Redeveloping Old City's corner of 2nd and Race has been no stranger to resistance. For the past decade neighbors have opposed everything from scaled housing to skyscrapers at 205 Race Street and even at the height of the building boom, nothing happened.
While NIMBYs rarely employ logic, there's one party in their cause even the most zealous development-phobe could not have predicted: Advertisers.
The latest opposition to the redevelopment of 205 Race Street is Keystone Outdoor Advertising who runs billboards over the site at the Ben Franklin Bridge.
In a city that produces more lawyers than cockroaches, the project was put on hold after Keystone threatened to sue.
I have never heard of an advertising company with the audacity or the three pairs of balls required to try halting development over their own perceived visibility rights.
Does Keystone even own the land they advertise on? No. As if that should matter.
In a city that rejected thousands of free benches and trashcans from ClearChannel because they'd be used for advertising, I'm amazed Keystone would pull this stunt, or that the city would entertain them.
I thought it was crap when neighbors stopped a townhouse from being built because it would cover up a mural, but at least that was art.
Here's what Keystone is hoping: a frivolous lawsuit coupled with the NIMBY nonsense already created by neighbors screaming doomsday over a high rise next to a freeway will be enough to keep this lot vacant for another ten years.
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