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October 2013

There are 114 blog entries for October 2013.

Lunchtime Quick Hits

The good news: the Philly skyline will get a gleaming new exclamation point in the form of a 650-foot-high Cesar Pelli-designed skyscraper at Cira Centre South. The bad news: no net new jobs as a result, for the lead tenant is simply moving across the river from Market Street West; a garden apartment complex in the Northeast changes hands for $13 million; The Inquirer takes stock of the Avenue of the Arts' impact on the city's real estate market on its 20th anniversary; and Mayor Nutter signs off on the plan to raise $61 million for the School District by selling shuttered schools: 650' Tower Set for West Philly, Cira Centre Expansion (Hidden City Daily) Philadelphia Multifamily Trades for $13 Million (Press release via National Real…
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Open House: Bella Vista’s Real Estate Opportunities

Open House Bella Vista Real Estate by Philly Living/a   Bella Vista’s real estate remains a popular option for Philadelphians thanks to the geographical sweet spot near the city limits. The close location affords Bella Vista’s residents easy ventures into the city while keeping the neighborhood mainly residential. For residents seeking a diversified culture, the oldest neighborhood is known to have a large melting pot of residents. The diverse population has a strong Italian culture at its heart with many other ethnicities calling Bella Vista home as well.

A Beautiful View Right Outside your Window

With Bella Vista translating literally to “beautiful sight,” the Philly neighborhood is free from a lot of the hustle and bustle of city life. Its…
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Hidden Treasure Hunt: Smile when you see that

In the early decades of this century, this city was known as "The Workshop of the World." A dazzling array of manufacturers large and small made a wide variety of products. Some, like Stetson hats, were icons. Others were not themselves iconic, but their manufacturers were well known in their fields. This symbol stood for quality in a specialized product line. You could say the company whose trademark this was knew the drill. What was its name, what did it make, and where can you find this logo? photo Answer next week. Photo by the author 4th and Fitzwater streets Last week's Hidden Treasure Hunt answer: That friendly jack o'lantern looks down on the intersection of 4th and Fitzwater streets in Queen Village, atop this building that…
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NLNA previews Poplar Street project

Conceptual renderings of 517-33 Poplar Street Neighbors and members of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association Zoning Committee got a first look at a proposed 40-unit condominium at 517-33 Poplar Street that would, as outlined at the Oct. 28 committee meeting, transform and potentially enliven the 500 block of Poplar Street. And maybe enliven 6th and Randolph streets, which border the project on its sides, a bit too much, said some. That's because the proposed condo would contain a 41-space parking garage in its basement and first floor with an entrance on 6th Street and an exit onto Randolph. Several neighbors noted that 6th Street is already congested at Poplar at some times of day, and some motorists use Randolph, which is also one-way southbound, to…
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Broad Street Armory project update

1221 S Broad St, now a hole in the ground It's been barely a month since the Zoning Board of Adjustment granted the variances necessary for the apartment project at 1221 S. Broad Street in South Philadelphia to proceed, and the project developers have wasted no time getting it under way. Construction equipment at Broad Street Armory site Owner Mattioni, Ltd. began demolition of the former Broad Street Armory shortly after obtaining approval from the ZBA to build the 50-unit apartment house on Oct. 11, and as these pictures show, the building is now a pile of rubble, a good bit of which has been hauled away. The monster construction equipment was idle when we swung past the site today, but we imagine this is only a temporary situation. 1227 S Broad St with construction site next door However, we suspect that the owner of the building next door, erected in…
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Architecture as if people mattered

The Piazza at Schmidt's If it weren't for the sometimes messy, sometimes contentious, sometimes long and frustrating process known as community review, we might not have gotten the Piazza at Schmidt's as we know it. The residential-retail-office-festival space complex in Northern Liberties started out as something much different from what ended up being built, and we're sure Bart Blatstein either got several gray hairs or tore out more than a few going over this development numerous times with the Zoning and Urban Design Committees of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association. We've become quite familiar with the NLNA review process ourselves in the time we've spent attending Zoning Committee meetings. There are times when the comments…
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Lunchtime Quick Hits

On second thought, maybe we should hold on to that municipal inferiority complex - it might keep too many people from moving here and spoiling it for the rest of us - but what some consider incredibly affordable is maddeningly beyond reach for others; PhillyHistory looks at the origins of a leveling-up that turned into disaster decades later; and we tip our hat to fellow urbanist and editor Nathaniel Popkin, whose new historical novel "The Lion and the Leopard" marks its official release today: Cost of living: how expensive is Philadelphia? (Flying Kite) Philly's poorest face a never-ending wait for affordable housing (CityPaper) How Philly Got Flat: Piling It On at the Logan Triangle (PhillyHistory Blog) 'Lion and Leopard' charts…
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Philly Living Open House: Fitler Square

To the east lies Rittenhouse Square, to the west is University City the home of Drexel and Pennsylvania University, and nestled right in-between is the beautiful neighborhood of Fitler Square. No neighborhood in Philadelphia has gone through quite a drastic transformation as Fitler Square. Throughout the early 20th century and until the 1950’s, Fitler Square was known as a “mudhole” by local residents and was inhabited with drunks and litter. Most of the buildings that still stand in the neighborhood date from the mid-19th century to early 20th century. Available Homes for Sale in Fitler Square by Philly Living/a   Likewise, the vibrant history of the neighborhood is still visible through the varying types of architecture. Primarily comprised of residential property and…
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NLNA sends St. John Neumann project back to drawing board again

Rendering of project and site plan The residents of Northern Liberties absolutely love developer Callahan Ward. Really. "Every time something happened that was an issue, they worked to resolve it," said an Orianna Street resident who sold the lot next to her home to the company for a new residential project. But so far, everything the builder has tried has failed to resolve this problem: The residents just don't like what they see as the incredible boxiness of its proposed townhouse development at St. John Neumann Way and Leithgow Street. Callahan Ward partner Nino Cutrofello came back before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association Zoning Committee Oct. 28 with a revised design from the Martin Architectural Group…
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Afternoon Quick Hits

The tale of a bad neighbor in Germantown's Penn-Knox section; Wynn Resorts has some designs for the land adjacent to its proposed casino, and maybe even designs on them; Lawsuits may have SLAPPed the Old City Civic Association out of existence, and the state senator representing the neighborhood wants to make sure that doesn't happen again; and while we offered one take on New York interlopers elsewhere today, Curbed Philly has a more personal one, the chronicle of a former Brooklynite and the happy ending to her "Nightmare on Amber Street": L&I cleans up Germantown spite-blight property for the 11th time (Plan Philly|Newsworks) Wynn hopes to use casino license as boost for Fishtown (The Philadelphia Inquirer|Philly.com) Farnese…
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