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Developer and city work out agreement on empty lot as city prepares to open up bidding process

9/29/2012 | Real Estate Blog

In our last post, we wrote about a local real estate developer by the name of Ori Feibush, who got himself into trouble with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority after he made improvements to a vacant lot next to his new coffee shop that had long been neglected.

According to the Feibush, the city ignored repeated requests to purchase the 20-by-100 foot lot, which led him to spend $20,000 of his own money to remove 40 tons of trash, add planters and tables, and having landscaping done. City officials threatened to sue Feibush, however, saying that it had no record of him expressing interest in the property until shortly before he began working on it, and that he shouldn’t have used public property to benefit his own business.

Now, it appears, the city and Feibush are working out a license agreement for the parcel. Under the proposed agreement, Feibush’s company would be permitted to use the space and would be responsible for its care and safety, until it is sold. No official agreement has been signed yet, though.

According to a spokesman from the Redevelopment Authority, several others have expressed interest in purchasing the property, which is apparently worth over $50,000. A bidding process is expected to be opened up in the coming weeks.

Feibush has said his company will seek to be the highest bidder on the lot, and he has urged the Revelopment Authority to open bidding for other vacant city-owned properties in the same neighborhood.

Source: The Republic, “Philly officials, developer hammering out agreement over vacant lot rehabbed without approval,” Joann Loviglio, September 26, 2012.