Al Aqsa Mosque owns the block on the left. It wants to annex the block (on the right), which has property owned by Mel.

After poking this with a stick a bit more, it looks like the Greco’s Pizza is not what’s at issue with the next land grab to hit Philly.  Instead it’s a block annexation project.   Al Aqsa pretty much owns the block bordered by Jefferson, Cadwallader, Oxford, Germantown and 4th.

The block on the right is a mix, including the properties that Mel owns.

So far it seems this is not a case of conservatorship, as there’s no Common Pleas lawsuit asking a judge to declare the privately-owned property on the condemnation block as blighted, allowing Al Aqsa to take over the property without owning it.

Certainly this case merits attention and I’m sure more information will be coming out as the details of what Al Aqsa’s plans are for the site are known.


Well, the PRA Land Grab isn’t over yet.   Now we got a new land grab up in Kensington.

El Greco Pizza, 1500 N 2nd Street

The Al Aqsa Mosque at 1501 Germantown Avenue wants to expand into–what else–“affordable housing“, which is a boondoggle for a select few politically-connected home builders in the region who are reaping a profit off of the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

This time, the owner of a Kensington pizza store is finding that property he owns is on the condemnation list at the City’s behest because the owner, Mel Athanasiadis, refused to sell his property over to the mosque.

Mel has taken to Facebook to speak out about his ordeal and the sudden battle he has found himself in with the City’s Redevelopment Authority.

Good Luck on this, Mel.   This will be a long fight and you most definitely will need to obtain a lawyer.   I would recommend Carl Primavera, the real-estate attorney to the stars, for this one.

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How do you build a real estate empire if you don’t have any money?  Why… steal houses!

Dwayne E. Stewart, a resident at 4918 Chestnut Street, is one of the more curious individuals in Philadelphia you may ever meet.

The various shades of cray-cray Dwayne has appeared in. (Pennsylvania State Police)

He is also a registered sex offender.  Offender ID: 9238.

Back over a year ago, the owner of a non-profit called the 2nd Mile (no relation to Jerry Sandusky’s charity) was doing battle over the house Stewart has either been claiming as his, or he is renting it legally.   He can’t ever seem to keep a straight answer as to whether he owns or rents.   This past March, the house he occupies was thrown into Sheriff’s Sale and has since become a bank-owned property, with Stewart squatting in it.

Stewart has a propensity for deed theft and forgery.    In the sleepy coal town of Mount Carmel, PA… Stewart was arraigned and indicted for:

MOUNT CARMEL – Charges of forgery, theft by deception and two counts of access device fraud were ordered bound to court against Dwayne E. Stewart, 40, of Philadelphia, following a preliminary hearing Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Hugh A. Jones, of Mount Carmel.

He was charged by Trooper David Townsend of state police at Stonington following a Jan. 6 incident in Ralpho Township, in which Stewart is accused of forging the name of James Mudry, 54, of Ralpho Township, on a check paid to the order of D. Stewart Construction for $14,500 and then cashing the forged check at Wilson’s Check Cashing in Philadelphia.

Stewart was arraigned on the charges in March by Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones of Mount Carmel and released on $20,000 unsecured bail. (cite)

Oh, but it gets better.   Dwayne runs a company called D. Stewart Construction Remodelers, LLC.   It even has its own Facebook page with a cover photo of a building with missing windows.

D. Stewart Construction tried to file a $1 million dollar mechanics lein against Carlos Matos and Renee Tartaglione; daughter of the infamous long-serving City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione.   Both Matos and Tartaglione are politically-active families in Kensington with a checkered history.  Carlos Matos is married into the Tartaglione family.

Matos was a ward leader in Kensington who was convicted on a 3 year sentence for bribery.  Tartaglione was slammed by the City’s Ethics board for conducting illegal political activity.

The mechanics lein that Stewart filed is in chicken scratch on what appears to be crumpled paper.   The court filing for the lein was so awful, Common Pleas court Judge Panepinto threw out the lein with prejudice, meaning that Stewart is barred from ever filing it again in any Pennsylvania court.

If that hasn’t helped Stewart’s penchant as a frivolous litigant, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would definitely like to speak to him about his business practices.  The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office filed a motion to compel appearance due to numerous complaints filed with its Office of Consumer Protection.    As Stewart also files baseless suits in Common Pleas, other litigants are after Stewart for getting screwed.

4918 Chestnut

As far as the house that Dwayne E. Stewart stole and was squatting inside of?   That may have come to an end; the mortgage company filed and secured a Writ of Possession to get rid of Stewart from its house on Chestnut Street.

