run against the guy next time just so he can stop using his B.S. little soap box to cause everything to grind to a frigging halt.

    Basically he does nothing except try to sabotage anything productive he hears about in the general area, well outside of his actual electoral division. Real jerk by the name of Shawn Kelly.

    It was Kelly who insisted on the second Zoning meeting and from what I heard even there support was mixed. Usual fears about parking (even though project will have just under a spot a piece per apartment behind it and the area in front is currently marked loading only for the non-functional storage facility and we be switched back to residential adding easily another 15 spots). There were concerns as usual about increased property values driving up taxes.

    BTW Cedar Park Neighbors board and the Baltimore Ave. Business Association both voted unanimously to support the Apple Loft project.

  12. #12
    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seand View Post
    I loathe, loathe the idea of having to go to ward meetings with Blackwell (who probably would not inform me anyway were I or anyone she did not hand-select were to win) but I may run against the guy next time just so he can stop using his B.S. little soap box to cause everything to grind to a frigging halt.
    Do iiiiiit. Though you realize, as a Democratic committee person, you'll have to get signatures for Blackwell a.k.a. that party's candidate?

    Quote Originally Posted by thoth View Post
    What is his non-profit called?
    Community Achievement Association. The day we closed on our house he was doing some clean up nearby and came up and introduced himself as, "Hi, I'M YOUR committee person" and saying how he does this and is in charge of that. I'd never met a committee person before and didn't know what he was talking about so I asked him for his card. He seemed pissed that I asked and said he didn't have one. I asked how he could be that and not have a card (more confused than trying to be bitchy since he seemed to be saying that he was important like someone I might need to contact as a homeowner) and he didn't care for that. I asked him to leave his phone number/email info in my mailbox which he did not. That's the only time I've seen him around other than getting signatures for Jannie.

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    Go Seand! I knew you'd come around

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie View Post
    Do iiiiiit. Though you realize, as a Democratic committee person, you'll have to get signatures for Blackwell a.k.a. that party's candidate?
    It would be worse than that. Since Jannie is very much of the old school when it comes to ward politics (i.e. commiteepeople are handpicked to represent her/do her electoral work, rather than local delegates that in theory "elect" her as ward leader - like it is in the handful of CC and Chestnut Hill progressive wards) it would very much be interpreted as an act of aggression against her personally. Every favor she could call in at L&I would be pointed at me in retaliation, etc. Not my idea of a party.

    Which is why I have not done it, but Kelly keeps using the fact that he's "elected" to represent registered Democrats residing between 50th and 52nd, Cedar and Baltimore within the local Dem Party means that he somehow has absolute say over what goes on in the entire neighborhood. Which drives me nuts.

    And then of course, I'm white - which opens up a whole other range of issues.

    Really I'd prefer if it was someone else who did it, to be honest.

    Anyway he was re-elected last year so he won't be up till 2013, I think.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie View Post

    Community Achievement Association. The day we closed on our house he was doing some clean up nearby and came up and introduced himself as, "Hi, I'M YOUR committee person" and saying how he does this and is in charge of that. I'd never met a committee person before and didn't know what he was talking about so I asked him for his card. He seemed pissed that I asked and said he didn't have one. I asked how he could be that and not have a card (more confused than trying to be bitchy since he seemed to be saying that he was important like someone I might need to contact as a homeowner) and he didn't care for that. I asked him to leave his phone number/email info in my mailbox which he did not. That's the only time I've seen him around other than getting signatures for Jannie.
    Right, he's "a local authority figure". God help you if you were a Green, or Independent, or (gasp) a Republican. When the vintage shop Young Love's was open, he approached the owners with a garbled rap that made it sound like he was some sort of city official and that they therefore had to donate to his non-profit, which caused the owners a little concern. I know because they asked me about it - not being native Philadelphians and a bit confused about what a committee person was. Well, like most Philadelphians even know. His idea of his "authority" as committee person is ridiculous.

  16. #16
    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Community Response To Apple Storage Make-Over Lofts And Mix-Use Building

    While Iron Stone Management’s project has received significant support in the community—that is not the full side of the story. Other neighborhood associations affected by the proposed apartments oppose it. For their side of the story, make sure to check out next week’s edition of the University City Review.
    What other neighborhood associations?

  17. #17
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    Community Achievement Association

    That ends with "Association", right?

  18. #18
    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Ugh. From CPN's FB:

    Do you guys know anything about the "Community Achievement Association" that was collecting signatures for a new zoning hearing, and complaining about the permits allowing for various horrors? (I was approached to sign their petition.)
    and

    The ZBA hearing Apple Lofts was held on Jan. 4. CPN and the Baltimore Ave. Business Association among others, entered letters of support. The Community Achievement Association, a local group who cleans and tends the garden lots at 51st and Baltimore and do other clean -up projects in the area, requested a delay on the vote so a second meeting could be held to inform more neighbors. That meeting was held on Jan. 25 on 53rd St. The ZBA is holding the vote for 30 days which brings us to this week. In the interim, CPN encouraged those who support this project to write directly to the ZBA. Many have done so. To make your voice known on this project address letters to:

    Apple Lofts Project; 780 S 52ND ST; Calendar #: 16556

    Address letter to:
    Lynette Brown-Sow, Chair
    Zoning Board of Adjustment
    1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 11th Floor
    Philadelphia, Pa. 19102
    Fax: 215-686-2565

    Include location address and calendar # on top of your letter and on envelope.

    Please cc: to: Jannie L. Blackwell, Room 410, City Hall, Phila., Pa. 19107
    fax 215-686-1933

    and to: CPN, 4740 Baltimore Ave., Phil., PA 19143
    Last edited by annie; 02-02-2012 at 04:40 PM.

  19. #19
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    The Community Achievement Association, a local group who cleans and tends the garden lots at 51st and Baltimore and do other clean -up projects in the area
    This should really be clarified to read "The Community Achievement Association, a local group who GETS PAID BY THE CITY to clean and tend the garden lots at 51st and Baltimore and do other clean -up projects in the area". Its a good deed but is a good deed done for a fee, a fee that many would argue is to reward a Democratic committeeperson for the political work they do or in a word, patronage.

    Thats significantly different from an all-volunteer organization, like for example CPN.

  20. #20
    Senior Member annie's Avatar
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    Have you considered asking Blackwell about running? It sounds like this guy is really stepping outside his bounds and not representing her well, especially disrupting community meetings like that. His division voted more strongly for Burbage (20%) than I think the divisions in the wards farther west where Burbage expected to get more votes. You could make a case that you would be an improvement.

 

 

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