Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Taxpayers help fund North Philly stores

Builder cites 'the importance of funding from PA and DC" in making Edison Square financially attractive

Taxpayers help fund North Philly stores


A decade after it closed, more than a year after it burned, developers say they've lined up subsidized financing to build a dollar store, a discount grocery, fast food and other inner city-focused retail chains at Edison Square, site of the old Edison (once Northeast) High School at 8th and Lehigh.

"The $12.8 million first phhase will consist of a nearly 37,000 sq ft develpoment" including a Save-A-Lot grocer (with fresh produce and meat), Family Dollar, Burger King and Kicks (sneakers) stores," Mosaic Development Partners' Greg Reaves and Orens Brothers Real Estate's Scott Orens said in a joint statement.

Orens and Reaves project 100 construction jobs before the expected opening in 2014, and later 70 retail and support jobs.

Funding includes:
- A $3.9 million "leveraged loan" from the Philadelphia-based Reinvestment Fund;
- A $1.55 million "Business In Our Sites" loan from the state of Pennsylvania;
- Federal New Market Tax Credits backed by Wells Fargo Bank via Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.

The developers' spokesman, Tom Gailey, had no immediate comment on the terms of the taxpayer-subsidized financing.

In his statement, Orens "recognized the importance of funding from Pennsylvania and Washington" in making his project financially attractive.


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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph at or 215 854 5194.

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