Sell Life Insurance Philadelphia

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The doors to the Philadelphia Police Department’s new headquarters opened last week to local media, who took their first steps at 400 N. Broad St., known for decades as the home of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The plan to run the police tower has been in the works for about seven years in Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration.

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A column in The Inquirer described the new police station as cramped and dimly lit, downplaying the attractive potential of the new space in the historic building.

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Few in West Philadelphia can find a sense of anticipation. PPD’s move avoids years of planning to move to another historic site: the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building.

Built in 1926, the massive, 325,000-sq.-ft. Located on 13 acres on Lot 46, the market has been identified for years as the future home of the Philly police – by then-Mayor Michael Nutter, several police commissioners and community stakeholders.

The new Philadelphia Public Services Building (design analysis aside) is everything PPD hopes for, including proximity to City Hall and the federal courthouse, although there are questions about future costs.

Meanwhile, what happened to Provident – and how much will the changes to plans already cost Philly taxpayers?

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A report from the late 2000s names Everett Gillison, the former deputy mayor for public safety, as the strongest proponent of moving Provident Mutual into the building. Gillison noted its size, location and high-end aesthetic — not to mention the economic opportunities the facility could bring to West Philly.

Former Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey began his term in January 2008, and by the end of the year, he had a very revealing speech at the Roundhouse, a former headquarters building at 750 Race St.

“I’ve never seen anything like that, and it’s not a good statement, it’s a very bad statement,” Ramsey said. “It’s not a beautiful building.” He mentioned the lack of space that many police officers have been worried about for a long time.

John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, condemned the circular building, citing poor temperature control and pest infestation. Although Mayor Nutter had already announced in 2008 that the Provident building was his top choice, McNesby said moving downtown would be better (talk about a statement).

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There were concrete plans for what would become the “Level of Public Safety Services”, a groundbreaking ceremony.

In May 2017, Mayor Kenney announced a new plan, moving police headquarters to North Broad.

Most of the reasons for switching are practical. Articles from the mid-2010s noted a lack of interest from authorities in the West Philly area, noting that it was far from important offices and buildings frequented by the police. The Interrogator Tower eased those concerns because of its proximity to state and municipal courthouses in Center City and federal law enforcement centers in South Philadelphia.

Then-Commissioner Richard Ross noted that the North Broad area was more convenient for officers who were mostly in Northeast Philly.

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Increased space in the Broad Street area was also cited as a benefit of housing Police Districts 6 and 9 in one building.

West Philly spent about $52 million to buy and renovate the site before the city moved forward with the new project. The Provident Mutual building was sold in early 2019 for $10 million, bringing the cost of the abandoned operation to nearly $42 million.

The city issued a $65.2 million bond that financed the renovation, adding to the cost due to long-term interest payments.

Councilor Alan Tomb, a real estate agent for the business, did not support the proposed $10 million sale price, noting that due to interest rates, “our total cost is 46 and the market is $94 million and the sale price is $10 million, we’re wasting $84 million in taxpayer money,” which is “more than two years Readable” for libraries.

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Mayor Kenney responded with a 2018 press release that addressed some of Tomb’s allegations and other criticisms. In it, he called the $42 million loss “a myth” and said the city would ultimately benefit from property and business taxes paid by new developers, which would not be used in the same way if the area were a municipal center.

In his opinion, Philly would “receive $158 million in additional revenue over 20 years,” part of the change that would raise the city to $40 million, considering the debt service Tomb was concerned about.

The conversation that kept PPD out of West Philly didn’t fully include the community organizations that volunteered and worked with the 46th Street projects.

Community association leaders representing Spruce Hill, Walnut Hill and Garden Court wrote a letter to Mayor Kenney expressing how “angry and disappointed” they were by the sudden change of plans and urging the city to transfer existing employees and minority contracts to any future contracts. Along with the developer.

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After a brief showing to potential developers, the city selected Iron Stone Real Estate Partners to take over the Provident Mutual Building.

In late 2018, days before he voted to halt the transfer, then-Councilman Johnny Blackwell told The Philadelphia Tribune that the city and developers were working toward their goals “without being transparent to me and the community.”

This brought opposition from Mayor Kenney. In the aforementioned statement, Kenney said: “He [Blackwell] and his staff engaged in fully informed discussions every step of the way. To say otherwise is untrue.”

The outage occurred when the council was closed for the calendar year, so the issue stretched into early 2019.

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By then, Blackwell had gotten a steady stream of deals signed between developers and community groups — for example, Ryan Boyer, head of the Labor Council, sent Blackwell a letter saying he had gotten deals. His approval was the final hurdle needed for the new development to move forward.

Since the sale of 4601 Market St., developers have been excited about building a “public health park” on the property. Provident’s campus, aptly named A Place That Is Still Inventing, is moving closer to making that vision a reality.

The Institute of Public Health Management and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are partners and anchor tenants, respectively, with “290,000 square feet of high-quality office and clinical office space” at the prospective campus site — space outside the few. office cubicles, then fully.

The third largest tenant is KIPP Philadelphia Octavius ​​​​​​​​Catto Elementary, a K-1 school, the newest of seven schools in the city’s charter school system.

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Community organizations such as the Mill Creek Men’s Association and the Walnut Hill Community Association pledged their support in exchange for community services on the Provident campus, green space, and a permanent advisory board led by local groups. . Jason Friedland, a partner at Iron Stone, shared that three meeting rooms are available for these companies.

Other planned amenities include Provident Park, an on-site playground and bike lot, as well as a tenant employee lounge and gym on the building’s fifth floor.

CHOP and PHMC will begin moving in this fall, so Provident’s campus will be in full swing when the 2022-23 school year begins in the Cato Elementary School building this fall.

Billy Penn public affairs reporter Jordan Levy has made it his mission to help Philadelphians share their stories. Previously, he has worked at Documentary Magazine, n+1 Magazine and The New Republic. He. But it’s worth asking if the city could have come up with a better deal.

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Provident Mutual Insurance Building The building, which has been repurposed as a public health center, is steps from the 46th stop on the Market-Frankford Line. Read more by Inga Saffron

For years, no one could figure out what to do with the Provident Mutual Insurance Building, a massive neoclassical pile at the entrance to West Philadelphia’s Mill Creek neighborhood.

The developer thought it was suitable for family court in 2010, but Philadelphia judges would have nothing to do with it. The city floated plans to turn it into a new public safety building in 2012, but the Philadelphia Police Department complained it was too far off the beaten path. Even after the city spent $52 million to renovate the Imperial office building at 46th and Market, no government agency agreed to move there.

So the former headquarters of Provident Mutual Insurance sat empty and unloved for years, until Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration finally removed it in 2020 and sold it to Iron Stone Real Estate Partners.

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