Philanthropist and businessman Mel Heifetz submitted an offer to purchase the City-owned Winter Street property that is currently occupied by the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts near Logan Square.
Heifetz, owner of a popular 48-room boutique hotel in Philadelphia, has offered $1.5 million for the property with the intent of donating it to a nonprofit organization that does not discriminate.
He like many other Philadelphians is appalled that the Boy Scouts still discriminate against “avowed homosexuals” in their hiring policies and membership enrollment.
Heifetz, a former Eagle Scout who led a scout troop, while in the armed services, on an American Air Force base in Germany, He is an active member of the Philadelphia real estate scene, and owns and manages more than 150 apartment units in Center City.
Mr. Heifetz is not new to philanthropic activities. He retired the outstanding mortgage on the William Way Community Center for $274,000.
Heifetz’s offer is in direct response to a proposal to sell the City-owned property, at far below the fair market value, to the Boy Scouts. That action, he believes, is contrary to a city law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or expression, age and mental or physical disability. The City has offered to sell this property for $500,000 to the Scouts, a million dollars below Heifetz’s offer.
“We can not tolerate discrimination,” says Heifetz. “To discriminate against one group today opens the path to discriminate against others. Rather than contest or appeal the legal decision on this issue the City has chosen to make a deal that does not eliminate discrimination.”