In yet another twist within the many turns involving an emerging Philadelphia neighborhood, a well-known city developer is again challenging a Philadelphia councilman over a vacant lot and how its new owners got selected. According to local news website BillyPenn.com, developer Ori Feibush is going after a real estate transaction gone wrong in a recently-filed federal lawsuit. He claims that Councilman Kenyatta Johnson “awarded” the lot — which Feibush had cleaned — to a campaign donor. According to the report, the Philadelphia Land Bank issued a list of request for proposals (RFP) for the development of 10-publicly owned lots; one of which was the vacant one Feibush had taken the initiative to spruce up. The report adds that while Feibush’s application for the 10 properties met the RFP guidelines, Johnson apparently told the Land Bank to extend the application period and one of the councilman’s campaign donors later applied and was awarded the contract.
This isn’t the first time that the two have gone at it either in or outside of court. According to the report, similar claims by Feibush over two other vacant lots went before a jury last year and resulted in a verdict that favored Feibush to the tune of $34,000 in damages. This recently-filed lawsuit by Feibush also names the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Land Bank as defendants. According to lawyer Jeffrey Benjamin, cases such as these show the need for a court to step in when someone alleges corruption by a public official to the detriment of a consumer or business. As a skilled attorney who has obtained favorable verdicts in jury trials over decades, attorney Jeffrey Benjamin knows how to prepare for and present a high-stakes case. His track record includes multiple verdicts for both plaintiffs and defendants in various types of commercial litigation.
Real estate is big business and acquiring properties in up-and-coming neighborhoods is a wise business move if you want to profit later down the road. The problem, as Feibush has seemingly encountered, is that he’s not the only one to hold this belief. While it’s up to a court to determine if this most recent lawsuit can stand on its own, the fact that he’s already been paid out $34,000 in damages from the city shows that his experiences with Philadelphia have so far been less-than-savory.
For those in the New York City or Long Island area with any type of commercial litigation claims, don’t hesitate to contact lawyer Jeffrey Benjamin and learn more about your options in court.