DiCicco nixes electronic sign for Old City hotel

December 16, 2010

DiCicco nixes electronic sign for Old City hotel

By Anthony Campisi
For PlanPhilly

The Old City Civic Association and an anti-blight advocacy group won a victory in City Council Thursday, when Councilman Frank DiCicco amended a bill designed to allow construction of a hotel at 4th and Race streets.

The initial bill would have permitted developer Bob Ambrosi, of Arc Properties, to put a large electronic sign on the proposed hotel at 401 Race St. facing the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Ambrosi had argued that the sign was crucial to market the 124-room hotel and accompanying entertainment center to motorists and wouldn’t have been visible by residents and pedestrians in Old City.

But his attorney, Ronald Patterson, conceded at the Council session that “we are unable to prove” that fact and Ambrosi was going along with the amendment.

Both the anti-blight group SCRUB and the local chapter of the AAA were against the sign, with the AAA arguing that it would cause a dangerous distraction to drivers on the bridge.