But… home-buyers beware.   Stewart has a new con:   Selling houses.

Affordable housing developers typically like to build on cleared-blocks and erect stretches of faux-colonials that resemble Pleasantville

This list of “Affordable Housing” is brought to you by the Multiple Listing Service.   I have highlighted the home sales and listings here which are deemed “affordable” (below $140K).

For a home priced at $133K and for someone with a 620 FICO score, the mortgage payment comes out to approximately $675 a month with an FHA loan, taxes and escrow.

Address, Price, Builder

1624 Federal St $150,000 Community Ventures
1626 Federal St $175,000 Community Ventures
1628 Federal St $250,000 Community Ventures
1630 Federal St $230,000 ACT Community Ventures
1627 Manton St $125,000 Community Ventures
1629 Manton St $150,000 Community Ventures
1631 Manton St $150,000 Community Ventures
1220 S 17th St $225,000 Community Ventures
1222 S 17th St $150,000 Community Ventures
1224 S 17th St $150,000 Community Ventures
1226 S 17th St $125,000 ACT Community Ventures
1310 S 16th St $225,000 ACT Community Ventures
1330 S 18th St $225,000 ACT Community Ventures
1332 S 18th St $125,000 Community Ventures
1730 Ellsworth St $150,000 Community Ventures
1737 Federal St $225,000 ACT Community Ventures
1736 Manton St $135,000 ACT Community Ventures
1632 Wharton St $225,000 ACT Community Ventures
1708 Wharton St $135,000 ACT Community Ventures
1500 S 20th St $179,500 PND Northstar
1502 S 20th St $172,500 PND Northstar
1504 S 20th St $172,500 PND Northstar
1415 S 20th St $125,000 Northstar
1426 S 20th St $179,500 PND Northstar
1710 S 18th St $172,500 Northstar
1141 S Cleveland St $240,000 Innova
1146 S Dorrance St $250,000 Innova
1214 S 19th St $125,000 STL Innova
2042 Federal St $235,000 Innova
1418 S 20th St $169,900 STL Innova
1424 S 20th St $159,900 STL Innova
2014 Dickinson St $159,900 STL Innova
1624 S 19th St $169,900 STL Innova
1627 S 19th St $169,900 STL Innova
1705 S 19th St $159,900 STL Innova
1215 S 27th St $125,000 PND Cashel
1217 S 27th St $182,000 Cashel
1219 S 27th St $182,000 Cashel
1221 S 27th St $182,000 Cashel
1223 S 27th St $182,000 Cashel

Jesus… when is OCF not causing trouble?   There was LotGate, then the Land Grab, then 2100 Fairmount, and now a Landlord-Tenant lawsuit that was thought to have been settled has been re-filed against a soon-to-be member of the Pennsylvania Legislature:  Jordan A. Harris.

In OCF Realty vs. Citizens For Jordan Harris, Representative-Elect Harris’s campaign had rented a storefront in Point Breeze for his campaign headquarters in his bid to run for the Pennsylvania House seat formerly occupied by current-Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.

The storefront is now the location of OCF Coffee Shop, the same coffee shop that a neighborhood activist group who calls themselves Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze is claiming that it is threatening the lives of residents.

A while back, Harris’s landlord filed due to non-payment of rent.   An agreement was reached with Rep-Elect Harris and all seemed well.

But alas, no payments.   The case has been relisted in Municipal Court for a hearing January 22nd.

Going back through of Jordan A. Harris’s other cases in Common Pleas Court, I note the following:

  • A $381 gas claim from PGW for a property Rep-Elect Harris owns on 31st Street filed March 2012.   Case ID No. 120332392
  • A $928 gas claim from PGW for the same property in 2001.  Case ID No. 110530995
  • Two traffic court judgments appealed to Common Pleas for $148 and $106 respectively.   Case ID Nos. 101263941 and 101263942 filed in December 2010.
  • A $2,363 gas claim from PGW for the same property as above, filed March 2008.   Case ID No. 080331076
  • This statutory appeal for a traffic ticket, filed In Forma Pauperis, was denied on the merits due to the IFP being declared invalid by the judge.

Well, it seems pretty clear that Representative-Elect Harris probably doesn’t have the ability to pay this bill.  The Prothonotory’s Office still shows that he owes for some of those traffic tickets.  PGW’s liens eventually get recouped when debtors try to sell their property and the liens are discovered in a title search (or the homeowner gets tired of using space heaters).

Psst—you still owe this.

I hope once Point Breeze’s Representative starts collecting his $78,314.60 a year, he might be able to pay the First Judicial District some of his bills.   And perhaps, also settle up that pesky back rent.

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