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Residents evicted at two West Philly apartment buildings safe for now

May 1, 2018

A group of community organizations are standing with residents of Dorsett Court (4710 Locust St.) and Admiral Court (237 S. 48th St.) apartment buildings who were recently given bogus eviction notices to scare tenants out and make way for the sale of the buildings. A court decision has staved off eviction for at least a few more weeks.

Residents and supporters gathered in front of the buildings, which are adjacent on the corner of 48th and Locust, at a rally yesterday organized by the Philadelphia Tenants Union (PTU), a grassroots organization focused on protecting renters from unfair evictions. Community Legal Services and the Public Interest Law Center are also assisting the roughly 70 residents who received the eviction notices. Some video of the event is available on the PTU Facebook pageContinue Reading

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Residents of two apartment buildings at 48th and Locust ‘ordered’ to leave within three weeks (updated)

April 25, 2018

UPDATE: A Dorset/Admiral Court Mass Eviction Rally, hosted by Philadelphia Tenants Union, will take place Monday, April 30, 4-5:30 p.m. at 4710 Locust St. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.

Residents of two apartment buildings, Admiral Court and Dorsett Court, located at 48th and Locust, were told earlier this month to move out by April 30, according to media and neighbor reports. The reason? The owner is reportedly selling the buildings, which include affordable, Section 8 housing.

According to the eviction letter, received by the tenants on April 9, the doors will be locked and utilities will be shut off April 30, so many residents are currently scrambling to find new places to live. About 70 tenants are working with Community Legal Services to determine their rights in this “unlawful” situation, according to a report by Philly.com.

The two four-story buildings include 105 apartments, about 30 percent of which are vacant, according to the report. The prospective buyer hasn’t yet been identified, but demand for market-rate apartments has ballooned in recent years. The buildings are across the street from the newly developed West Lofts (former West Philadelphia High School).  Continue Reading

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New retail/community services complex breaks ground near 60th and Market

February 16, 2018

A new retail and community services complex is coming to West Philadelphia’s Haddington-Cobbs Creek neighborhood. New Market West is a four story, 135,700 square foot hub which will be built on a 1.5 acre vacant site at 5901 Market Street, half a block from the 60th and Market Street El stop (see rendering).

The new building will house organizations focused on early childhood education, workforce development, educational and emergency support services, behavioral health service, and will include community-serving retail.

Governor Tom Wolf joined other state and city officials and representatives from local community organizations in a groundbreaking ceremony for the complex on Friday morning. During the ceremony, the governor announced the approval of $10.5 million in tax credits to support the project, in addition to the state’s $5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program investment announced in December. Continue Reading

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Are you a renter? Learn more about your rights this Wednesday

January 23, 2018

If you’re not sure of what rights you have as a property renter, you can learn more at this week’s Tenant Rights Workshop in West Philly. The workshop will take place at Blackwell Regional Library (52nd and Sansom) on Wednesday, Jan.24, beginning at 6 p.m. and will cover various issues related to landlords or rental properties, including:

• Threats of eviction
• Concerns about getting priced out of your rental unit
• Discrimination in finding housing
• Questions about your rights as a renter

The workshop is presented by the Tenant Union Representative Network (TURN) and The Enterprise Center (TEC). Their work in the area is supported with funding from the City of Philadelphia’s Division of Housing and Community Development.

For more information, check out the event Facebook page.

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Staunch opposition to new Garden Court apartment building voiced at community meeting

January 19, 2018

Post Bros. co-founder Mike Pestronk during presentation of the proposed addition to the Garden Court Plaza at 47th and Pine at last night’s Garden Court zoning committee meeting.

A crowd of about 70 people gathered to hear about a proposed 243-unit addition to the Garden Court Plaza complex on the 4700 block of Pine Street voted overwhelmingly against the plan.

Proposed building rendering (view from Pine Street).

Post Bros., the current owners of Garden Court Plaza, want to erect an adjacent building that would bring the total number of residential units of the complex at the corner of 47th and Pine to 389. The plan requires the city to issue variances for both building height and density. Current zoning for the site allows for a building with a maximum height of 38 feet. The proposal would double the density maximum for the site, currently set at 170 units.  Continue Reading

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UPDATE: Spruce Hill Zoning, Fair Districts PA West Philly meetings scheduled for tonight canceled

January 8, 2018

UPDATE (1:40 p.m.): Both meetings have been canceled due to freezing rain in the forecast for late Monday afternoon/evening. The Spruce Hill Zoning Committee meeting will be rescheduled at the earliest possible date, according to Zoning Committee chair Garry Grossbach. The Fair Districts PA meeting will be rescheduled for February. Stay tuned for more updates.

Residents are invited to get more information about development projects in Spruce Hill and how to get involved with nonpartisan group Fair Districts PA at two community meetings on Monday, Jan. 8.

4508-10 Walnut Street (Google Street View image).

A Spruce Hill Zoning Committee meeting will take place at the Spruce Hill Center (257 S. 45th St) and will inform neighborhood residents about two proposals: Conversion of three-unit building to five units at 424 S. 45th St. and conversion of nine existing apartments into 18 at 4508-10 Walnut St.

The 9,251 square feet building at 4508-10 Walnut Street is owned by Safdan Partners LLC. Eighteen units are proposed from partially on the first floor to the fourth floor of the building, which also houses two storefronts currently occupied by LULU Cafe and Hunter Gatherer Tattoo.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.  Continue Reading

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