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The hammers may not be swinging as fast and furiously on the Spring Garden side of Fairmount Avenue as they are on the Francisville side of it, but they are swinging in several places. This project at 1720 Fairmount Ave. is one of the larger sites.

The building that will occupy this lot will have four stories with commercial space in the basement and on the first floor and 21 apartments on the upper three floors.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment got the ball rolling on this project when it approved a petition to combine the five lots at 1720-30 Fairmount Ave. into one lot and a variance to build a 48-foot-tall structure, higher than the lot's CMX-2 zoning allows, on Sept. 17 of last year. The actual zoning permits for both the lot line

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The Business Journal smells an Edge City in the making around Chadds Ford; the preliminaries (i.e., deconstruction) over, construction work has now officially begun on the former Provident Mutual insurance building, soon to be the new Philadelphia Police headquarters; if Philly can't fix the schools in its quest to become a truly family-friendly place, maybe it can fix its playgrounds; and someone is going to own Pat Croce's Villanova manse when the gavel finally bangs, most likely for a lot less than its original asking price. The rest of us can look at the pretty pictures and ooh and aah at the wretched excess:

Concord: Why it's hot (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Work on new police headquarters begins at 46th and Market (West Philly Local)
Using GIS

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Liberties Walk visitors should recognize this historic former church at 1026 N. 3rd St. But see that little structure and the fenced-in parking in front of it? Those proposed changes got a cool reception from neighbors and the NLNA Zoning Committee.

As followers of this blog should know, parking is a contentious issue in neighborhoods like Northern Liberties, where demand for living and working space is high and many of the new arrivals bring cars with them, causing competition for already limited on-street parking spaces.

That usually means that development proposals that lack what neighbors consider sufficient parking face rough going before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) Zoning Committee.

But on occasion, proposals that

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Another suburbanite packs up and moves into Philly; if living over the store has been a dream of yours, there's a nice one coming to Kensington that you might want to consider; the Preservation Alliance steps up its alarm-bell-ringing in hopes of saving more of Greater Philadelphia's endangered historic places; and the biggest little flophouse in Washington Square West is shuttered after a one-alarm fire, and at least one reporter wonders, Might this be for good?

NXTsports picks Navy Yard for new headquarters (Philadelphia Business Journal)
On the Rental Market: Live Above the Future Kensington Community Food Co-op (Curbed Philly) 
Preservation Alliance Announces "Places to Save" List (Hidden City Daily)
Bad News Bears: There Was a Small Fire at the

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Most Americans find homeownership beats renting for many reasons. But there are a number of reasons why one might choose to rent instead.

Yesterday, we explained why, for the great majority of Americans, buying a home of their own makes sense.

But it doesn't make sense for everyone. There are those for whom renting is the better alternative - sometimes even if it costs more than buying in the long run.

Here are the reasons someone looking for a place to live may prefer to rent instead:

The process is easier and simpler. It still takes time to find a suitable apartment to rent, but unless the local rental market is very tight, there are usually plenty of units to choose from, and many will probably meet most renters' needs. Once the would-be

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It's hard these days to walk through Francisville and not find construction under way somewhere. Our recent swing through the area last week revealed progress on several projects we've been following and some new ones under way.

This new structure at 702-04 N. 20th St. falls into the latter category.

According to permit data on file with Licenses and Inspections, this will be "a three (3) story structure for use as a six (6) family dwelling." In other words, judging from the looks of the structure now rising, two three-unit apartment townhomes.

The framing suggests that each will have their own entrance, as opposed to a single common entrance as found on a similar structure now nearing completion at the other end of this block (which we

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As you search the listings on this site, we're sure you will find a home you'd love to live in. In this first installment in a series on home buying, we offer some reasons you should buy it.

Of course, we're here to help you buy the home of your dreams. When you're ready to buy that new Philly home, we hope you turn to us first.

But if you're not a homeowner now, you should consider whether buying or renting makes more sense for you before you take the plunge.

In this article, we will examine some of the reasons homeownership makes more sense for most Americans, and may make more sense for you now.

It costs less than renting, especially in the long run. Today's house prices may seem daunting, but when you spread out the cost of ownership over

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We all know the sad stories of renters forced out of gentrifying neighborhoods by rising rents. But what about the people who live in places where rent is cheap because the housing stock is in sad shape - and still can't afford a place to live?; Inga Saffron looks at Philly's new "inclusionary housing" incentives and wonders whether they really help who they're intended to help; Bart Blatstein's AC buy hasn't cooled his ardor for The Provence - and he's getting tired of waiting for the verdict on that second casino license; and commercial real estate investors who have traditionally passed Philly over in favor of New York and Washington are giving the city's office buildings a second look:

The Housing Crisis We Don't Talk About (Next City)
Changing

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As the inheritor of the legacy of Carl Dranoff's first development company, Historic Landmarks for Living, Philadelphia-based Reinhold Residential is an old hand at preserving the historic integrity of the residential buildings it owns and manages. This Thursday, it will formally take the wraps off its latest restoration project, one that revives the spirit and original purpose of its Art Deco gem, The Metropolitan (above).

That would be the building's gym, now dubbed MetroFit and open to all Reinhold residents. One of the amenities every YMCA in the country offered its members was a place to exercise, and the YMCA Armed Forces Building, built in 1926-28 at 117 N. 15th St. in Center City, was no exception. Originally built as the Navy Annex of the

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