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Nugent doesn’t hesitate when asked if the public money for the project was well-spent: “Obviously not.”

Matthews and Hoeffel opted not to seek reelection in 2011. The next year, their successors, including holdover Castor, rejected Gallub’s request for an additional $11 million.

“We didn’t think it warranted throwing good money after bad,” current Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro said.

In October, private investor Logan Lender bought the old shopping center for the value of the debt it was owed and $8,000 in cash for fees at a sheriff’s auction. What happens next to the site is likely to be decided “sometime in the first quarter of 2014,” said Richard S. Roisman, the Philadelphia attorney for the property’s new owner.

Meanwhile, the county is working with Norristown officials to take legal action against Gallub.

“We need to do it jointly,” Monson said.

There is no timetable on when that lawsuit may be filed - or on how long the District Attorney’s Office might scrutinize the deal.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said last month that her office was still investigating the project, but she wouldn’t say what or whom prosecutors were reviewing.

Logan Square could have a bright future, said former Upper Darby resident Christopher Leinberger, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who is an expert on downtown redevelopment.

Raze the shopping center, build housing in its place, create a grid of streets, and turn the property into a walkable, urbanized community: That, Leinberger said, is “the biggest development trend in the country.”

Whatever the plan for Logan Square, there’s little chance of another big county investment.

“I would listen to any proposal,” Shapiro said, “but I would not be willing to put any public money at risk.”



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