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  1. #21
    loveisnoise's Avatar
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    If a grocery store wants it and it's already an existing business, I'd say yes.

    Are the above floors apartments for them to rent out?

    OK-maybe not 2.2... but definitely over a million.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Ed View Post
    As I said, it's really nice inside and has ridiculous square footage but it only has one main floor. Due to the location and buildings/houses that surround it, is it really worth 2.2 million as it sits?

  2. #22
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    It appears that he does have the rentals on the second floor, but they look tiny and have angled walls due to the 10 foot ceilings downstairs he boasts on the rental website. It also looks to have a shared, central kitchen so they're more like motel rooms as opposed to full service units.
    Also, if it was a stand-alone structure, I could see it being worth 2 mill. Because it's attached to a few row homes and an abandoned, condemned building that has no roof and has another one right across the street from it, Id say that brings down the value some.
    Loveisnoise, that block of "amazing homes with solar panels" is indeed a PHA development. Mantua Hall becomes Mantua Square | philadelphiaheights
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  3. #23
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    Merely playing devil's advocate, as it isn't my home.

    I'll assume that Jelly Roll is knowledgable about these things, and take them at their word.

    Say they are correct and that the city doesn't have to pay for a business. Bricks are still different bricks and valued differently upon what is inside. If it was a vacant shack, that'd be one thing. If it were a residence, another. This is a commercial property with apartment rentals(technically bed and breakfast rentals since they sell them through airbnb). Has to add to the value of the bricks.

    I'm also somewhat confused by the timing of all this. How long has Dupree been in there? I remember his studio being on 6th street and bainbridge when I was on the south street board. Maybe he had two studios?
    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Ed View Post
    It appears that he does have the rentals on the second floor, but they look tiny and have angled walls due to the 10 foot ceilings downstairs he boasts on the rental website. It also looks to have a shared, central kitchen so they're more like motel rooms as opposed to full service units.
    Also, if it was a stand-alone structure, I could see it being worth 2 mill. Because it's attached to a few row homes and an abandoned, condemned building that has no roof and has another one right across the street from it, Id say that brings down the value some.
    Loveisnoise, that block of "amazing homes with solar panels" is indeed a PHA development. Mantua Hall becomes Mantua Square | philadelphiaheights

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveisnoise View Post
    I'm also somewhat confused by the timing of all this. How long has Dupree been in there? I remember his studio being on 6th street and bainbridge when I was on the south street board. Maybe he had two studios?
    I think maybe so. Someone posting on Mr. Dupree's FB page mentions the 6th St studio in the present tense.

    https://www.facebook.com/james.e.dupree

    Edit:

    Here's one of his websites with both locations listed. The gallery is at 703 S. 6th St and studio/art instruction at 3617 Haverford Ave.

    Dupree Studios Inc
    Last edited by Jayfar; 11-09-2013 at 07:27 PM.
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  5. #25
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    Dupree has the studio on Haverford Ave. but his gallery is on 6th. The studio is where he makes it, the gallery is where he shows it.
    He says that it would take a quarter-mill just to move his "art". I'll do it for 10 grand in under a week with a U-Haul!
    As for the Mantua Square development, why can't I have the city build me a beautiful new townhome? I work every day, pay my taxes and shop in the city. Don't I deserve one?
    I pay a thousand bucks a month for this 2 BR condo. I'd love a garage and another bedroom.
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  6. #26
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    Yeah, that PHA housing pisses me off to no end. The best part? If you're no longer poor, you still get a house! I was shocked when talking to a septa driver bus driver who is in PHA housing. He's got a beautiful new place, minimal rent, and nothing to worry about. I've got my 3rd leak in 6 months.

    I want in on the moving dupree deal! Make it 20 and we'll split the uhaul and work! I'm guessing that he is padding that with freight boxes and white glove service of some sort.


