Monday, December 8, 2008

Was THis Kept Secret During The Election?

If not, then why is this the first we're hearing of a $6 million dollar shortfall by Senator Vincent Hughes (D-07)?

I submit (from the Inky):

Landmark going back to the city

With City Council approval expected this week, the city will quietly repossess the old Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building after a nonprofit couldn't pay the mortgage on the West Philadelphia landmark.

With backing from the Nutter administration, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. is essentially taking back the 82-year-old limestone-and-steel building, now called the Center for Human Achievement, and the 15 acres it sits on. The building is owned by the Urban Education Development Research and Retreat Center, headed by State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila). Hughes's district office is a tenant in the building. Hughes could not be reached to comment. (ed.-emphasis mine)

Provident Mutual donated the 325,000-square-foot building to the Urban Education Foundation, a nonprofit partnership between Lincoln and Cheyney Universities, in the 1980s. The cost of operating and maintaining the building proved too high for the group and in 1993 a deal was worked out to sell the building to Hughes' group. The center, bounded by 46th, 48th and Market Streets and Haverford Avenue, was envisioned as a resource for community groups and a spur to further development in its West Philadelphia neighborhood, with its owner serving mainly as a landlord.

Deputy Commerce Director Duane Bumb said Hughes' group owed the industrial development corporation and the Philadelphia Commercial Development Corp. just under $6 million for the building. The city will use two acres for parking at the new Youth Study Center, to be built on five adjoining acres, and will evaluate the property over the next year and seek to consolidate city services at the building or sell it, Bumb said.

- Carolyn Davis and Jeff Shield

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