Mayor Nutter Appoints Howard Neukrug as water Department Commissioner

Philadelphia, January 21, 2011 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the appointment of Howard Neukrug as Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department effective February 2, 2011.

“I am thrilled that Howard has accepted the appointment as Water Commissioner,” said Mayor Nutter. “He has been a key leader at the Department for decades and is recognized as a national authority in the water industry. He is one of America’s great thinkers on environmental policy and regulation. He founded the Water Department’s Office of Watersheds and is the creator of its Clean Water, Green Cities initiative. I am excited to see what he will bring next to the Department.”

As the Water Commissioner, Mr. Neukrug will be responsible for providing integrated water, wastewater, and stormwater services to the City of Philadelphia and greater Philadelphia region. The utility’s primary mission is to plan for, operate, and maintain both the infrastructure and the organization necessary to purvey high quality drinking water, to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial, and community needs, and to sustain and enhance the region’s watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively.

“I hold the deepest respect for the many dedicated PWD employees and their families who have worked hard – even in these difficult economic times – to build great and strong organization – one that works 24/7 to protect the health and safety of our citizens.  I’d also like to express my appreciation to our many partners for their passionate dedication to achieving clean water and a green city.   Their examples give me confidence that we can make PWD the most sustainable utility in the country — supporting the Mayor’s vision of Philadelphia as the Greenest City in America and providing a model for meeting the complex needs of a 21st Century water utility,” said Howard Neukrug. “My thanks to Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor Cutler for their inspirational leadership and for this opportunity to serve the needs of our city and communities in this expanded capacity.”

Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler said, “The next five years are critical for PWD, with an ambitious capital program, the loss of experienced and talented staff, sewer overflows and pressures to meet pending consent orders and regulations.   Howard will provide the leadership needed to develop a 21st Century utility that provides improved environmental and energy services and delivers the quality and reliability that Philadelphians have come to expect.”

Mr. Neukrug formerly served as Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Environmental Services at the Philadelphia Water Department and founded the Department’s Office of Watersheds, an organization cited as a national model in watershed planning and partnership. He has been a Philadelphia Water Department employee for 33 years. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has a B.S. in Civil and Urban Engineering.

 

MAYOR NUTTER NAMES NEW MEMBER TO CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

Philadelphia, January 14, 2010- Mayor Michael A. Nutter has appointed Elizabeth Kay Miller, a respected non-profit manager with expertise in community development and design, to the City Planning Commission.

“I am very pleased to appoint someone with the qualifications, the imagination and the energy of Beth Miller,” said Mayor Nutter. “She has demonstrated real leadership in the areas of planning and design for many years.”

Since 2001, Ms. Miller has been the executive director of the Community Design Collaborative, a non-profit that has worked with community-based organizations on design issues. Ms. Miller has more than 20 years experience in strategic planning, community development and non-profit management, including work at Fairmount Ventures Inc. and the National Trust for Historic Preservation at its Mid-Atlantic regional office.

Ms. Miller is the first full-time executive director at the volunteer-based community design center. The Collaborative connects local nonprofits with its network of 1,000 plus volunteer design professionals to provide pro bono design assistance in service to neighborhood revitalization.

In 2010, the Collaborative provided nearly $1 million and 9,500 volunteer hours in pro bono design assistance throughout the Philadelphia region, helping 46 nonprofit and public agencies strengthen neighborhoods through design. In 2005, the Collaborative launched Infill Philadelphia, a five–year, three–phase initiative underwritten by the William Penn Foundation to cultivate innovative design strategies for urban infill development.
“I am honored by this invitation to serve on the Planning Commission and look forward to working with a committed group of commissioners and others throughout Philadelphia who are also incredibly dedicated to shaping the future of our world class city,” Ms. Miller said.

Ms. Miller has a B.A. in the growth and structure of cities from Bryn Mawr College and an M.A. in government administration from the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

The City Planning Commission is responsible for guiding the orderly growth and development of the City of Philadelphia, based on the 1951 Home Rule Charter that defines the powers and duties of the Commission to include the preparation of a Comprehensive Plan and its modifications; the Capital Program and Budget; proposed zoning ordinances and amendments; and regulations concerning the subdivision of land.

Today, the Commission has an equal emphasis on non-physical development issues such as economic development, housing policy, and human services delivery. The Commission has also given new importance to physical development as a result of environmental concerns, interest in historic preservation, the increasing complexity and magnitude of development proposals, and the special emphasis placed on humanizing the scale of the City through urban design.

