Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quinones-Sanchez fights Norris Square project (Update)

Council bill would stop Norris Square Civic Association's long-planned St. Boniface redevelopment

Quinones-Sanchez fights Norris Square project (Update)

City Councilwoman Marta Quinones-Sanchez is pushing a bill that would favor single-family homes over apartments in the neighborhood where she lives in North Philadelphia west of Front Street. Neighborhood groups say she's endangering millions in planned community-development dollars for a community center and related development on Norris Square.

Among other projects, the "sudden and surprising" change would queer Norris Square Civic Association's plans for a state-subsidized community center and 15-unit housing cooperative, at the site of the demolished St. Boniface Church, NSCA chief Pat DeCarlo tells me. Planning Commission to review the change at Tuesday's regular meeting (update below)

Is Quinones-Sanchez favoring real estate developers from ever-expanding Center City border neighborhoods over her old North Philly constituents? No immediate comment from her office. Read more in Jared Brey's PlanPhilly story here. 

UPDATE: Planning Commission votes 5-2 for Quinones-Sanchez's restrictions. Norris Square can still fight for permits under the old rules, but the Councilwoman says she wants their projects killed.

PlanPhilly story here gives good detail but ignores a key issue: that the councilwoman wants to stop work that would bring millions in outside dollars into her district -- in order to help whom? Current constituents, or redevelopers? 

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

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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