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Opposition to hotel will remain

To the Editor:

As one of the neighbors opposing the 10-story hotel at 40th and Pine streets, I thank Anthony Campisi and the editorial staff of the DP for finally understanding the community's deep concerns. When I found out about the Campus Inn project, my first reaction was disbelief: "Penn cannot really want to do this to our neighborhood!"

So, in December 2007, I prepared a dossier for President Gutmann describing the site and our misgivings, which we brought to the vice president for community relations. President Gutmann never responded. There have been five not-widely-publicized meetings (except one that we advertised) and another small meeting with Penn, attended by Ms. Anne Papageorge. I am really curious to know with which "concerned residents" Penn met more than 70 times, for it was not with us.

Ms. Papageorge testified under oath that Penn considered five proposals; one did not involve demolition of the historic mansion, but Penn wanted its hotel on the fancied "corridor." Penn compounded the mistake of buying a property without due diligence by not seeking a permit to demolish the mansion, which is granted much more easily than delisting. So, our neighborhood must bear the mistakes of Penn's land banking, while we strive to protect our homes. The opposition will not go away.

Magali Sarfatti Larson The author is a West Philadelphia resident

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