Mayor Nutter, DRWC Announce Next Generation of Waterfront Projects

Philadelphia, January 6, 2010– Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) announced plans for the next generation of waterfront projects.  With initial early action projects either completed or well underway, DRWC prepares to transition into the next phase of work, which will be greatly facilitated by a new two-year, $5 million grant by the William Penn Foundation. The grant will be used for ongoing development projects on the waterfront and will aid DRWC in realizing the goals outlined in the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. DRWC will leverage this grant to utilize existing capital reserves and actively seek additional grants.

”The development of the Central Delaware is a project that will reinvent Philadelphia’s relationship with its waterfront in 10, 20, 30 years from now. The plans we make today will result in a lasting monument of our dedication to green space, recreation and the value of community input for the next generation of Philadelphians,” said Mayor Nutter. “The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has made a very impressive beginning in implementing this community vision for the waterfront, and I’m delighted that they are being recognized for their hard work.”

As the Master Plan nears completion, DRWC will be identifying the next set of waterfront projects to be undertaken within the next two years.  These projects will include key initiatives such as improving connections between the City and the River, enhancing or creating more public/green space along the waterfront and extending the Delaware River Trail.

As its first new project, DRWC plans to connect Philadelphia and Old City to the new Race Street Pier, now under construction, beginning with the Race Street Connector. The Race Street Connector will be built in conjunction with the Race Street Pier. A combination of design elements are proposed to enhance connectivity to the river and to improve the pedestrian and bike experience, including a dedicated bike lane, signage, benches, bollards, curb realignments, increased sidewalk widths, crosswalks, plantings and a dramatic light screen along the right-side wall of the underpasses.

An interactive light screen will unify the spaces underneath the expressways above and draw people to the waterfront.  The screen is to be made of expanded metal with colorful lighting and bold signage.  A pair of markers– one in the City and one at the River – will provide additional markers to further emphasize the closeness of the City to the River.

“These funds from the William Penn Foundation will not be sitting in a bank account,” said Tom Corcoran, president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. “For example, $650,000 will be dedicated immediately to complete the Race Street Connector.”

DRWC’s Master Planners have identified 34 streets that already run under I-95 to Columbus Boulevard/Delaware Avenue.  DRWC will prioritize 10-12 key connections and undertake within the next two years 2-3 new connector projects to enhance and improve access to the waterfront, addressing the perceived physical and esthetic barrier created by I-95.  The Master Plan will also detail a series of new public parks/green spaces at key locations along the waterfront which DRWC will begin to pursue.

“What’s really special about this work is the fact that it grew directly from public input,” said Feather O. Houstoun, president of the William Penn Foundation.  “People said they wanted better public access and more tangible links between their city and the waterfront.  The Race Street Connector is a tremendous example of how a great city undertakes a major urban redesign.”

Two years ago, Mayor Nutter called for smart development of the Central Delaware Waterfront and created the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to carry out this initiative.  Mayor Nutter empowered this new organization with a strong independent board and charged it with an unprecedented level of transparency to insure that the public would have a strong voice in any future planning.

For the past two years, DRWC has been dedicated to taking the steps necessary to catalyze the civic vision for the waterfront, setting the course for Philadelphia to reclaim its waterfront.  Early actions included the first stages of a new waterfront bike and recreation trail, improving public access to the River by creating green public spaces along the Delaware River, which included Washington Avenue Green and the Race Street Pier, and the thoughtful development of a comprehensive Master Plan for the Central Delaware River Waterfront.  DRWC either has or will complete each of these projects on time and on budget.

“A commitment like this from the William Penn Foundation demonstrates strong support of the City’s vision for an accessible and green waterfront designed by community input,” said Councilman Frank DiCicco.

Feather Houstoun added, “We are confident that this grant will continue the positive momentum that has been generated by DWRC and the City, but in the final analysis, we understand that the shape of the waterfront will be determined the Master Plan and subsequent zoning recommendations that will guide private sector investment.”

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is a nonprofit corporation organized exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. DRWC acts as the steward of the Delaware River waterfront to provide a benefit to all of the citizens and visitors of the City.

