Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Henon backs off Bridesburg factory zoning

After neighbors complained

Henon backs off Bridesburg factory zoning

Bobby Henon. (Akira Suwa)
Bobby Henon. (Akira Suwa)

"I have withdrawn the current zoning legislation" that would have re-industrialized the former Philadelphia Coke Works ("Cokie) steel-mill-fuel site on 68 acres in Bridesburg, City Councilman Bobby Henon, D-6th, told Bridesburg residents in this note.

After would-be residential development plans dried up, Henon had hoped to make the site attractive to jobs-producing area industries looking to expand. The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. welcomed the proposal, though local industrial property brokers were skeptical. See previous story here. Bridesburg resident and anti-rezoning activist Dan Adair credited "the power of the people" for getting Henon to withdraw his plan, at least for now.

"More meetings will be planned" with Mike Orsini and other members of the Bridesburg Working Group reviewing future property uses in the neighborhood, Henon added. He still thinks "the zoning of the Coke site needs to be changed." He promised not to let "a dirty, dangerous industrial company to move onto the site." But he also doesn't want the vacant industry to attract the usual "blight, crime and litter." To be continued.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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