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June 2016 Archives

Saving your home from foreclosure: having a good lawyer helps

Losing the family home to foreclosure is a nightmare that still haunts many middle and lower class families in Philadelphia. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, banks scrambled to clear their books of questionable residential real estate loans by aggressively foreclosing on loans that were delinquent. While the acute crisis of 2008 has passed, people who have lost their jobs or incurred unexpected expenses such as large medical bills are still struggling to make their regular monthly mortgage payments. A notice of foreclosure can arrive out of the blue, and with it, a feeling of utter helplessness.

Developer reneges on zoning deal after receiving height bonus

In our previous blog post, we wrote about how a developer used the height bonus provision in the Philadelphia zoning code to obtain permission to add 15 feet to its proposed apartment building by adding specified amenities. Now, the city is facing a different quandary regarding a height bonus that it granted for a commercial real estate development. After the city granted a height bonus based upon the developer's apparent agreement to include a number of below-market rate apartments, the developer has reneged on the agreement, even though construction is almost complete.

Height bonus for fresh food market allows developer to proceed

The Philadelphia Zoning Code is a long and very complex document. Sometimes, a detailed knowledge of its provisions can mean the difference between approval and rejection of a development plan, as demonstrated by a proposal to construct a mixed-use project at 601 Christian Street.

Developer gets zoning approval but may lose property

The developer of a large mixed use project at the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia has obtained final zoning approval for the project from the Zoning Board of Adjustment but may be barred from proceeding by a lawsuit commenced by the owner of the land. The chronology of this property dispute reveals some of the many hazards of developing urban land.

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