Northeast Times

Neighborhood news in brief for the week of July 17

Front and Nor­ris streets hous­ing pro­ject can­celled; Port Rich­mond dan­cer sues; po­lice hunt for Kens­ing­ton car­jack­er. 

WCRP hous­ing pro­ject can­celed

The Wo­men’s Com­munity Re­vital­iz­a­tion Pro­ject has can­celed the planned Nitza Tufino Town­homes, a hous­ing pro­ject for low-in­come fam­il­ies that would have led to the de­moli­tion of two his­tor­ic banks at Front and Nor­ris streets in Kens­ing­ton.

Now, the va­cant, cen­tury-old build­ings are the sub­ject of a new re­quest for pro­pos­als re­leased by the Nor­ris Square Civic As­so­ci­ation, which now owns the banks: Ninth Na­tion­al Bank, and In­dus­tri­al Trust, Title and Sav­ings Com­pany.

In lieu of an of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment of their de­cision, NSCA re­leased a re­quest for new pro­pos­als for the prop­er­ties. The dead­line for de­velopers to sub­mit pro­pos­als is Ju­ly 29.

In May 2012, neigh­bors at a joint meet­ing of the Nor­ris Square Civic As­so­ci­ation, the Fishtown Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation, and the East Kens­ing­ton Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation voted 60 to 21 against zon­ing vari­ances needed for the Nitza Tufino Town­homes pro­ject.

After the vari­ances were gran­ted by the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment, two Hope Street res­id­ents filed a law­suit ap­peal­ing that de­cision. ••

Port Rich­mond strip club sued by former dan­cer

The Pent­house Club, a strip club in Port Rich­mond at 3001 Castor Ave.,  is be­ing sued by one of its former dan­cers for ques­tion­able prac­tices, Phil­adelphia City Pa­per re­por­ted.

Former Pent­house Club dan­cer Priya Verma filed a fed­er­al, class-ac­tion law­suit – even though she is cur­rently the only plaintiff – claim­ing that the club used leg­al loop­holes to avoid pay­ing her and oth­er dan­cers wages and over­time pay. The law­suit was re­portedly filed in May, and last week, the club’s own­ers dropped a  mo­tion to dis­miss the case.

Verma’s suit re­portedly claims that the club clas­si­fied her and oth­er dan­cers as “in­de­pend­ent con­tract­ors,” who were only paid in tips but were sub­jec­ted to rules and reg­u­la­tions for their be­ha­vi­or and ap­pear­ance – which leg­ally may make them reg­u­lar em­ploy­ees, and thus pro­tec­ted by labor laws.

Those rules and reg­u­la­tions re­portedly in­cluded a pro­hib­i­tion on dan­cing in oth­er clubs, and fines for im­prop­er be­ha­vi­or in­clud­ing a $10 fine per half-hour of late­ness, a $25 fine for im­prop­erly en­ter­ing the dan­cing stage, and a $25 fine for chew­ing gum on stage.

Verma re­portedly claimed that after she filed the law­suit, the club’s own­ers shared her con­tact in­form­a­tion with vis­it­ors to the club, lead­ing to her re­ceiv­ing strange phone calls, text mes­sages and flower de­liv­er­ies to her home. ••

Po­lice hunt for car­jack­er

The Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment re­leased se­cur­ity cam­era foot­age on philly­po­lice.com last week of a car­jack­ing in South Kens­ing­ton.

The in­cid­ent oc­curred on the 1300 block of Ger­man­town Av­en­ue at 12:41 a.m. on Monday, Ju­ly 8. The vic­tim, a 33-year-old male, was in his car when he was ap­proached by an un­known male.

The sus­pect then pulled out a hand­gun and placed a knife against the vic­tim’s neck be­fore or­der­ing him out of the vehicle. The sus­pect took the vic­tim’s black Lex­us SUV and fled the area.

The sus­pect is de­scribed as a His­pan­ic male, about 35 years old, with short black hair, and wear­ing a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts. 

The Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment is ask­ing any­one with in­form­a­tion about the as­sail­ant to call 215-686-TIPS (8477) or text a tip to PPD TIP (773847). ••

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

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