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Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Another big-league developer runs into complaints that his proposed game-changing project is too tall for its community; Can't find your way around Northwest Philly? Mt. Airy USA would like to fix that; there's lots of interest in developing Southport, but not as a freestanding marine terminal, at least not yet; and cities are discovering the power of crowdfunding as a way to raise public awareness of and support for parks and other neighborhood amenities:

Residents worry One Ardmore Place's 8 stories are out of character with surrounding buildings (Main Line Times)
$1.1 million state grant aims to better connect Northwest Philly (Plan Philly)
16 companies vie for vacant Navy Yard site (The Philadelphia Inquirer|
Crowdfunded Parks Are Coming

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Dave Schultz of DAS Architects describes the proposed Hudson Hotel to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission

By Gabriel Gottlieb

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission unanimously endorsed a City Council bill that would allow the construction of a new high-rise hotel off Rittenhouse Square at its monthly meeting on November 18, The bill changes the zoning of a parcel of land at the southeast corner of 17th and Chancellor streets to CMX-5, the densest commercial mixed-use category, in order to allow the construction of a Hudson Hotel on the site. Hudson Hotel is a boutique hotel brand which currently has one location, in New York. The Planning Commission suggested the zoning change when it had met with the hotel's owner, Morgans Hotel Group,

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We know some people who swear by astrology. They know what sign each of their planets lies in, and they don't leave home without consulting the chart for the day. We're nowhere near that religious about it, but we do find it amusing when we meet someone and their character traits turn out to match those associated with their sun signs. We would be quite surprised indeed, however, if we learned that the people who were this building's original occupants based their decisions on the daily horoscope. Who are we talking about? If you can tell us where we spotted this, you'll have a clue.

Answer next week.

Photo by the author

Last week's Hidden Treasure Hunt answer: That eagle wreathed in laurel is one of two that grace the facade of the Forrest

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One of the most cost-effective repairs you can make before putting your home on the market is giving its walls a fresh coat of paint.

When it comes to listing your home, there's no single set of black-and-white rules that apply to every property and every seller. But check out these things to think about as you walk through your home with an agent or stager.


Fix! There's no accounting for the massive upgrade a fresh coat of paint can bring.

Major Kitchen Upgrades

Don't fix. Unless there are major structural issues, most new buyers would prefer to do something to their own taste.

Minor Kitchen Issues

Fix. Things like plumbing leaks should be fixed, and small updates like swapping out light fixtures can make a big difference.

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Your home is on the market? Great! Here are reasons why you should consider marketing it with an open house.

Prepping for an open house is a lot of work, and the idea of having strangers roaming your halls for a few hours can be a little awkward. Not sure if you want to open your doors to all potential buyers? Here are four things to consider.

Go Out With a Bang and Get More Attention

Work with your agent to make a splash on the real estate scene immediately after listing your home – a well-marketed new open house can draw lots of buyers.

A Busy Open House Could Mean Fewer Showings

The more people you reach with your open house, the more momentum your listing may generate up-front – and the sooner you may sell.

The Role of the Open House

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The winning bidder walks away from the deal to buy the shuttered Revel casino in Atlantic City; rail planners returned to Center City yesterday with revised blueprints for the Northeast Corridor's future; Shire's headquarters move from Chesterbrook to Lexington could shake up the Chester County office real estate market, at least for a little while; and an enterprising Kensington community activist rescues abandoned homes in order to fill a need for residents struggling to find child care that allows them to find jobs:

Deal to Purchase Revel Casino Terminated (NBC10 Philadelphia)
Rail planners outline various remedies for Northeast Corridor (The Philadelphia Inquirer|
Shire's relocation could mean big changes to Chesterbrook office market

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Kitchen makeover? Good idea, if it's mainly for your own convenience. Combining two bedrooms into one? You're pouring money down the drain.

Not all upgrades are created equal-some will add definite value to your home, while you may not recoup the full costs of others. Check out these common upgrades that may cost more than they're worth.

Highly Custom Design Decisions

Keep upgrades fairly neutral, as no one wants to rip out something that's been recently renovated because it's not their style.

Permanent Bedroom Conversions

Combining two bedrooms to make a mega-closet may be a good idea for your lifestyle today, but going from a three to a two-bedroom house can hurt the value when you try to sell.

Incremental Square Footage Gains


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A picturesque, flat course, ideal running weather and enthusiastic fans make the Philadelphia Marathon one of the nation's top events of its kind. An entire weekend of fun, fitness and running has grown up around it, and there's plenty of room for you to participate.

Generally speaking, fall and spring are the ideal times for marathons. The weather is neither so cold runners risk hypothermia nor so hot they risk heat exhaustion.

Mother Nature apparently had different plans for this year's Philadelphia Marathon: She brought winter to town early.

At least the current cold snap will have moderated somewhat by the time the main races take place on Sunday, Nov. 22. The forecast high for that day is 56 degrees, which should be warm enough for those

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When last we reported on 137 S. 10th St. one week ago, we remarked that the building will look quite different once the exterior renovations are complete.

As the photo above shows, we hadn't the faintest idea just how different it would look.

"Bay window" doesn't quite do justice to the second-floor projection Cecil Baker + Partners have mounted on this building's new facade.

And if this steel frame is what the stucco described in the building permit on file with Licenses & Inspections will be applied to, it's going to look far classier than any stucco work we've run across lately.

We can now say with some confidence that the rebuilt 137 S. 10th St. will be perhaps the most jaw-dropping commercial building front in Washington Square

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A lawsuit alleges Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (D-2nd District) steered city-owned properties to favored developers in his district; Homegirl Leigh Gallagher (she's from Media) reflects on the cracks in the glass ceiling in real estate after a talk before the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia chapter; there's now a rare opportunity to own a jaw-droppingly gorgeous Modernist home by a local master of the form; and goodbye Court, goodbye Plaza, hello one ginormous King of Prussia mall:

Lawsuit claims Councilman Johnson skirted law to aid developer (Philadelphia Daily News|
Who are the most powerful women in real estate? (Fortune) 
House of the Week: A Frank Weise Modernist Marvel on Lombard Street (Property blog|Philadelphia magazine) 
King of

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