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Electric Factory billboard proposal gets preliminary Ok from Council

Could there soon be a huge wall-wrap digital billboard on the Electric Factory?

Well City Council's Rules Committee approved a measure sponsored by Councilman Mark Squilla that would allow for the ad on the building at 7th and Callowhill streets. A portion of the money generated from the billboard would go toward programs at three nearby schools as part of a community benefits agreement.

Several community groups and Scenic Philadelphia formerly known as Scrub an anti-blight organization that opposes outdoor advertising spoke out against the bill.

"It was a bad bill a year ago and it's a bad bill now," said Rosanne Loesch, with the Society Hill Civic Association.

Loesch was referring to an effort by former Councilman Frank DiCicco which would have placed a wall-wrap billboard on the same building last year. Nutter vetoed that measure noting that it would violate federal laws because it would have been within 600 feet of the Vine Expressway.

Critics of the bill say the issues that came up last year still apply.

Squilla and other Council members said the billboard would be a way in which the private sector could help fund the city's schools. Squilla said so far Subaru, Gap and Old Navy are interested in advertising on the building.