Among the items that were cited were fire extinguishers not having the appropriate inspection tags, illuminated exit signs in the building, and an exposed electrical junction box on “exterior 2nd floor” according to the inspector’s notes. All the violations are now marked in the system as complied. The last time L&I touched this record was February 6, just two weeks ago.
L&I has apparently been inside the building before the fire and everything appeared to be normal. So, how did this fire begin?
The Rainbow and Payless Shoe store that’s been going up in flames all morning at York and Jasper is owned by a Brooklyn-based commercial investment group called Maverick Management. I found their website.
In my previous post I detailed a long line of commercial property Maverick owns. These properties came from a previous investor, Miller Family Limited Partnership, with Alvin Miller as its head.
In a landlord-tenant dispute arising after Maverick acquired the Miller properties, the document reveals the association between Front Emerald Partners, LLC., the owners of record of the building, and Maverick.
Maverick Management has a phone number, which I tried various extensions but couldn’t get through to an employee there.
I called and left a voicemail to let them know their investment is on fire.
A rapid tour through this portfolio shows that most of it is large retail commercial space that’s mostly the home of the Family Dollar and Rainbow chain stores. The mortgage document was signed by a man named Alvin Miller. The deed to the property reveals that the building used to be owned by Miller Family Limited Partnership until being sold to the Brooklyn owners.
Good morning kids! The EL is shut down and a big Kensington building is on fire. The back of 2317-25 N FRONT ST is ablaze, which is across the street from the former Bucks Hosiery factory which was a huge 5 story masonry building. During firefighting efforts on that building a collapse killed Firefighter Robert Neary and Lt. Daniel Sweeny.
If you’re north of Berks St. station, you’re probably just better staying home or using the bus.
With temperatures down at 8F, some of the fireplugs have frozen solid. Considering that the White Elephant building is right next door (left in picture) and was saved from fire by the wind keeping burning embers from going into the exposed windows, we might not be so lucky this time.
The owners of this building are:
The building goes from street to street and faces Front Street directly underneath the Market-Frankford EL across from York-Dauphin Station. The building contains a Rainbow clothing shop and a Payless Shoe. The back of the commercial complex is where the fire is located, which faces Dauphin Street.
Mostly this has to do with the recent dismissal of L&I’s #2 man, Scott Mudlerig. There’s a hint that demolition contractors, specifically Ashaw Demolition in Oxford Circle, who was hired by the Graveley Family Partnership, which is mostly just Michael Graveley, to demolish half of a block in Fairmount because Michael Graveley wants to assemble the parcels and get them ready for a transaction.
The whole Graveley family, which consists of Michael, Susan, John Jr., Marcella, Robert, Nicholas and Katheryn have proven themselves to be one tax deadbeat family of pond scum. They’re currently embroiled in a lawsuit to stave off a Sheriff’s Sale over one of their large Gentrification Powerball parcels.
The Graveleys are also among a unique class of landlords and blightlords who donate to public offices. Michael Graveley tossed some cash to Council-At-Large Bill Greenlee back in 2007. Marcella has donated to a Democratic ward leaders’ election committees for a number of years.
OH OF COURSE nobody would suspect a tax deadbeat donating to City Council would have anything to do with “special consideration” for the City looking the other way in all sorta of aspects, like tax and code enforcement. Never.
But landlords making donations to City Council is not unusual. HAPCO, a local political action committee representing Philadelphia-area landlords donates fairly regularly to Council members. Developers donate to Council members wanting to see their projects move forward. Blightlords donate to Council members hoping that City departments continue to look the other way and let them turn that profit when a seller willing to pay a premium finally materializes.
I guess Graveley’s donating or Ashaw Demolition mysteriously appearing on the ‘most-favored’ contractor list doesn’t surprise me. Nor City employees that were willing to ignore new rules that were put in place—rules that would have prevented the death of the daughter of the City Treasurer.