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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Why has 1115 Federal St. been a hole for so long? Frank DiCicco explains

For about two years now, the lot at 1115 Federal St. has remained vacant since the house that previously stood on the property was condemned and demolished.

A reader tipped us off about the lot, so we did some investigating. It turns out that former Councilman Frank DiCicco owns the property — but as DiCicco told us, the story doesn’t end there.

1115 Federal

The house that previously stood at the lot belonged to DiCicco’s uncle, who passed away in June 2010. Two years after his death, architects determined it was unsafe, said DiCicco, who grew up next door. Soon after, the place was demolished.

Because DiCicco’s uncle died without a will, development of the property has been delayed because of a lengthy legal process which began after a relative filed a complaint with the courts over the possession of the property.

Although the property is in DiCicco’s name, he said he isn’t able to proceed with development until the courts decide the case.

1115 Federal Street

A closer look at 1115 Federal Street.

Since the death of his uncle, DiCicco said has incurred all of the costs of the property, including those for the demolition and taxes, and it has amounted to more than what the property is worth.

Before the legal troubles began, DiCicco said that he was hoping that he “could sell the land, develop it and distribute the proceeds among the heirs.” He says he does not know what will happen with the property, or when the case will be decided.

“I’m the third generation [of my family] on this block,” DiCicco said. “I understand the neighbors’ frustration.”

–Taylor Farnsworth, @tfarnsworth3

Thanks to the friendly neighborhood tipster who notified us of this issue. If you see something, say something – in an email to

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3 Responses to Why has 1115 Federal St. been a hole for so long? Frank DiCicco explains

  1. Christian Matozzo October 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Not even former councilmen can speed up the prorcess on developing blighted land…this is ridiculous. Makes me very skeptical of stuff like the City Council Land Bank that goes to blight properties and does nothing with them. I can’t believe he lets this property sit like this. Only in Philadelphia. Thanks Frank.

    • Aaron B October 9, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      This is an estate problem, not a blighted land problem.
      Yes, DiCicco could do more to clean it up, but legally he can’t do much more than stabilize it.

  2. Aaron B October 9, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    I do find it very hard to believe that DiCicco has spent “more than the property is worth.”
    Is he using OPA’s AVI new-math land assessment?

    East Passyunk is one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city, with very few vacant lots.
    This lot could easily fetch $50K, regardless of what OPA and Frank say.

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