NOW IT GETS really interesting.
WPVI-TV reported last night that U.S. Rep. Bob Brady had brokered a deal for Occupy Philly to relocate, a report that could not immediately be confirmed.
The station reported on its website that Brady said he had brokered a deal among the main faction of Occupy Philly, the city and the unions to move the protest across the street from Dilworth Plaza to the plaza at the Municipal Services Building by Monday.
The website said that Pat Gillespie of the Building and Trades Council confirmed a deal in which union members would help move the encampment across the street, allowing construction to begin on Dilworth Plaza as early as next week.
Mayor Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, denied that such a deal had been worked out, the website reported.
Meanwhile, the Center City District announced yesterday afternoon that the Daniel J. Keating Co. had been awarded the construction contract for a much-discussed $50 million makeover of Dilworth Plaza.
"We will start construction the moment the site is available," said Paul Levy, president of the Center City District.
The city then posted an official notice advising Occupy Philly members on the plaza to leave - immediately.
Although the developments seemed to push the city closer to a confrontation with members of the movement - who voted Friday to stay at Dilworth Plaza indefinitely - a police source said there were no imminent plans for cops to sweep the protesters out.
Instead, civil-affairs officers are expected to go tent-to-tent handing out copies of the notices over the next few days, giving protesters plenty of time to leave, the source said.
The city said last night that its homeless-outreach team would also begin offering to help the numerous homeless people who have been attracted to the campsite.
Gillespie said unemployment has been running between 35 and 40 percent in the building trades during the last two years.
The Dilworth makeover project is expected to provide about 800 construction jobs.
"We could put a lot of people to work before Christmas, people that are trying to pay their mortgages," Gillespie said.
Keating will have to get a number of construction permits before work can begin.
Mayoral spokesman McDonald said it wouldn't take long for the city to issue them.