Post Brother's Goldtex Apartment building has been coming along remarkably despite months of daily protests wielding the union's notable carnival toy: a twelve foot inflatable rat, which in a slack jawed sense of 1950's "tough guy" symbolism, is now orange. I'm just guessing. I can't bring myself to research why it's orange, maybe it's just faded.
Assuming the building would near completion without anymore shady moves by the region's trade unions is kind of like hoping a giant turd disappears from a broken toilet in the middle of the night.
Well, they're back. Inga Saffron has the scoop.
According to Inga, Frank Keel, head of public relations for the Building Trades Council, stated that “concerned citizens (had) seen the incomplete state of the building, reached out to L&I."
As a neighbor I have yet to meet one of these "concerned citizens," likely because most of those stalking the Goldtex site do so from a yellow tagged SUV and hightail it over the river before any of us are home.
Business Manager for Building Trades, Pat Gillespie, always unafraid of airing midcentury machismo called Goldtex a "clap-trap" which is "nowhere near ready for occupancy." Lucille Bluth, the matriarch of Arrested Development's fictional Bluth family, is the last person I've ever heard utter the phrase "clap-trap."
It's easy to look at Goldtex Apartments and assume it's not nearing completion, and Keel and Gillespie are playing right into this misconception. What neither understand is that no one cares. All seasoned Philadelphians see at 12th and Wood is an astoundingly iconic apartment building going up in record time. Consider our point of reference. We're used to corporations that spend three decades on environmental impact studies and design contests to build a park.
Public opinion for trade unions was already beginning to falter and these protests have managed to turn the tide. L&I will throw the unions a few more favors, but when Goldtex Apartments opens, Post Brothers will have proven to the business community that you can build in Philadelphia without union muscle.
At this point it's nothing but a game of face saving pride. Post Brothers have proven time and again that they're willing to dance. Unions are used to targeting Philadelphia developers, developers that routinely rely on kickbacks from the city or tax breaks. Their biggest misstep was targeting a developer willing to use their own cash. The desperate last ditch efforts to derail a project that will certainly open only proves the game is over.