    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Ed View Post
    Dupree has the studio on Haverford Ave. but his gallery is on 6th. The studio is where he makes it, the gallery is where he shows it.
    He says that it would take a quarter-mill just to move his "art". I'll do it for 10 grand in under a week with a U-Haul!
    As for the Mantua Square development, why can't I have the city build me a beautiful new townhome? I work every day, pay my taxes and shop in the city. Don't I deserve one?
    I pay a thousand bucks a month for this 2 BR condo. I'd love a garage and another bedroom.

  7. #27
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    My Uncle Ray was a SEPTA bus driver for 40 years. He has a four bedroom colonial with a detached garage/barn, an acre and a half of property and a full basement in Lower Bucks County. He paid it off 20 years ago, raised three kids, bred hunting dogs and has his own hunting lodge in the Poconos.
    Poor, my a**.
    *
    You're IN for the Dupree move. I have a bunch of moving blankets and enough bubble-wrap to float a sunken cruise ship.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeTanks View Post
    I don't think it really matters what the building is worth. The point is that the guy doesn't want to sell it.

    I would like to hear a little bit more on exactly how the RDA seized his deed. Last I heard owning real property is a right that is protected by the constitution of the United States.

    Second, if this area is so blighted that there the owners believes its worth 300% more than what the city claims its worth, whats the point of putting a parking lot in that area?
    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeTanks View Post
    As far as I can tell, this is not an eminent domain case. They don't seize your deed, they go through the courts and force you to sell.

    That's my understanding in any case.
    Quote Originally Posted by ofeibush View Post
    The City condemned this property 14 years ago. They only filed their declaration of taking recently. As a result, they only have to negotiate the price. They do not have to negotiate the sale.

    I own 3635 Haverford and 3637 Haverford which are in the same boat.

    The City can (and has) taken ALL the properties on this block already....all that is left is to figure out the price. This owner cannot stop it unfortunately as the condemnation happened 14 years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Ed View Post
    If the city condemned the property, how was Dupree able to purchase it and not have to demolish the structure? Who sold him the property and who does he pay taxes to for living and running a business out of an already condemned building officially owned by the city of Philadelphia?
    As Confucious said... Sum ting wong.
    Just to clarify something that I think may be misse don temrinology that may clear some of it up.

    When a property is "condemned" in this sense, it means it is seized by the government. It doesn't mean it is dangerous or needs to be torn down.

  9. #29
    ofeibush is offline Senior Member
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    Default It's a mess

    The City filed against nearly a thousand properties in Mantua years and years ago. They then sat on the paperwork for a decade+. Many of the properties have changed hands over the years. These condemnations do not show up on title searches so its impossible to know you are buying something the City has already condemned.

    Condemnation does not mean purchasing. The City can and has condemned thousands and thousands of properties and never done anything to perfect the condemnation. Sometimes they move forward with a declaration of taking whereby they actually decide they want to turn their right to take into an actual taking.

    I bought my two lots at Sheriff Sale. The City was bidding against me and I did not know why. I won the bid but wish I hadn't. Back in December 2012, the City filed a declaration of taking and sent notices out to all the owners. I received one offering me $83k for my pair of lots. I fought the taking because I wanted to build. I then learned that I was many many years too late.

    The City is in a position of strength because you can only litigate over the amount they are paying you. You can agree to a partial settlement or continue to fight. $2.2mm, or even $1mm is a crazy amount of money for that property.

  10. #30
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    I'd be beyond pissed. This is how crazed super villains are born.

  11. #31
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    Is there a way or method to discovering if a property you wish to purchase has been previously condemned? If the city condemns the property, it shouldn't be allowed for resale since it could be confiscated at any time. It doesn't make sense to me, buying a property that may be taken from you at any time for any reason.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by borntochill View Post
    And, sure, having a supermarket in a community without access to one makes sense. However, combining 4 entire city blocks and making the majority of the newly combined parcel a gargantuan surface parking lot is insane. WTF?!
    Plus the creation of superblocks really destroys the functionality of the city both for pedestrians and motorists. One of the things Blatstein got right (maybe by accident but he got it right) with his South Philly strip center developments is for the most parts those developments kept the existing streets. Parking lots need things like streets for the flow of cars, why not the actual streets? And pedestrians have to be careful crossing those street like sections of parking lots, so why not keep the streets?

