Archive for the ‘Center City’ Category

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 (
Crews clearing way for impending Queen Lane Apartments implosion (Plan Philly)

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|
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…)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The big real estate search engine deal everyone’s been talking about is official; the Inquirer’s real estate writer takes another stroll through the Land of the Undead; Contrary to common assumptions, John Longacre, head of the local bar owners’ trade group, doesn’t want to squash the pop-up beer gardens – he wants everyone, bar owner and nonprofit alike, to be able to get in on the act; and at least one native Philadelphia misses the gritty, grimy, decaying city of her youth:

Zillow to buy Trulia for $3.5B (Philadelphia Business Journal)
On the House: Tracking zombie houses (The Philadelphia Inquirer|
How the Pop-Ups can actually prop up their neighbors (Plan Philly)
Growing Up in Philadelphia: The Lost City (Philadelphia)

French expat expands colony in Wash West

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Petit Roti window sign

The area around the intersection of 16th and Sansom streets, anchored by the Sofitel hotel, may be the city’s official “French Quarter” – or at least so the street signs say – but a case could be made that there are other quarters in this city that are even more French than that.

One is the northwest corner of 9th and Federal streets, where Rim Café has been offering a taste of the Riviera to delighted fans and customers for nearly a decade.

Another is now expanding on the southern half of the 200 block of South 11th Street in Washington Square West’s Midtown Village-Gayborhood section. (more…)

Cella Luxuria goes to work on its new addition

Monday, July 28th, 2014

photo 1 (3)

In the spring, we reported that Cella Luxuria, the “metropolitan, modern, mindful” furniture retailer at 1214 Chestnut Street in Washington Square West’s Midtown Village-Gayborhood section, was giving itself a birthday present in the form of an expanded retail store.

We were on the 1200 block of Chestnut recently and noticed that work on the expanded space had gotten under way. (more…)

Phabulous Philly Home of the Week: 400-26 S. Broad St., #3001

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Dining and Living Rooms

If you’ve always wanted to feel like you’re living on top of the world, now’s your chance to go for it.

Now on the market for the first time is this palatial bi-level penthouse condo atop the Symphony House, the Avenue of the Arts’ most prestigious address. (more…)

Buildings Then and Now: When the Grant ran out

Saturday, July 26th, 2014
1026-44 Market St

1026-44 Market St., the former W.T. Grant Co. store, today. Photo by the author.

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks, we’ve devoted some attention to America’s first mass general merchandisers, the “five and dime” stores that anchored many a neighborhood business district. All of the great variety-store chains of yesteryear are now gone; their former roles are now played by two distinct but similar businesses – discount department stores, several of which evolved from five-and-dimes, and “dollar stores” that offer a smaller selection of everyday needs at low prices.

The companies, however, survive, as do many of their buildings. (more…)

Transformation of 1100 block of Chestnut Street now underway

Friday, July 25th, 2014
The site of the Brickstone project at 1116-28 Chestnut Street

The site of the Brickstone project at 1116-28 Chestnut Street. The Oppenheim, Collins store at 1128, the one building that will remain standing when the project is complete, is the second from the right.

The 1100 block of Chestnut Street in Washington Square West’s Midtown Village-Gayborhood section contains a mish-mash of low-end discount establishments, long-vacant department stores, and some government agency offices, like the PGW office in the former Snellenburg’s parking garage on the north side. Its southern side, marred with graffiti is an orphaned row of buildings surrounded on all sides by a burgeoning real estate market from Delaware Avenue all the way to the outskirts of West Philadelphia. (more…)

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

More on the politics of the fight over the off-premises catering license loophole, a good explanation of how state law restricts supply in the face of rising demand; another abandoned beauty on North Broad Street will suffer a fate far different from the Divine Lorraine’s; that Tria G-Ho residents were promised but never got? Looks like it will be coming to the vicinity — as long as they’re willing to cross South Street to get to it; and speaking of “light fantastic,” check out what Philly and several other big cities look like from outer space:

The Prohibition-era policy driving the political scuffle over pop-up beer gardens (Plan Philly)
The Beury Building Is Up For Sheriff’s Sale (Property blog|Philadelphia magazine)
Years Later, Tria Finally Coming Near Graduate Hospital (Naked Philly)
Let’s Look at Philly from the International Space Station (Curbed Philly)

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