The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop and manage the central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia between Oregon and Allegheny Avenues. DRWC intends to transform the central Delaware River waterfront into a vibrant destination location for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia. DRWC will serve as a catalyst for high quality investment in public parks, trails, maritime, residential, retail, hotel and other improvements that create a vibrant amenity, extending Philadelphia to the river’s edge.

DRWC is open, transparent and accountable in connection with its operations and activities with respect to the waterfront. Through the judicious use of financing, land acquisition and development capabilities, the Corporation will work cooperatively with city, state and federal agencies to ensure the realization of the City’s vision for the central Delaware River.

 

 

Groundbreaking for Two LEED Buildings at Navy Yard

MAYOR NUTTER, SENATOR SPECTER, CONGRESSMAN BRADY, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST HOST GROUNDBREAKING AT NAVY YARD

This Navy Yard project marks Liberty Property Trust’s first major investment since May 2009.

Philadelphia, January 3, 2010– Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Senator Arlen Specter, Congressman Robert Brady and Liberty Property Trust hosted a groundbreaking for the first two of three planned flexible-use buildings that will be developed in the Navy Yard Commerce Center. The project will be funded by $12.89 million in allocated Recovery Zone Facility Bonds (RZ-FBs) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Liberty Property Trust received a total of $16 million in RZ-FBs and will use the remainder for infrastructure improvements at The Navy Yard Corporate Center.

RZ-FBs are a new, tax-exempt private activity bond created specifically by ARRA to be distributed by municipalities for business development activities. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania increased its RZ-FB commitment to the City from $12.89 million to $16 million based on the City’s ability to efficiently utilize the stimulus funding before the end of 2010.

“The Navy Yard is at the center of the growing clean tech economy in the United States, and the addition of these new buildings will have one of the largest concentrations of LEED certified buildings on a single campus anywhere in the country. Philadelphia is committed to growing our industry in a sustainable, smart and business-friendly way,” said Mayor Nutter. “This development reflects the strategic and well coordinated allocation of ARRA funding by the City with the cooperation of partners like the Commonwealth, PIDC, and private businesses. I would like to thank everyone for their efficient and decisive actions to make this development possible.”

Congressman Brady added, “This project is a perfect example of how targeted Federal funds can help grow jobs. Thanks to the partnership of the Mayor, the Governor, our Congressional delegation, PIDC and business, Philadelphia’s Navy Yard has become a leader in urban job creation.”

“Liberty’s investment in developing these new flexible, industrial buildings signals their confidence in Philadelphia and The Navy Yard as a choice location for growing companies and provides The Navy Yard with an inventory of modern industrial facilities that will appeal to a wide variety of users.  We appreciate Liberty’s investment and confidence and look forward to working with them to fill these buildings with dynamic companies of all types,” said Peter Longstreth, President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.

The first two Navy Yard Commerce Center buildings will occupy a total 103,137 square feet of space and will be located at 4020 S. 26th Street and 4050 S. 26th Street. The third building, on which Liberty Property Trust will begin construction as the first two are completed, will expand capacity by an additional 82,863 square feet. The Fretz Corporation, a leading appliance wholesale distributor, agreed to lease nearly half of the 4050 S. 26th Street building. Each building will be LEED certified. The development project will create 100 new constructions jobs.

“The Philadelphia Navy Yard has truly become a magnet for business,” said William P. Hankowsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Property Trust. “We appreciate our partnership with the city and PIDC and look forward to continuing to develop the Navy Yard’s capacity for attracting leading companies.”

The ARRA funding authorizes the City of Philadelphia to assign an issuing authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for private activity use. The Administration has partnered with the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID) to structure and issue the RZ-FBs on behalf of Liberty Property Trust. The Federal government is awarding an available $15 billion nationwide in RZ-FBs.

RZ-FBs are issued in Federal Recovery Zones, which include:

  1. Any area designated by the issuer as having poverty, unemployment, rate of home foreclosures, or distress;
  2. Any area designated by the issuers as economically distressed by reason of the closure or realignment of a military installation pursuant to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990; and
  3. Any area for which a designation as an Empowerment Zone or Renewal Community is in effect.

About Liberty Property Trust

Headquartered in Malvern, PA, Liberty is dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through extraordinary work environments. The real estate investment trust (REIT) serves customers in the United States and United Kingdom through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties.  Liberty’s 80 million square foot portfolio offers exceptional locations and flexible design to more than 2,100 tenants at approximately 750 office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit www.libertyproperty.com.