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August 2012

There are 150 blog entries for August 2012.

Parklet expansion at Grays Ferry Ave. & South St.

We have to admit, the title of this piece is a bit misleading.  Okay, it is entirely misleading.  While several community groups, including the South of South Neighborhood Association, the Center City Residents' Association and the South Street West Business Association, have been pushing expansion plans for the mini-parklet at Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street, nothing has happened because of considerable pushback.  You know the one, right?  Sitting right where 23rd Street, South Street, and Grays Ferry Avenue converge, African Market Square is essentially a glorified traffic triangle, complete with some decent landscaping, a tree or two, some seating and a fountain, all packed into a tiny space at…
3,058 Views, 0 Comments.

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Forbes to investors: Consider buying houses in college towns and renting them to students! Several markets are hot right now - ours, however, not so much; The architect of 205 Race explains why he and the developer who hired him figured a taller tower would work where a shorter one didn't - but did they get the right revised version?; It looks as though the civil war over Richard Neutra's Gettysburg Cyclorama building may be at an end, with the building the loser; and three Philly-area 'burbs make Money's annual list of the best small towns to live in in the country: College Town Investment Opportunities: Rents and Prices This Academic Year Get High (Forbes) Race Street Rising (A|N Blog/The Architect's Newspaper) At Gettysburg, the…
993 Views, 0 Comments.

Fitzwater Street infill project gets under way

Architect's rendering of 1615-17 Fitzwater The two houses will look the same from the street, and both will have three floors, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and finished basements. But 1617 will be a little larger than 1615. While the smaller house will have 1200 square feet of space, the larger one will have 1675 interior square feet, room enough to include a study in addition to the master bedroom on the third floor. 1615 floorplans 1615 cross-sections 1617's rear yard will also be a little larger than 1615's, thanks to the larger lot on which it sits. 1617 floorplans 1617 cross-sections We will keep you posted as this project progresses. -By Sandy Smith for  
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ZBA holds off on decision to demolish 400 S. 40th St.

400 South 40th With the approval of the Philadelphia Historical Commission and the Spruce Hill Neighborhood Association, Equinox Management and Construction presented on Aug. 28 its proposal for the demolition of a building at 400 S. 40th St. and sought relief for the construction of a five-story, 120-unit apartment building. But significant opposition from the Woodland Terrace Homeowners’ Association and other nearby residents dragged the special hearing over its time limit by almost a half hour and resulted in it being continued. The hearing room on the 18th floor of 1518 Arch Street was packed for the hearing, and by the time it ended, it was overflowing with people coming in and out for a completely different…
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A look at the 12th & Lombard townhouses

Earlier this month, we reported that the Pain Center at 12th and Lombard in Washington Square West will give way to a new development that will put five luxury townhouses on the site. We now have drawings showing what the houses will look like, courtesy Harman Deutsch Architecture. Front elevation Lombard Street elevation Aerial view Rodman Street elevation As you can see, six large four-story townhouses with parking (as opposed to the five we previously reported) will occupy the Pain Center site. The houses will have two-car garages in the back, accessed from a driveway that runs beneath the second-floor decks at the rear of the property. Because of the need to accommodate the garages - a requirement at this price point - the houses will have a split-level design, as the side…
9,696 Views, 0 Comments.

When buildings stall: The new Francisville development that isn't

  Stalled project at 17th and Master streets In case you haven't heard, the real estate market isn't the greatest right now. While we are still in a buyer's market, developers' and investors' projects don't always turn out the way they were planned. Sometimes they don't even pan out. Back of the development Take this property in the Francisville area of North Philly near St. Joseph's Hospital on the corner of 17th and Harper streets, for instance. This appears to be what was going to be several units in this three-story building. The back areas appear to have the beginnings of balconies for each unit. city-data unlisting Then, I thought I was seeing a mirage. Upon researching this particular property, site after site listed it as a vacant lot. Listings sites had…
3,009 Views, 0 Comments.

Another Washington Object Lesson, this time on the waterfront

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="612" caption="Projects like the Race Street Pier have added valuable civic spaces to the Delaware riverfront and deserve the awards they have received. But your blogger gets this sense that many of them, as well as the master plan for the central Delaware riverfront, treat the river itself as a fashion accessory. Photo from the Friends of Race Street Pier."]Race Street Pier[/caption] Your blogger has of late been rather attuned to issues of development and planning 150 miles down the road in Washington, but hasn't had the opportunity to compare notes recently on what's going on there with the hopes that they might contain useful advice on what we should be doing (or…
2,418 Views, 0 Comments.

Fond to add bar service at new location

Future home of Fond As we reported earlier this summer, Fond, the popular South Philadelphia restaurant, is moving to 1537 S. 11th St. in Passyunk Square. A recent trip past the restaurant's future location at 11th Street and East Passyunk Avenue revealed the prominent display of the business' request for a liquor license. Fond's liquor license application The application was anticipated and the posting serves as further progress in Fond's plan to change its address, which will feature some notable changes. The license in itself will represent a slight departure from their previous BYO status. A short bar will put the new permit to immediate use and the new 11th Street space will feature more seating. Meanwhile, the crew at Fond have confirmed that they are…
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Lunchtime Quick Hits

If the owners of the IHOP on Walnut Street in the Gayborhood ever decide to get out of the business, here's the guy to call to handle the sale; Last call for the "Center City Sips" happy hour has been pushed back a month; Medicinal herb specialist Penn Herb Co. is demolishing its NoLibs home base to build a new flagship store on the site. Naked Philly was surprised to hear this, and so are we; and plans are afoot to give Fishtown's live music scene a huge boost: Real estate agent embraces tasty niche, nickname as Pancake King (Sacramento Business Journal) Center City Sips Extended Through September (CBS Philly) Huge New Penn Herb Flagship Coming to 2nd and Spring Garden (Naked Philly) Waterfront developer plans 3,000-person music…
1,073 Views, 0 Comments.