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Yelson Group: When Is a Stripper Just a Silhouette?

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Thanks to eagle-eyed Curbed Philly reader Jeff B., who sent in this photo taken at 12th and South. He wrote, "Any particular type of business they have in mind?"

Jeff wasn't the only one who noticed the sign. A homeowner in the area thought it was strange, and maybe even ironic street art. According to her account on Philadelphia Citysearch, she visited the property management company, the Yelson Group, to ask about the sign. She says she was told by a woman there that the sign was "just a silhouette." A man came out to speak to her, and they argued over property values. Then the conversation devolved, to say the least:

He said that he didn't like my style with my "leather jacket and high boots." I told him he looked like Rod Stewart threw up on him and he took it as a compliment. The Yelson Group has been the subject of some controvesy in the past. In 2009 there was a contretemps between owner Michael Yelson and Marc Vetri over a mural of Vetri on one of Yelson's buildings. In 2010, Miriam Hill and Jeff Shields wrote an article in the Inquirer about a Yelson rental that was the subject of a surprise inspection by L&I. The L&I report was damning, indicating that the rowhouse was infested by insects and rodents, had no heat and had drainage problems, among other things. The townhouse was also unlicensed.

A student who'd once lived in the rowhouse told the Inquirer she moved out because of poor conditions, but Michael Yelson said the student was lying so she wouldn't have to pay rent.

We called the office for comment on the sign, but were told the owner is out of the office today so there's no one there to talk about it.

· Daniel Rubin: Mural feels the heat [Inquirer]
· L&I steps up scrutiny of city rental housing Inspectors hope to get to 10,000 properties this year