In the late 1990s the Authority proposed a development thatcalled for demolition of some historic buildings on the land tomake way for a mix of retail and restaurant space that alsoincluded a six-story garage. This met with stiff competition fromneighborhood groups that took the Authority to court. In 2004, ajudge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, prompting the Authority toput the parcel out for bid.

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Dublin-based Castleway outbid local developers and theHouston-based Hanover Co. by just $90,000, Carl Ciglar, deputyexecutive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, tellsGlobeSt.com. "They got a very valuable piece of land in anoutstanding location."

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There is now surface parking, a funeral home, café andseven-story apartment building on the lot. Castleway couldn't bereached by deadline, but Ciglar says, "They won't complete a planuntil they've talked with the community. They have an idea of whatthey'd like to do, which is likely to include high-end livingquarters and/or a hotel with lower-level retail, but they arecommitted to arriving at a plan that will be approved by thecommunity."

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This is Castleway's second major buy in this area. In October2006, it paid $33 million for the 134-acre Airport Business Parkjust south of Philadelphia International Airport. As GlobeSt.comreported, Castleway plans to redevelop the existing park, which has17 buildings aggregating 1.5 million sf of office, flex andindustrial space. It is also developing a master plan that wouldexpand the park by as much as another onemillion sf.

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