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April 2012

There are 35 blog entries for April 2012.

Finally, Spread Bake Shop 'coming soon' to Rittenhouse

Spread Bagelry, the popular Montreal-style bagel eatery, is spreading its wings (pun intended) and opening a bakery across the street at 269 S. 20th Street in the former Brown Betty Peitite space.  In recent weeks, a ‘Coming Soon’ sign has appeared and the name of the new bakery has been revealed: Spread Bake Shop.  The new Spread will specialize in muffins, biscotti, scones, baked pies, and loose bagels for those who don’t want to stumble across the street for their fix.   While high-rise projects are exciting, developments such as these should not be taken lightly as they are a sign of a neighborhood’s enduring vitality - small shops such as Spread are entirely dependent on a healthy amount of foot…
10,222 Views, 0 Comments.

19 new homes in Bella Vista near completion

Work is almost complete on a block-long development with 19 new townhomes at 8th and Montrose streets. The developer behind the project is U.S. Construction, the same company that's building new rowhomes on Manton Street next to the new Manton Street Garden. Zoning plan for 806 Christian/Montrose St development For months, it almost seemed as though the entire block was under construction.  And it kind of was!  This new community sits on an L-shaped lot that takes up most of the south side of the 700 block of Montrose Street, extending east from the 8th and Montrose corner, then turns south to Christian Street.  Three of the homes face Christian Street while eleven properties face Montrose Street.  The remaining five homes are located on a private driveway…
2,737 Views, 0 Comments.

The battle of Point Breeze Avenue: The story so far

One of two zoning variances OCF Realty proposed to the ZBA in February was for a mixed-use building at the corner of Point Breeze Avenue and Titan Street. If and when the variance finally clears all appeals and the city grants permits, the first floor will house a pharmacy; the upper floors will contain 13 apartments. The owner of a property adjacent to the lot in question appealed the zoning variance on April 13. Feibush confirmed his company’s willingness to legally go to the mat over the appeal as recently as this week. As OCF’s plan likely fulfills many of the requirements for zoning changes as the city lays them out, it is unlikely that the appeal will gain firm legal footing. Without…
3,683 Views, 0 Comments.

Buy now, or bide your time?

Mortgages So, of course, buyers are lining up to buy real estate in Philadelphia and elsewhere, right? Maybe, maybe not, says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate. "People don't make big-ticket purchases like homes if they are nervous about the overall economy or their own job security," McBride said. "Affordability is the best it's been in decades, between lower home prices and record-low mortgage rates, but people aren't buying houses because they're nervous about taking on that financial commitment." While economic growth has been steady if unspectacular over the last year or so, clouds remain on the horizon. Europe's ongoing debt crisis and signs that Germany might be entering a double-dip recession have helped…
2,851 Views, 0 Comments.

Get ready for groundbreaking on Granary project...soon

In the Philadelphia real estate business world, it has been easy to get caught up in recent speculation and excitement over possible high-profile developments that may or may not come online in the foreseeable future.  Sometimes the lure of the latest W Hotel rumors or the ambiguous 1919 Market possibilities are too sexy to look away and actual development news is missed.  Earlier this week, in the real world, it was announced that a three-year, $66.2 million construction loan has been arranged through Wells Fargo Bank for the Granary luxury multifamily project at 20th and Callowhill streets. The Granary And this is no small project that deserves to get overlooked, as the Granary will bring 227 one- and…
5,010 Views, 0 Comments.

Bubbles salon unexpectedly closing Walnut Street location

Bubbles Hair Salon logo Bubbles, an upscale full service hair salon and spa, has been a mainstay of the Walnut Street retail scene for many years, so their decision to close has come as a bit of a surprise to loyal patrons.  While raising rents is certainly a good sign of how healthy Walnut Street commercial activity currently is, Bubbles will certainly be missed. With the exit of the salon comes an opportunity to fill a prime retail location with a top tier retailer.  Considering its location right next to the Apple Store, the numerous high-end retailers in close proximity, and the fact that Crystal Swarovski decided to relocate to just down the street, we are hoping for and expecting big things from this spot.  As…
4,180 Views, 0 Comments.

Happy Birthday, Southwark!

The Shot Tower in Southwark Before skyscrapers, the Phillies and cheesesteaks, Philadelphia began as a small Swedish settlement on the banks of the Delaware River.  Now, more than three centuries after those Swedes settled it, Philadelphia will be celebrating the 250th birthday of its first suburb, Southwark.  This Saturday, April 28th, at the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church on Columbus Blvd. and Christian Street, the Queen Village Neighbors Association and the Southwark Historical Society will be holding a festival to commemorate this important settlement.  From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., guests can come and learn about the evolution of Southwark from its origins as a small Swedish settlement to the flourishing community that it is today. From 12 p.m. to 1…
1,905 Views, 0 Comments.

Philly as hipster heaven: Who knew?

The results are in for Travel + Leisure magazine's latest "America's Favorite Cities" survey, and one thing should come as no surprise: The visitors like this place better than the residents do. In just about every category where Philly scored highly as a destination on the national survey - historical sites and monuments (#1), sports-crazed (#1), street food, hamburgers and classical music (#2 in each category), diversity (#5) and so on - the visitors rated us several notches higher than we rated ourselves. Berks Street in Fishtown One of the few exceptions to this rule: microbrews, where we think we're as good as the visitors think we are (#4 with visitors, #5 with residents). Perhaps the T+L editors got high off our hops, for how else to…
3,192 Views, 0 Comments.

New Center City eatery takes ‘thinking local’ mantra to new heights

Honeygrow logo But Honeygrow is taking the ‘thinking locally’ mantra one step further and celebrating local people as well.  The way they see it, local Philadelphians get the short end of the stick from overly bureaucratic agencies like the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) or SEPTA.  To alleviate this issue, Honeygrow has set aside $1,080 worth of funds to pay customers’ parking tickets.  Here’s how it works: bring your PPA parking ticket to Honeygrow on the day it was issued and you’ll receive a voucher (up to $36) that you can use in the restaurant.  This offer will continue until the $1,080 of reserves is depleted. Rosenberg and company are also offering to pay for your entire month’s SEPTA…
2,484 Views, 0 Comments.

Philly makes strides to become THE most walkable city

Just recently, the Clean Air Council, a non-profit working towards creating a clean air environment, has created a new group geared towards bringing awareness to the issues surrounding pedestrian commutes.  Its main initiative: The group is "devoted solely to advocating on behalf of pedestrians and the promotion of walking."  The new group, whose name for now is the Pedestrian Advocacy Project, has already had two meetings, and, due to its success, will be hosting meetings in the near future. The group points out that even though Philadelphia is a walking-friendly city, there is room for improvement.  Just as with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which has been working with the city to…
1,757 Views, 0 Comments.