It’s early Sunday morning; and with the diversion of the infamous Point Breeze lot settled, it’s time to return to a dataset that I posted about before the lot drama escalated: all those licensed landlords who owe the City over $12.6MM (the illegal unlicensed landlords we’ll be getting to eventually).
I am fully expecting that my own property tax bill will triple, if not quadruple, when AVI hits me. And I’m sure like all of you, both old Philadelphian and new Philadelphians alike, especially those of us (including myself) who do not have a tax abatement are going to be paying a lot more. A helluva lot more.
PDQ is forever focused on urban renewal and the backdrop of all the problems that blight creates for Philadelphia. But Philadelphians give few thoughts towards the suburbs. Sure, we know about Camden, Chester, Norristown… but what about other suburbs that most of us regard as tony islands of wealth that dot the land surrounding us? It’s more than you think it is.
The redevelopment, rehab and urban renewal bug that has caught on in several Philadelphia neighborhoods has been spreading to Philly’s suburbs.
The MOSAIC land trust was formed in 2010 right at the depths of the housing collapse. Pottstown suffers a symptom that many towns surrounding Philadelphia have been weathering: too many residential investors disinterested in property maintenance, outright abandonment, foreclosure and decaying housing stock.
In many ways, MOSAIC models itself similarly to the New Kensington Community Development Corp. that is here in Kensington, which has been very successful in transforming areas of Kensington where it works.
Low-income housing construction in Point Breeze has been quite dormant since Universal Companies has barely expanded into the neighborhood from it’s ensconced position in Southwest Center City. But that’s soon to change.
Lately, the PRA is on a mission to acquire lots. Lots of lots.
Well kids, the PRA has done some soul searching and has had a change of heart. We are delighted and pleased that the right thing is being done.
In the agreement, OCF Realty will lease the Point Breeze lot from the City and also assume all liability claims that may occur on the property while the PRA determines how to dispose of the property in whatever venue it thinks is best.
Does that mean Ori’s not frustrated anymore? Far from it. He’s of course still furious; but OCF and the City will not be escalating to nuclear warfare as-feared over a 36-year old abandoned lot the size of a tennis court.