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  1. #21
    annie's Avatar
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    Community Response To Apple Storage Make-Over Lofts And Mix-Use Building
    Andrew Einstein, of Iron Stone Management will present his plans to the community one last time at the Arnett A.M.E. Church, 815 S 53rd St. next Wednesday, February 15th at 7 p.m.
    ...
    The Community Achievement Association, a non-profit association formed by Kelly in 2006, serves residents from 50th and Baltimore through 52nd Street to the west, Pine Street to the north and Kingsessing to the south. The organization grew from the Attempt of Vision Program of the 46th Ward, which worked towards addressing neighborhood blight and crime on the 5000-5200 blocks of Baltimore Ave. Efforts made by Attempt of Vision and the Community Achievement Program, significantly improved the neighborhood, Kelly explained. For instance, those efforts led to several effective street cleanings, the installment of seven wire trash baskets on the 5100 blocks of Baltimore Ave, as well as working with the University City District (UCD) to expand its street light initiative from the 5000 block to the 5100 block of Baltimore Ave. In many ways, Kelly believes that the accomplishments of the Community Achievement Association have laid the groundwork for the kind of improvements that would attract future businesses to the 5100 block of Baltimore Avenue.
    ....
    Highlights of the community’s concerns- voiced both at both the January 25th meeting as well as through a survey-- run the gamut from taxes to affordability to employment. The surrounding community is not only concerned with the fact that the apartment building could raise property taxes for surrounding homeowners—many of whom live on fixed incomes—but also because Iron Stone Management will receive a ten year tax abatement if the building’s constructed. According to Kelly, many of the surrounding neighbors have wondered why new homeowners-- either those who build or purchase a home—cannot receive similar tax abatements. Many residents also wonder if the developer plans to offer any affordable or Section 8 apartments.

    And when it came to concerns over employment, many neighbors were concerned about whether or not the developers would offer local or out of town jobs for the building’s construction. In addition, many questioned whether or not changing the building’s use from industrial to residential was the best idea when it came to job creation. More jobs might be made available if the building maintained its original industrial use through another type of development, Kelly added.
    UGH. Sean, I think you were right - the cognitive dissonance above is making this sound like a shakedown...

  2. #22
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    "Andrew Einstein, of Iron Stone Management will present his plans to the community one last time at the Arnett A.M.E. Church, 815 S 53rd St. next Wednesday, February 15th at 7 p.m."
    Eisenstein, not Einstein, which means iron stone auf Deutsch.
    I cringed when I read this article, both for that misspelling and all the ridiculous arguments therein.

  3. #23
    the_wza is offline Senior Member
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    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.
    Basically he does nothing except try to sabotage anything productive he hears about in the general area, well outside of his actual electoral division.
    You're right that he hijacks progress; I once asked if he would work with me to get the Big Belly trash compactors by the SEPTA stop at 53rd and Baltimore, because it's always trashed and it's right in front of a grade school, and he said that would somehow create more trash. I think he just saw that as money that could go towards his "efforts".

    He will also claim - in person - that his org goes all the way out to 58th St., which is of course absolute bullsh**, because if they do extend that far they must skip over the two block stretch between 52nd and 54th along Baltimore.

  4. #24
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  5. #25
    daveydoo is offline Senior Member
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    "In addition, many questioned whether or not changing the building’s use from industrial to residential was the best idea when it came to job creation. More jobs might be made available if the building maintained its original industrial use through another type of development, Kelly added."

    If this were the case, I'm sure the city commerce department would be testifying to such a possibility, no?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveydoo View Post
    "In addition, many questioned whether or not changing the building’s use from industrial to residential was the best idea when it came to job creation. More jobs might be made available if the building maintained its original industrial use through another type of development, Kelly added."

    If this were the case, I'm sure the city commerce department would be testifying to such a possibility, no?
    "many" = ?

  7. #27
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    And I'm sure all the homeowners on the 700 block of S. 52nd would just LOVE to live next to a large active factory.

  8. #28
    seand is offline Senior Member
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    I'd just like to point out that although Mr. Kelly is my Democratic committeeperson and I always see him out front of my polling place at 52nd and Catharine on election day that "Community Achievement Association" has never once put out a flyer or scheduled a public meeting before this one that either I or any of neighbors on the 5000 block of Catharine have ever been notified. Nor as a business owner on the 5000 block of Baltimore have I been notified of any meetings, nor have the other 3 functioning businesses on our block (Sunray, Klash, Independence Rock School) ever been invited to meetings of the "Community Achievement Association" to the best of my knowledge. Nor have any of my tenants who live on the 5000 block of Baltimore. And none of them were contacted for his more recent Apple Lofts meeting for that matter.

