December 11, 2014

BLF client James E. Dupree, an accomplished Philadelphia artist, will keep his art studio in the Mantua neighborhood after years of litigation with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.

The Redevelopment Authority condemned the Dupree Studios, a multifaceted art studio, gallery, and educational facility, in December of 2012 along with dozens of other properties, purportedly to build a supermarket. BLF attorney Richard L. Bazelon, who represented Mr. Dupree and his wife Anita Brook Dupree, argued that the condemnation was unlawful under the Pennsylvania Urban Redevelopment Law because one of the parcels comprising the Duprees’ property was not listed in the redevelopment proposal and the published notice advertising a hearing for the approval of the proposal.

When the Court of Common Pleas concluded that these omissions were “inadvertent” errors and overruled the Duprees’ preliminary objections to condemnation, BLF filed an appeal to the Commonwealth Court.

On December 11, 2014, while the case was still on appeal, the Redevelopment Authority revoked the condemnation of the Duprees’ property, thus enabling Mr. Dupree to keep his studio and the Mantua community to retain an important and valuable cultural and educational asset.

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