More delays in city's attempt to sell large West Philly property

4601 Market Street
Photo credit Google Maps
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Kenney administration has been trying to sell a large property in West Philadelphia for more than a year, but legislation approving the sale is stuck in City Council. The buyer had high hopes the bill would move when council got back into session last week, but he was disappointed.

The city bought the building at 4601 Market Street during the Nutter administration, planning to make it the new police headquarters, but Mayor Kenney preferred to put the headquarters in the old Inquirer building on North Broad Street. 

It was a costly change of plans. The city had already sunk more than $50 million into 4601, and the winning bid was just $10 million. 

The mayor argues the city couldn't get more than that, and buyer Andrew Eisenstein of Iron Stone Real Estate​ points out the new project includes community benefits such as health care, job training, summer youth programs and pre-K.

"We know we have a great project planned. We have letters of support from a number of community groups up there, including Mill Creek and Walnut Hill and Spruce Hill," Eisenstein said. 

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said, "Some people may not belong to a group. They have a right to voice their opinion." 

The project is in her district, and she is the one postponing a vote on the bill. She says she's only heard complaints in the community. But she's agreed to hold another meeting to give city officials a chance to win opponents over. 

That's scheduled for Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at West Philadelphia High School.