    See if you are going to claim to be a neighborhood organization with standing in front of the ZBA, you actually have to, you know, have regularly schedlued meetings where residents of the are you claim to cover are invited to come out, have an elected board with by-laws, have a membership of more than one person, etc.

    See its perhaps a bit geographically unballanced but actually 4 members of the current board of Cedar Park Neighbors live on the 5000 block of Catharine St., including the current VP (my block captain), so its a bit mindboggling for him to claim that noone west of 50th was notified for the first zoning meeting CPN held in Wayland Baptist on 52nd.
    Last edited by seand; 02-10-2012 at 01:20 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveydoo View Post
    "In addition, many questioned whether or not changing the building’s use from industrial to residential was the best idea when it came to job creation. More jobs might be made available if the building maintained its original industrial use through another type of development, Kelly added."

    If this were the case, I'm sure the city commerce department would be testifying to such a possibility, no?
    More likely PIDC, but they're focused on the lower Schuylkill right now.
    Seeing as all the warehouses in the near northeast are getting converted into artist lofts and studios, and co-working spaces, etc I'm sure industry is just dying to buy this building. Or the one on the 5100 block of Florence, or any of the ones at 51st and Warrington, or the African community center on Springfield, or the old lithographers building/trolley barn on 41st and Chestnut, or any of the warehouses on Lancaster or...
    /sarcasm.

  10. #30
    seand is offline Senior Member
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    Apple Storage was built not as a "place to keep your personal stuff" modern self-serve U-haul style storage facility but as commercial warehouse space for rent when the train tracks that are currently the R3 commuter line was a busy freight line bringing in agricultural products from mostly dairy farms in Delaware county. Now there is no regular frieight service (*about once a month Amorosco's commercial bakery gets a single container car of flour in the middle of the night), no dairy farms in Springfield and a little road called I-95.

    The idea that Apple Lofts would magically come back to being used as commercial freight depot on a commuter line that carries basically almost no feight traffic on it is absurd.

  11. #31
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    I have won before the ZBA without the Councilmember's support and with a cranky letter of opposition from a local CDC.
    The people that serve on the ZBA seem very rational to me, having observed more than a few hearings.
    So what is the big f'ing deal if this Kelly opposes an application, when the applicant has letters of support from other
    community organizations? I'm not getting why he's considered a real threat, as opposed to just a nuisance.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
    I have won before the ZBA without the Councilmember's support and with a cranky letter of opposition from a local CDC.
    The people that serve on the ZBA seem very rational to me, having observed more than a few hearings.
    So what is the big f'ing deal if this Kelly opposes an application, when the applicant has letters of support from other
    community organizations? I'm not getting why he's considered a real threat, as opposed to just a nuisance.
    Because he's managed to stall the process by a month and a half so far and his "concerns" are ridiculous. Because the ZBA is not nowhere near as rational and professional as you seem to think - they approved this but denied this.

    I will say that someone was trying to open a micro distillery on Pentridge in an abandoned old garage and got denied by the ZBA because of neighbor opposition (I guess they liked it being vacant and desolate?).

    BTW, apparently representatives from the OPA will apparently be attending to explain the tax issues. Where the heck were they at the Point Breeze zoning debacle?

  13. #33
    seand is offline Senior Member
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    Because some Councilpeople seem to lean harder on "councilmatic perogative" than others and Jannie leans pretty effin' hard on it.
    Last year he tried to have a follow-up meeting CPN had had scheduled for 2 1/2 months where they were expecting up to around 120 people by having Blackwell's aide, Marty Cabry, call an hour before the meeting was scheduled to occur to demand for it to stop. And then the guy monopolized the meeting for 40 minutes while he talked about every ugly flower planter he has ever installed. So the nuisance factor is very high.

    Also he's always claiming to "represent" this area since 2006 and I've freakin' owned a business in this area since 2005 and been involved in the actual civic covering the area since about 2002 and except for shaking down Young Love's for moeny, he's done zero-zip-nada for my block of Baltimore. So the "where does this guy come off" factor irks me even a little bit more.

  14. #34
    Sharkfood is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie View Post
    Because he's managed to stall the process by a month and a half so far and his "concerns" are ridiculous. Because the ZBA is not nowhere near as rational and professional as you seem to think - they approved this but denied this.

    I will say that someone was trying to open a micro distillery on Pentridge in an abandoned old garage and got denied by the ZBA because of neighbor opposition (I guess they liked it being vacant and desolate?).

