River City Fantasies
I've been a bad blogger lately, and will probably get virtual coal in my web stocking. Can I plead contract-related stress at the Inquirer, and the fact that print deadlines, unlike blog ones, can't be blown off? I resolve to change my ways. In the meantime, here is the rendering of the River City proposal produced by Daroff Design for the megalomaniacally named World Acquisition Group, which was formed by the owners of Sant Properties and Patriot Parking. The rendering appeared in the Inquirer today with my column, but some on-line readers weren't able to view the image.
One little detail that I discovered too late for the column is that Sant Properties' Hardeep Chawla (the brother of World Acquisition's lead developer, Ravi Chawla, and Ed Rendell contributor) just pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. General Services Administration. It seems the scam involved overbilling his government tenants for property tax increases that he had successfully appealed. Since Hardeep make a plea deal with the feds, he'll do just five month's jail time.
With their love of the mega-project and their legal troubles, the Chawlas may become for the Schuylkill waterfront what Harry Eng and his Atlantis Group was to the Delaware. See my March 7 blog entry, A Penn's Landing Footnote.