Michael Phillips Quoted in WHYY and The Philadelphia Inquirer

January 29, 2020

Obermayer partner Michael Phillips, known for his zoning work, and especially for securing zoning approvals regardless of community opposition, was recently interviewed by WHYY and The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he discussed the controversy over Toll Brothers’ plans for a new 24-story condo building in the Philadelphia Jewelers’ Row area and the block’s nomination for a historic district.

Michael, who represents more than two dozen property owners, who control 33 of the 57 affected properties, stated for WHYY: “What this nomination proposes to do is to freeze in time the rest of the block, and stop and prohibit any further development without Historic Commission approval,” adding that “Ironically, the history of this block is evolution. In the early 1800s it was a residential block, it then transitioned to Printers’ Row, then as the printing industry began declining in the 1930s it became known as Jewelers’ Row. But now we are entering into a new phase. Retail is struggling. The jewelry industry is struggling. Jewelers’ Row is going through its next evolution. This would stop that.”

View the full WHYY article here.

Michael further explained in his interview for The Philadelphia Inquirer that “By designating historic, you make it more difficult for the block to continue to evolve, and if you have a lot of vacancies, it won’t be the same street and have the same nostalgia for future generations.”

Access The Philadelphia Inquirer article here.

Michael is the Chair of the Zoning and Land Use Group, and a member of both, the Litigation and Business & Finance Departments. He is a multifaceted, highly accomplished leader with a diverse and interesting range of legal experiences in real estate and zoning law, business litigation, condominium law, transactional real estate, commercial lending and workouts, and sports law.