Monday, July 6, 2015

City Solicitor: We're Not Taking Other Bids For Scout HQ

City Solicitor Shelley Smith says the city will not entertain other bids for the Logan Square building that serves as headquarters to the regional Boy Scouts.

City Solicitor: We're Not Taking Other Bids For Scout HQ

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City Solicitor Shelley Smith says the city will not entertain other bids for the Logan Square building that serves as headquarters to the regional Boy Scouts.

"The property is under agreement, just like your house would be if you had accepted an offer," Smith said. "We’re not in a position to entertain other offers for the building at this time."

The city recently announced a proposed settlement with the Scouts after a long-running legal dispute based on the national organization's ban on gay scouts. Under the deal, the Scouts would pay $500,000 for the building at 22nd and Winter streets and then drop a claim for up to $960,000 in legal fees.

While the city presented the deal as the best way to end an expensive legal fight, the agreement drew severe criticism from gay advocates. Yesterday real estate investor Mel Heifetz made the city a $1.5 million offer for the building, saying he would donate it to a charitable organization that does not discriminate.

Heifetz questioned how the city could sell the building without opening it up for bids. Smith said the sale would be done through the quasi-city agency, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, meaning there would be no public bidding process.

Heifetz said the fight wasn't over yet.

"I’m just one player in this whole thing and we’ll see how it plays out," he said. "I’ve had a lot of calls and a few emails today and all of them have been supportive. I’m getting calls from all over the country from people who said that it’s marvelous that I’m challenging the city."

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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