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Tag Archives | Blight

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

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista :  Point Breeze 

Bella Vista-based nonprofit is working the system to reduce blight

The nonprofit Scioli Turco has taken advantage of an obscure state law to transform nine abandoned, blighted buildings into livable, tax-contributing homes over the last several years, and it’s moving on next to this one at 1342 S 16th St.:

1342 s 16th st

City Paper reports that the company, named after the defunct Bella Vista VFW post that was its first project, compels the courts to appoint it conservator of long-blighted properties in good neighborhoods through a law called Act 135. Says City Paper:

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What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Fight abandoned properties with Passyunk Sq. civic tonight

The Passyunk Square Civic Association’s general meeting tonight will feature a nonprofit developer who specializes in converting abandoned properties for resale.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of this dump on Federal near 9th?
Pic from Naked Philly

Joe Palmer from Scioli Turco, Inc. will give a presentation about how it works. Basically, the firm acts on behalf of neighbors and civic groups to identify blighted, abandoned properties and moves to become conservator through the state’s Act 135. Then they’ll rehab it and sell it, adding the house back to the city’s tax base and getting rid a pesky drag on the block.

This presentation piggybacks on the civic’s nascent effort to develop a comprehensive abandoned property program. Civic prez Pam Zenzola told us they started accumulating a list of all the neighborhood’s abandoned properties about a year and a half ago (report them here), which Naked Philly wrote about in April.

“In the past year, between questions from concerned neighbors to the mayor making it one of his administrations priorities, the time is right to move ahead with developing a program,” Zenzola said. “People from L & I have reached out to us and other civic associations to start dialog on the subject.”

Considering Passyunk Square’s current status as neighborhood of the year, it goes without saying that abandoned properties are much less of a problem here than in other parts of the city. But every boarded up house is a missed opportunity.

The meeting is tonight at 6:30 at the Columbus Square Rec Center at 12th and Wharton, across from what will eventually be the Wharton Street Lofts.
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