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'Condo King' Allan Domb Officially Announces Run For Mayor

Three months after resigning his seat on Philadelphia City Council to consider a run for mayor, Allan Domb has officially announced his candidacy.

Former Philadelphia City Councilmember-at-Large Allan Domb is running for mayor in 2023.

In a video posted to his YouTube channel on Monday evening, Domb launched his official campaign. The chief issue the video highlighted was public safety, which has also been the subject of a listening tour Domb led at a handful of sites across the city in the past few weeks.

The persistent opioid epidemic, the rising violent crime rate and high-profile instances of petty crime have dominated news coverage of the city in the past year and a half. Convenience store chain Wawa, a prized part of the Philly region's commercial identity, closed two stores on Market Street in Center City in response to safety concerns in October.

Domb's vision for how to improve the situation is long-term in nature: improve education and quality of jobs for city residents with the idea of moving more families out of poverty, he told Bisnow in an interview ahead of his campaign's launch event Tuesday. One tangible plan he has to that end: mandating the addition of financial literacy, technological literacy and entrepreneurship to the K-12 curriculum in Philadelphia's public schools.

“It all connects," Domb said. "You need education so you can have a more-trained city in terms of skill set. If we put into place mandatory teaching of tech, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, companies looking into the city in 10-12 years will see a different level of talent.”

Domb's focus on safety arose from his conversations with constituents, but in his time as an at-large councilmember, he was more focused on the financial health of the city.

For years, he pushed for the city to be less dependent on wage taxes. He introduced a bill, later passed by the city council, requiring that the city obtain an independent appraisal on any property it buys or sells.

Former JLL Research Director Lauren Gilchrist and former Philadelphia City Councilmember Allan Domb in 2018.

Before his political career began, Domb's prolific development of for-sale apartments gained him the moniker "Condo King." He still owns a sizable portfolio of commercial and rental properties. Domb is counting on his private sector experience to show that he can bring the public and private sectors together to "actually solve problems," he told Bisnow, though he downplayed his real estate connection.

“Most of what I do isn’t just real estate," Domb said. "I’m also involved in other business and have employed a ton of people.”

Domb is entering an already-crowded field of Democratic candidates to replace Mayor Jim Kenney in 2023, including fellow former councilmembers Derek Green, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Cherelle Parker and former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. A special election on Election Day filled the four council seats until the entire body goes up for re-election next November.