Appeal, No. 175, Jan. T., 1963, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1962, No. 1626, in equity, in case of Frances H. Seligsohn and Export-Import Clothing Co. v. The Philadelphia Parking Authority, City Stores Company, and Strawbridge & Clothier. Decree affirmed; reargument refused November 13, 1963.*fn*
Nathan B. Feinstein, with him Reuben E. Cohen, and Cohen, Shapiro and Cohen, for appellant.
Harry Shapiro, with him David N. Bressler, Bernard M. Guth, Samuel D. Goodis, Oscar M. Hansen, and Shapiro, Rosenfeld, Stalberg & Cook, and Floz, Bard, Kamsler, Goodis & Greenfield, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, for appellees.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.
This appeal is from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County which upheld the action of the Philadelphia Parking Authority (Authority) in condemning certain property and in entering into a long term lease with two department stores for the rental of a public parking facility to be erected by the Authority upon the condemned property.
Frances H. Seligsohn, owner of an improved property located at 8th and Filbert Streets, Philadelphia, leased her building thereon to the Export-import Clothing Co., a corporation engaged in the sale of men's, women's and children's wearing apparel of which corporation Mrs. Seligsohn was the president and sole stockholder. The Seligsohn building is located across the intersection from Lit Brothers' department store, operated by City Stores Company (Lit), and Strawbridge & Clothier's department store (Strawbridge).
On February 23, 1962, the Authority, created under the Parking Authority Law of June 5, 1947, P.L. 458, as amended, 53 PS § 341 et seq., condemned certain properties, including the Seligsohn property, in the vicinity of and to the north of 8th and Filbert Streets in Philadelphia. On this property the Authority proposes
to erect a 950 car public parking facility which will have six entrances for public access as well as access by physical connection with the Lit and Strawbridge stores.
Over a long period of time prior to this condemnation, certain studies and surveys had been made by reputable agencies to determine the need for public parking facilities in the central business district of Philadelphia, including, generally, the area in and about 8th and Filbert Streets. The Authority had the benefit of such studies and surveys.
As the court below found upon adequate evidence "A public parking authority, by its nature, is required to establish facilities which will sustain revenue bonds so that it will be financially independent of the Government with which it is related" and "[revenue] bonds of a public parking authority, without additional security, are not readily saleable."
Cognizant of the need for a public parking facility in this general area and of the difficulties inherent in the financing of such a project, negotiations were entered into, long prior to condemnation, between the Authority, Lit and Strawbridge. Through such negotiations, a plan was evolved which would assure the erection of a needed public parking facility and its proper and adequate financing. Under this plan, the Authority would condemn the required property and erect thereon a public parking facility to meet the public needs. This facility would be then leased to Lit and Strawbridge until January 1, 2000, with the right to extension of the lease for a full 50 year term, at rentals to be paid consisting of three parts: (a) debt service rentals sufficient to repay principal and interest on the bonds to be issued by the Authority; (b) ...