Attorney Steven Wigrizer and Richard Basciano will probably be crossing paths–again.
Basciano is the owner of the building that collapsed and killed six people in the Salvation Army store at 22nd and Market. In 2000, Wigrizer won a $5.25 million settlement on behalf of Judge Berel Caeser’s family. Caeser was killed in 1997 when he was struck by a sign that fell off a building on Broad Street near Pine. The building was owned by the estate of Philadelphia’s most notorious slumlord, Sam Rappaport. Basciano was the executor of Rappaport’s estate.
Before the case was settled, the two men met face to face when Wigrizer deposed Basciano. Wigrizer recalled Basciano as being “personable, forthcoming, and calm.”
Do you have your heart set on buying a home in fabulous Lower Merion Township? Take a look at this 8,000 square foot gem in Gladwyne.
What’s that? $3,250,000 is more than you want to spend? Don’t be silly. Everything is negotiable. Go in with an offer of $2.6 million. You’ll go back and forth a few times and then you’ll close for $2.9 million. But at that price it will probably have to be a cash deal.
Beg your pardon? That’s a little more than 10 times the amount you can afford?
Well podnah, guess what? For under $200k we can get you into a single family home in the charming, picturesque, Lower Merion neighborhood of Belmont Hills. You’ll be able to enroll your kids into those fancy township schools (Belmont Hills Elementary, Welsh Valley Middle School, and the brand spankin’new Rosemont Taj Mahal, aka Harriton High), but you won’t have to deal with any kindergarten lotteries.
Unfortunately, you also won’t be able to walk to the Paoli Local (or whatever they call it now), nor will you enjoy the 1.6 acres at the end of a cul de sac, with the proper landscaping and the serenity of nature. There will be no impressive foyer. Guaranteed, your kitchen will not have granite countertops. And you’ll have to make do without soaring ceilings and stairs to a private loft. There are some details, though–to which zero attention has been paid.
Nonetheless, substitutions do exist. You won’t have a spectacular in-ground pool, but if you’re dying for a dip, take a 15-minute walk to the Belmont Hills Pool. It’s adjacent to the Belmont Hills Library, where your membership entitles you to borrow books, movies, and CDs from any of the township’s libraries. Best of all, when you walk home, it’s downhill all the way.
If you can’t get over the ignominity of being shunned by Architectural Digest, you can drown your sorrows at either of the two neighborhood watering holes: Mel’s Italian or La Collina. The latter is a legitimate contender for having the best views among all the restaurants in the region. Manayunk is also close; in fact it’s so close, until the early 1950s, Belmont Hills was actually called West Manayunk. History buffs click here.
One major caveat about this community: It’s a place where people actually know their neighbors, and in some cases even enjoy being with them. There’s a strong civic association, which is a good way to meet folks, but don’t even think about making it in Belmont Hills society until you’ve joined the volunteer fire company.
Have we captured your interest? Take a look at these three properties.
The lawyers are gathering–that much we know. But who is legally responsible for what happened? Or, perhaps better said, who will be targeted as legally responsible in various legal actions? As one local developer said, “Follow the money”–because much of what happens from here on out will be motivated by dollars and cents.
We spoke to Peg Underwood and Henry Donner of Jacoby Donner, a Philadelphia law firm that specializes in construction litigation. We also spoke with a local developer who preferred to remain anonymous. All three shared insights gleaned from past experience, which we put into a Q&A.
Will Griffin T. Campbell, owner of the construction company that performed the demolition, have to pay out?
A licensed contractor in Philadelphia is required to have an insurance policy for which he makes regular payments. He may also elect to have excess policy as well, which is added financial protection. Any successful lawsuit against Campbell would take the limit of the insurance. Beyond that, he’d be liable out of pocket and so would probably declare personal bankruptcy (something he’s done before).
Airbnb.com is a hot, Silicon Valley-based company that’s enjoyed phenomenal growth with a very simple business model: It acts as a market maker for short-term vacation rentals. The company has been in the news lately because an administrative law judge in New York City smacked an Airbnb host, as they’re called, with a $2,400 fine for allegedly running an “illegal hotel.”
Nigel Warren used the Airbnb website as his promotional tool and logistical facilitator to rent out one of the two bedrooms in his East Village apartment. The rental was for three nights at $100 per night, and his roommate was there for all three nights.
Admit it, you were morbidly fascinated by the story of the rat infestation at Green Eggs. And of course you clicked on that disgusting YouTube link.
But rats aren’t just in one restaurant, they’re all over the city. And readers have been asking: How do they get into a restaurant? How will the restaurant get rid of them once they’re in? And where do they live otherwise?
We talked to John DiDomenico from A.Amendt Pest Control. With 25 years experience as an exterminator, he knows his rats. DiDomenico said the broken sewer pipe explanation that Green Eggs gave was plausible, but rats have other ways of getting into homes and commercial establishments–including “climbing out of toilets.”
On Wednesday, City Controller Alan Butkovitz’s office released a study that concluded “the actual value initiative (AVI) did not improve accuracy, uniformity and fairness.” The full study (a real page-turner), which cost the taxpayers $27,000 (according to Philly.com), was done by Carnegie-Mellon Economics Professor Robert Strauss. It is 47 pages long and has lots of colored graphs and charts.
Last week a brand new eatery called Dave’s Hoagies opened in New York’s financial district (aka FiDi). Dave’s is not a steak shop, and it’s not a deli that makes all kinds of sandwiches. At Dave’s Hoagies the only kind of sandwiches they make are…oh, you must be psychic. They also offer a limited selection of the world’s finest pastries, sometimes known as Tastykakes.
South Jersey (Bridgeton) native Dave Bagan first lived in New York when he was attending Brooklyn Law School. He was a practicing attorney for a few years after graduating, and then spent 11 years as a trader, most recently on the floor at Deutsche Bank on Wall Street, about a two-minute walk from where Bagan opened his shop.
You wouldn’t expect a college kid to be quoting from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider), but Temple University senior Ofo Ezeugwu knows the language of this law as well or better than the lyrics to his favorite songs.