Sunday, December 21, 2014

Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 2:45 PM

UPDATE: Moody's confirms it has restored one notch to Collingswood's credit ratings, bringing it back to the minimum investment grade.

EARLIER: Says Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley, eight months after Moody’s Investors Service cut his borough's credit rating a scary six notches to junk-bond status:

"Moody's issued a report Thursday that restores the Borough of Collingswood’s credit rating to an investment grade rating of Baa3... 

POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 2:11 PM

Albert "Moose" Greenfield 3d's real estate company, named for his grandfather, a prominent developer, political donor, hotel and retail investor, has sold Le Crillon Philadelphia, a 16-unit (12 flats, 4 bi-level penthouses) plus 9 retail space apartment house at 105 S. 18th St. near Rittenhouse Square, to an as-yet unnamed New York buyer for $14.81 million.

Ken Wellar, Corey Lonberger and Christopher Munley of Marcus & Millichap's Philadelphia officer represented the seller. M&M says the price works out to $355 a square foot. The apartments average $3,900/month. The stores include DiBruno Bros. foods, Flower Expressions, 18th Street Apothecary, Scoop DeVille, Premium Steap, and Clear; M&M says the rents are the "highest" per sq ft on Chestnut St., once the city's premier shopping district before a 1970s experiment with banning motor traffic shifted high-end shops over to Walnut.

POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:39 AM

NEW: Shuttered bus line linked to 2010 crash death, reports Inquirer's Paul Nussbaum here.

UPDATE: Citing "imminent hazards to public safety," US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he's shut South Philadelphia-based New Century Travel Inc., two New York companies, their owners and affiliates, that carried more than 1,800 passengers a day on dozens of cheap East Coast bus routes from street corners in Chinatown and other neighborhoods.

In addition to shutting the bus services, the government ordered New Century operators Mei Ying Gao, Qi Sheng "Sammy" Zhang, Qiao Zhen "Jenny" Liu, and Amy Li (also known as Amy Mei Fang, Amy Chen Li, and Amy Peterson) to stop running bus lines until they could prove their companies and buses are properly registered and their drivers are properly trained and understand federal bus regulations.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 1:45 PM

Temple University's 26-story tower, rooftop conference center-theater, and surrounding 1,200-bed dorm complex, dining hall, kitchens and retail complex now rising under construction cranes at North Broad St. between Oxford and Cecil B. Moore Aves. on the Center City-facing south side of the North Philly campus will be named for King of Prussia-based apartment mogul and national Republican fundraiser Mitchell L. Morgan and his wife, Hilarie. 

The move honors Temple undergraduate accounting and law-school grad Morgan's eight years (so far) heading his alma mater's facilities committee after he was drafted by the late Howard Gittis to help finance the school's Temple 20/20 expansion program.

Why Temple? "My parents never went to college. I worked my way through what's now the Fox business school, studying accounting, through selling shoes at Broad and Lehigh," Morgan recounted. "Then (Temple)  law school at night. I hadn't gone back to campus from 1980" until the early 2000s.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 12:31 PM

In Pennsylvania, state senate leaders want to stop guaranteeing pensions for future state workers and teachers. Here's why:

The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System and Public School Employees' Retirement System are proud achievements of 20th Century state government.

Like similar plans in other states, SERS and PSERS have enabled hundreds of thousands of hardworking teachers, police officers, prison guards and social workers to retire on up to 70% of their maximum yearly wages, keeping them in their homes and cars and restaurants and off the streets -- while also guaranteeing private-sector-executive-style six-figure annual payments. plus medical benefits, to ex-judges, Penn State sports coaches, assistant school district administrators with extra degrees and four-word titles, double-dipping General Assembly members, and other privileged members of the bipartisan public-employee elite.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 11:06 AM

Shares of Pep Boys - Manny Moe & Jack fell more than 20%, to around $8.60 a share, this morning after Mike Odell, boss of the North Philly-based service, tire and auto parts store chain, announced the cancellation of its sale to Los Angeles-based buyout investor Gores Group last night. Statement here.

Pep Boys trades at a discount to Autozone, Advance and other auto store chains, which are more focused on urban and immigrant clients who still fix their own cars. Odell told investors the $2 billion (yearly sales) company has plenty of cash and plans to keep expanding, thanks partly to the $50 million kill fee Gores promised to pay for leaving Pep Boys at the altar. 

The cash will come in handy, but "Gores Group's willingness to pay a break-up fee without litigation is likely a bad sign of the current state of affairs at Pep Boys," wrote analyst David A. Schick this morning in a report to clients of Stifel Nicolaus & Co. The current price barely covers "the estimated value of underlying real estate" if Pep Boys were to close all 700 stores, he added.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 3:31 PM

A survey of more than 125 investment advisers who attended Oaks-based SEI Corp.'s national meeting earlier this month shows 74% want Republican Mitt Romney to win the November presidential election -- but 63% expect Democrat Barack Obama will be re-elected anyway.

The advisers are the largest, measured by assets, of the 6,000 who retail SEI funds, according to Steve Onofrio, the 24-year SEI veteran who manages the company's adviser network. "They average $150 million" in client funds under management," he told me. "They are independent advisers, all entrepreneurs" -- businesspeople with a payroll, reviewing investments, tax and insurance planning with their wealthy clients. 

More than 9 out of 10 advisers expect voters will again split control of the government between Democrats and Republicans, with each party retaining control of at least one house of Congress, or the Presidency. 

POSTED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 2:07 PM

David Asch has told colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, which raised $126 million for medical management and finance research by its "senior fellow" scholars this year, that he's leaving after 14 years as exectuive director.

As Asch noted in his farewell, the institute has been tracking medical management and policy since 1967, just after the birth of Medicare and Medicaid.

He praised colleagues Katrina Armstrong, who set up the data center now headed by Peter Groeneveld, Penn Health Economics Workshop founder and insurance exchange scholar Dan Polsky, executive ed heads Kathy Pearson and Rosemary Bloser (who "connect... our scholarshiop with those who actually run things," "policy dissemination" boss Janet Weiner, behavioral economist Kevin Volpp, health economist Hoag Levins, and policy-watcher David Grande, among others.

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
Business Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected