By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A pair of notorious Brooklyn-based real estate speculators is making improvements to a center city Philadelphia property they own, after years of neglecting it.

The crumbling façade of the building near 8th and Market Streets is getting a makeover.

Of the nearly 30 Philadelphia properties owned by the Lichtenstein brothers, the building at 726 Market Street is clearly the premier holding, based on its desirable location.

But that didn’t motivate the Lichtensteins to handle it any differently than their more marginal properties, which included the Buck Hosiery Factory in Kensington that burned down last year, killing two firefighters (see related story).

The rundown brick front on Market St. tarnished the look of the whole block, and three years ago the brothers stopped paying taxes on it.

(726 Market Street in April 2012.  File photo by Ed Fischer)

(726 Market Street in April 2012. File photo by Ed Fischer)


But scaffolding is now up and workers are pointing the bricks.  Mayor Nutter’s spokesman says the brothers have begun paying back taxes on that building.

Efforts to reach the Lichtensteins were unsuccessful. They face lawsuits in connection with the Kensington fire, and a grand jury investigation of the fire is continuing (see related story).

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