Reporting Todd Quinones
By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The fight over a lot in Point Breeze has taken a bizarre turn.
The land dispute between developer Ori Feibush and the city made international headlines, and now a video was posted online by someone claiming to be from a computer hacker group called Anonymous.
“Anonymous demands that the city immediately retract all claims of wrongdoing by Mr. Feibush,” a voice on the video posted on YouTube said.
This all comes as the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and Feibush held separate dueling press conferences Friday evening in front of the lot – each arguing the other isn’t being honest.
“Many things have been said about this property and much confusion and outright distortion has been generated,” said Ed Covington, the executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.
“This organization that is dedicated for the redevelopment of blight has done absolutely nothing to redevelop their community. They use vacant land as political cards,” Feibush said.
Feibush claims he spent $20,000 of his own money to do the work only to have the city issue him a cease and desist order alleging he was trespassing and threatened legal action.
The lot is connected to his coffee shop he built at 20th and Federal and across the street from land he plans to develop.
For years Feibush argues he’s been trying to buy the lot from the city but despite his attempts he says he has gotten stonewalled at every turn.
“What would you do? What was an ordinary citizen to do? For six years I’ve been begging them,” Feibush said.
Feibush was standing in the background as the executive director of the PRA says the agency has no records which validate Fiebush’s claims and it was the city that cleared the lot.
“Our hardworking PRA crews scraped this lot clean and removed 30 tons of construction debris,” Covington said.
In a few weeks the city will put the lot up for sale. Feibush says he’s willing to pay more than $50,000 for it. As for the online threat, Feibush says he is cooperating with police and he has no idea who posted it online.