    As a city, we should say no to superblocks whenever possible. We can have large scale development and keep the functionality our street grid.

  13. #33
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    Exactly. This tactic is nuckin' futs.

    Let's say the grocery store builds and some city councilman's kid wants a grocery store. Could city hall just say "oops! we condemned that land years ago, so now the grocery store and parking lot is ours as well!"

    Hell, I could go up there, rent a commercial spot, spend thousands in renovating it, and then lose everything just because someone walks in and says "this land was condemned without anyone knowing it 10-15 years ago"?!?! That's beyond ridiculous.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radical Ed View Post
    Is there a way or method to discovering if a property you wish to purchase has been previously condemned? If the city condemns the property, it shouldn't be allowed for resale since it could be confiscated at any time. It doesn't make sense to me, buying a property that may be taken from you at any time for any reason.

  14. #34
    borntochill is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoats View Post
    Plus the creation of superblocks really destroys the functionality of the city both for pedestrians and motorists. One of the things Blatstein got right (maybe by accident but he got it right) with his South Philly strip center developments is for the most parts those developments kept the existing streets. Parking lots need things like streets for the flow of cars, why not the actual streets? And pedestrians have to be careful crossing those street like sections of parking lots, so why not keep the streets?

    As a city, we should say no to superblocks whenever possible. We can have large scale development and keep the functionality our street grid.
    Agreed. Here's are Google street views of existing West Phiily superblocks:

    2-block superblock:

    http://goo.gl/maps/N40zc

    4-block superblock:

    http://goo.gl/maps/cGcsf

    Lovely, right?

    From the website of Aquinas Realty, the developer of "Westview Plaza":

    The Plaza will consist of a suburban-style supermarket and additional pad-site retail. The proposed development site encompasses four city blocks in the Mantua section of Philadelphia bordered by Wallace Street to the North, 36th Street to the East, 38th Street to the West and Haverford Avenue to the South. The project and development team have garnered strong support from all stakeholders (e.g. community groups, Drexel University, City Council and City and State Government). The timetable for this project is to commence construction in the Fall of 2013 and deliver in the Fall of 2014.
    I'm curious which "community groups" want a monstrous surface parking lot.

  15. #35
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    What City Hall wants, City Hall takes. Sure, they throw you a handful of chump-change and call it equal compensation but it disrupts lives and livelihoods.
    How is a man going to be expected to prosper if the city allows him to unwittingly purchase property it has sequestered for future possible use? If the real estate agent knows, it should be plainly and clearly stated that this is how the property stands and this is what may happen at any given time. If you're required by law to list if a house may be haunted by ghosts (yes, it's painfully true), why not list the possibility the city may confiscate the property? It boggles the mind.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoats View Post
    Plus the creation of superblocks really destroys the functionality of the city both for pedestrians and motorists. One of the things Blatstein got right (maybe by accident but he got it right) with his South Philly strip center developments is for the most parts those developments kept the existing streets. Parking lots need things like streets for the flow of cars, why not the actual streets? And pedestrians have to be careful crossing those street like sections of parking lots, so why not keep the streets?

    As a city, we should say no to superblocks whenever possible. We can have large scale development and keep the functionality our street grid.
    I'm a little late to the conversation, but the whole story is more complicated than the article lets on. The Aquinas Development Group is the same entity as MCIC, the group that Drexel recently pulled their funding from. They've been trying to develop this grocery store for at least five years, but probably longer. The blocks were blighted, but there were still a mix of residents and businesses. The plan was to take at least two blocks and set aside the land for a large grocery store complex (i.e Shop Rite). From an urban design standpoint, the whole concept is just horrifying. Large parking lot, building set back, and no relationship of the building to the surrounding low-rise rowhomes around it.