    BTW, apparently representatives from the OPA will apparently be attending to explain the tax issues. Where the heck were they at the Point Breeze zoning debacle?
    He can't stall the process. It may be risky, but the applicant can always choose to proceed with a ZBA hearing and explain all his community outreach efforts. If denied by the ZBA, the applicant can also go to the Court of Common Pleas.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
    I have won before the ZBA without the Councilmember's support and with a cranky letter of opposition from a local CDC.
    The people that serve on the ZBA seem very rational to me, having observed more than a few hearings.
    So what is the big f'ing deal if this Kelly opposes an application, when the applicant has letters of support from other
    community organizations? I'm not getting why he's considered a real threat, as opposed to just a nuisance.
    I'm assuming your case was with the old David Auspitz incarnation of the ZBA? He was eccentric, but predictable and reasonable. The new board, eh, not so much.

    As for Annie's comment on the distillery, I was among the opposition and it wasn't because I love the vacant building, it was because the applicant could never provide any inkling of a ventilation plan that proved she wasn't going to blow our house up. As much as I love the idea of a local spirits production, local employment and occupied buildings in the hood, answering repeated demands for more detail on very basic equipment for a distillery (which she admittedly never operated) with nothing but leaning on some vague concept of a local economy is not acceptable. I want to know that YOU know PRECISELY what you're doing before you start manufacturing flammable liquids under pressure a block away from us. If they had just given a model number of the fan they wanted to buy I mighthave been convinced they had done the minimal research required.

  16. #36
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    Thanks for correcting me. The opposition I'd heard about the distillery was more whining about the area being residential. Your objection is a more understandable one.

  17. #37
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    Shawn Kelly just stopped by my house collecting signatures for Fattah, Roebuck and Obama. I asked him why I wasn't notified of the meeting on Wednesday and he played dumb until I said Apple Storage. He claimed he was misquoted in the paper, he's not actually concerned about people west of 50th Street (which I am) it's the people west of 52nd Street that haven't had their chance to be notified, except, you know, they already had a meeting plus the CPN meeting which had people west of 52nd Street in attendance (he disputed this even though I don't remember him being at the meeting). He kept claiming he was misquoted in the paper and he's NOT actually opposed to the project but it's just that people weren't notified and not even the 51st Ward Leader knew about the project. Well then! He kept using the example that not even 53rd and Pentridge knew and what do you know, that's where the Ward Leader lives! So this is all about him making himself feel important and buttering up the ward leader. The 51st Ward Leader sounds like a crappy community leader since she apparently doesn't follow CPN even though she lives just on the other side of 52nd Street.

    I told him his concerns were ridiculous and that I'd see him on Wednesday.

    P.S. I asked him how he was notifying people of the meeting and he said "the paper." God, his outreach efforts show some real dedication to his community.
    Last edited by annie; 02-11-2012 at 12:16 PM.

  18. #38
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    Ironically, that while the warehouse for the proposed distillery was zoned commercial, she was not able to go forward because she could not get it zoned industrial. Residents were opposed because they were not happy with what they viewed as a lack of a realistic detailed plan for an industrial, chemical process that involves evaporating a highly flammable chemical agent (which alchohol is, as much as I love to drink it) next to their homes. But as long as Apple Lofts stays industrial something like a distiller or basically any other chemical production facility could in theory go in there without requiring any zoning change whatsoever. If the owners of the Apple Loft building are forced to remain industrial, they would be forced to look for "industrial" tenants.

    Mmmm. I love me some varnish and/or roofing material manufacturing right next to my kids bedroom window.

    Of course realistically Philadelphia has a huge excess of outdated industrial buildings in huge swaths of North Philadelphia sufficiently removed from residential areas that they have not exactly been lining up to use so I'm not sure how likely that is to happen.

    It just silly that some people would aparently rather keep Apple Lofts zoned to do things like melt and mold vinyl or mix paint and solvents in a residential area than risk the idea of "nice" apartments bringing potential customers to suffering 52nd St. businesses.
    Last edited by seand; 02-13-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  19. #39
    the_wza is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by annie View Post
    And I'm sure all the homeowners on the 700 block of S. 52nd would just LOVE to live next to a large active factory.
    Isn't the 700 block where the Dry Cleaner, Chinese take-out, Beer Distributor, Coffee Shop, Bar (11 Burgers and Dogs, or whatever the hell it's called) and Baltimore Ave. Deli are? If so I think there are few, if any, homeowners that actually live on that block.

  20. #40
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    782 s. 52nd street philadelphia pa - Google Maps

    After the Francis Funeral Home, S. 52nd Street is residential until you get to Apple Storage. There is actually a house just north of Apple so Sean's comment about possibly venting right into a kid's window is accurate. Also, homes on this block pay $90-900 per year in annual taxes. Apple's owners pay $20K.

 

 

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