Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Same name, new face, next week

Friday, August 1st, 2014

PhillyLivingLogo(red)

We’ve reported on plenty of building makeovers since this blog launched a little more than two years ago.

Now we have news of another makeover: our own.

Next week, PhillyLiving.com is getting a total makeover from top to bottom. (more…)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Philly’s housing market bounces back from a dismal first quarter with strong growth in the second; the planned demolition of Wynnewood’s William Penn Inn has been put on hold after evidence surfaced that the historic structure may have sheltered runaway slaves; a photographer discovers that the faces of Philly’s rowing community are no longer just pale, male and well-heeled; and speaking of diversity, it may well be that when it comes to maintaining socioeconomic diversity in our cities, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t;

Philadelphia housing market sees 5.1 percent increase in 2Q (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Did Secret Room in William Penn Inn Hide Runaway Slaves?
(Curbed Philly)
Finding the (Diverse) Faces of Boathouse Row (Hidden City Daily)
Poor Doors Are About As Egalitarian as the U.S. Gets (Next City)

A simple zoning fix for a more family-friendly Philly

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Transformer house schematid

The “Transformer” home being developed by BluPath Design can be reconfigured as its owner’s space needs change It’s perfect for families who would like to offer older or younger generations their own living space under the same roof. But it can’t be built in most of the city thanks to the zoning code.

While housing costs in Philadelphia have a long, long, long, loooong way to go before they reach the stratospheric levels of San Francisco, there are Philadelphians who still have concerns about being able to afford to stay in the neighborhoods they love.

Especially as they get older.

And we suspect that some of those younger folks who continue to change the face of the city for the better might like having a child care option that would save them money and please their children, namely, their parents.

What if it were possible for two generations to share one roof yet live independently of each other? (more…)

Hidden Treasure Hunt: Something we almost mythed

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

19th-century builders designing homes for the well-to-do apparently had vivid imaginations, or they were familiar with mythical creatures that have since passed from our collective memory. Take this character, for instance: he has a human beard — or is it? There’s enough hair down there that this guy could be confused for a goat, or a lion — and ram’s horns growing out of his temples. Doesn’t look like Pan to us. Maybe you can school us in mythical beasts and tell us just what sort of creature this is, or was. But even if you can’t, maybe you can tell us which home’s front door he guards. (Block and street name will do.)

photo

Answer next week.

Photo by the author

2826 W Girard Ave

Last week’s Hidden Treasure Hunt answer: Architectural purists who believe that every structure in a block of Philly rowhouses should harmonize with its neighbors will no doubt be appalled to learn that builders in years past begged to differ just as they do now. That was certainly the case for whoever it was that designed the Italianate Gothic structure at 2826 W. Girard Ave. in Brewerytown, which features identical Pagliaccis over its center shop window. (At least, that’s what the characters look like to us.)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Four Elfreth’s Alley homes for sale at the same time? That’s a rare development. What they look like on the inside is an even bigger surprise; While it waits for its second office tower to be finished, Comcast hunts for more Center City office space; Donald Trump couldn’t make the owner of this Atlantic City rooming house budge, but age did, and now her old home is for sale – at a steep discount; and after what seems to be an eternity, the end for the Queen Lane Apartments may finally be in sight:

Four separate historic homes for sale on America’s oldest street (Zillow Blog via Yahoo! Homes)
Exclusive: Comcast scouring Center City office market for more space (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Homeowner who fought off Trump is moving on (MyFoxPhilly.com)
Crews clearing way for impending Queen Lane Apartments implosion (Plan Philly)

New rental townhomes nearly ready in Old City

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

7-13 Bank St, view from Market St

While it too cooled down a bit in the previous quarter, the rental housing market in Center City and adjacent areas has also been hot lately. One of the more noteworthy developments is the rapid growth in the supply of new construction homes for rent in some desirable neighborhoods.

The company managing most of these new rental properties is Premier Access Property Management. That firm has been on a tear in Northern Liberties of late with the Pressman Commons,Twenty at North Third and Townhomes at the Rye projects all recently completed or nearing completion now.

But, as with any good developer and property manager, Premier is seeking opportunity wherever it pops up. One of those places is on Bank Street in Old City. (more…)

The lay of the land (and buildings) at 8 on Race

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
What the corner of 21st and Race streets looked like in mid-June

What the corner of 21st and Race streets looked like in mid-June

Last month, we gave you a progress report on an eight-unit townhome development called 8 on Race, at 21st and Race streets in Logan Square.

When we visited the site, four of the eight units had reached the finished shell stage, and work on the remaining four had yet to begin.

We now have architects’ renderings and floor plans of the JKR Partners-designed project and offer them to you here. (more…)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Flyers captain Claude Giroux soars to the top of 10 Rittenhouse Square; Matt Ruben of the Central Delaware Advocacy Group and the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association warns of a loophole big enough to drive dozens of tall, lot-filling townhomes with no parking through in a new zoning category intended to promote live-work spaces for artists, artisans and craftspeople; a rising star on Philly’s culinary scene has big plans for a new restaurant – and those plans include demolishing the last freestanding remnant of the once-ubiquitous Dewey’s Famous lunch-counter chain; and Moody’s recent downgrade of Pennsylvania’s credit will have implications close to where you live too:

Claude Giroux buys big on Rittenhouse Square (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Opinion: New zoning classification has strings attached no one should want (Plan Philly)
Sylva Senat in deal at Letto Deli site (The Insider blog|Philly.com)
State’s credit downgrade will hit Pennsylvania taxpayers at local level, too (Keystone Crossroads|Newsworks|WHYY)

The Gallery to get extreme makeover into “accessible luxury” mall

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
The Gallery interior

Philadelphia’s Gallery mall will become an “accessible luxury” shopping destination, according to an announcement from PREIT that the Macerich Co. was acquiring a half-interest in the downtown shopping center.

Shortly after the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) announced it has acquired full control of The Gallery mall, there was much speculation but little in the way of details about the transformation it said it would put in place.

Those details were made public today. (more…)

Ground being prepped for planting new crop in Spring Garden

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

1713-27 North St, viewed from Melon St

After we spotted the work in progress on a patch of five new townhomes at 16th and Melon streets in Spring Garden, which we reported on yesterday, we continued our stroll down the formerly gated street into the 1700 block, where we ran across construction equipment on a large plot of land at the end of the block. (more…)

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