    Those blocks are blighted in part because this development plan has prevented any private investment from taking place there. I'm not sure why this artist decided to buck the trend, but I guess its possible he purchased the property without knowing of the redevelopment plans. I doubt the value of this man's studio is 2.2 million, but I'd say it is definitely above 1 million. We've seen a lot of larger parcels in the area sell for that much.

    I can't speak to community group's support of the project. MCIC is behind the project, but that doesn't mean its what neighbors want. I know if this were developed in Powelton Village, just two blocks to the South, we'd have put the brakes on the thing a lot sooner. It's one thing to propose a grocery store. It's another to wipe out all urban fabric for it in an area that is otherwise seeing a lot of private investment.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poweltonian View Post
    MCIC is behind the project, but that doesn't mean its what neighbors want.
    According to the Daily News and the Inquirer, Mantua Community Improvement Committee (MCIC) is Jannie Blackwell's favorite neighborhood group:

    West Phila. community group suing Jannie Blackwell - Philly.com

    Council schools plan: Good for kids - and for pols? - Philly.com

    For a registered 501(c)(3) receiving large grants, MCIC has a kick-ass website that will connect you to cheap online viagra, cialis and levitra without a prescription.

    Mantua Community Improvement Committee

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by borntochill View Post
    MCIC has a kick-ass website that will connect you to cheap online viagra, cialis and levitra without a prescription.

    Mantua Community Improvement Committee
    There website really sums up their mission statement.
    "Therefore final consideration of buttocks claudication Buy Viagra Online Without Prescription Buy Viagra Online Without Prescription in on erectile mechanism. "

  19. #39
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    This area really is a food desert, and most certainly could use a nice grocery store... but I don't get why they are going to build it with 4 city blocks in mind! I mean... its a food desert for people who LIVE there... not people who are going to drive their car there... am I right? If you have access to a car, drive a little south to chestnut and shop there... or a little north... or a little west.

    So if they wanted to make a better community for those who live in this food desert, they would build a supermarket, and try to preserve the vacant investment area surrounding it, while providing a small parking lot. I mean... seriously, Superfresh at 2nd and girard has a small foot print. Supremo at chestnut and 44th has a small foot print. Heck... build a parking lot on both sides of this artist's business! He probably has one of the only gems in that neighborhood anyway. Why get rid of something that is a benefit to their area?

    And besides that point... how come eminent domain allows for the seizure of land that benefits the profit margin for a privately owned company? By doing emminent domain, the government gets to write a check for $400k...instead of the private grocery store having to write a check for $2.2 million. Is that really fair? If anything... when eminent domain stands to benefit a private large corporation, the people being bought out should benefit greatly! They should be cheering.. "yeah! I'm being bought out!!!" If a business gets taken by eminent domain, they should be given well enough money to relocate their business!

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafeguy View Post
    This area really is a food desert, and most certainly could use a nice grocery store... but I don't get why they are going to build it with 4 city blocks in mind! I mean... its a food desert for people who LIVE there... not people who are going to drive their car there... am I right? If you have access to a car, drive a little south to chestnut and shop there... or a little north... or a little west.

    So if they wanted to make a better community for those who live in this food desert, they would build a supermarket, and try to preserve the vacant investment area surrounding it, while providing a small parking lot. I mean... seriously, Superfresh at 2nd and girard has a small foot print. Supremo at chestnut and 44th has a small foot print. Heck... build a parking lot on both sides of this artist's business! He probably has one of the only gems in that neighborhood anyway. Why get rid of something that is a benefit to their area?

    And besides that point... how come eminent domain allows for the seizure of land that benefits the profit margin for a privately owned company? By doing emminent domain, the government gets to write a check for $400k...instead of the private grocery store having to write a check for $2.2 million. Is that really fair? If anything... when eminent domain stands to benefit a private large corporation, the people being bought out should benefit greatly! They should be cheering.. "yeah! I'm being bought out!!!" If a business gets taken by eminent domain, they should be given well enough money to relocate their business!
    There you go...interjecting logic into anything City Council does...
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