Thomas Buck Hosiery Factory, York and Jasper Streets, Kensington, Northeast Philly.

A few weeks ago I went to take pictures of the burned down Buck Hosiery Factory, but it had already been bulldozed. Many well-written articles on its fatal fire with pictures have been published on the Internets, but I wanted to take some myself to go along with my first official angry rant.

The abandoplex problem in Philadelphia is more than blighting, it is literally deadly. Developers (who often don’t live in Philly) scoop up properties, do not keep them up to code and do not pay their property taxes. They are killing firefighters and robbing Philadelphia schools of millions of dollars.

The Buck Hosiery Factory is owned by Yechiel and Michael Lichtenstein from Brooklyn. The “absentee owners racked up more than $60,000 in unpaid property taxes, liens and building code violations.” I feel there is an attitude among developers that it’s ok to do this kind of thing in Philly, because there are almost no repercussions. Ignore the letters from L&I and you’ll pay your liens and back taxes at closing when you are ready to sell your property at a profit. Or just sit on it forever, nothing bad will happen to you.

There is definitely a movement to shine a light on these deadbeats and fix this completely f*cked up situation. Many different organizations and individuals are doing their part to make this better. I believe the more we can do to hold these a**holes accountable the less they can hide under the radar.

So, this is what I have decided to do: If I post pictures of an abandoned property with unpaid property taxes I will publish the amount owed, number of years unpaid along with owner’s information. This is all public information. Enough is enough and I want to do what I can to help.

1817-41 East York Street.
Taxes unpaid since 2009 (the year they purchased the property)
Total Owed: $55,812.71
Owned by: YORK STREET PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT (“one of a number of LLCs used by the Lichtensteins”)


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