Archive for the ‘Northern Liberties’ Category

Lunchtime Quick Hits

Friday, July 25th, 2014

“Separate but (not quite) equal” roars back to life in a Manhattan luxury condo development – by law, one columnist notes; Northern Liberties Neighbors Association Zoning Committee Chair Larry Freedman explains how his organization fights the scourge of the garage-front row home; speaking of parking, the only way we will know for sure whether the parking problem is as bad as many residents say it is, or whether we are managing our on-street parking properly, is to have accurate numbers anyone can crunch; and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules that home sellers can keep some ghosts haunting their properties firmly locked up in the closet:

NYC Approves Condo Development With ‘Poor Door’ (
How Northern Liberties is curbing garage-fronted rowhouse development (Eyes on the Street blog|Plan Philly)
Parking Wars: Ignoring The Parking Problem Without Studying It Is Foolish For Philadelphia’s Future (This Old City)
Home sellers don’t have to disclose murders, says state Supreme Court (Philadelphia Business Journal)



Massive Renaissance Plaza project goes before ZBA

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
Aerial view of Renaissance Plaza project from the northeast

Aerial view of Renaissance Plaza project from the northeast

Waterfront Renaissance Associates headed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment yesterday for a special exception to create one lot from six lots and remove all existing structures at 400 N. Columbus Blvd., where Northern Liberties meets the Delaware riverfront, in order to build the massive and dense Renaissance Plaza. In place of the structures now there, the developers plan to flood the lot with four detached structures, ranging from 21 to 31 stories in height, that contain 1,342 apartments. Additionally, 16 townhouses,  70,000 square feet of retail space, 21,000 square feet of office space and a large public plaza will rise out of the lot that is now nothing more than a rocky desert across from Dave & Buster’s and in the shadow of the iconic Ben Franklin Bridge. (more…)

Nightclub to get daycare as upstairs neighbor in NoLibs

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Ryan (left) and Simpkins make their case before the NLNA Zoning Committee

Ryan (left) and Simpkins make their case before the NLNA Zoning Committee

“Baby Loves Disco”? Not really – baby needs quiet time too. But that shouldn’t prove a problem for the ABO Haven Early Learning Center, which plans to move from its current location at 1020 Spring Garden St., next to Union Transfer in the Callowhill Loft District, to the second floor fo 460-74 N. 2nd St., over Lit Ultrabar in Northern Liberties.

Noise was the main concern members of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) Zoning Committee had when ABO Haven President Argo Simpkins and broker Brendan Ryan made their case for support to the committee at its June 30 meeting. (Architect Robert Palladino of Landmark Architecture, which is handling the interior renovation, was unable to attend the meeting.) (more…)

Large Northern Liberties rental townhome project wraps up

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

View of Townhomes at the Rye, Hope Street elevation

Construction crews were putting the finishing touches on a 27-unit townhome development along Hope and Front streets below Girard Avenue in Northern Liberties as we made our way around the general area last week.

Called “The Townhomes at The Rye,” this development is a luxury rental townhome project managed by Premier Access Property Management. (more…)

ZBA OKs variance for part of large NoLibs development

Monday, July 14th, 2014
621-31 N. 5th St

Rendering of 621-31 N. 5th St. from ISA Studio Architects

Having passed muster with the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA), the new construction component of D3 Developers‘ proposed 66-unit apartment-townhouse residential-commercial construction-conversion project has cleared a hurdle at the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which approved on July 9 a variance needed to build 11 townhomes on a lot at 613-31 N. 5th St. in Northern Liberties.

The variance was needed because the lot is zoned ICMX (industrial-commercial mixed use), which does not allow residential uses. (more…)

NLNA asks for tweaks to O’Neil Street infill home

Friday, July 11th, 2014

1142 O'Neil Street

A tree – a rather lovely one, at that – grows on O’Neil Street in Northern Liberties. It will fall in the near future when the vacant lot it shades is converted into a new row home. But before that happens, the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) Zoning Committee wants the home’s architect, neighborhood resident Janice Woodcock, to make a few modifications to the design – and to present those modifications in color. (more…)

Shopping center at 2nd and Girard fully leased at last

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Shopping center at 2nd and Girard

More than a year after it opened, the shopping center Tower Investments developed at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue in Northern Liberties is now fully leased.

Two of what had been the three remaining vacant spaces on Girard Avenue will contain stores catering to animal lovers, one of which is already open. The third space, at the 2nd and Girard corner, will house a bank branch. (more…)

Third time’s the charm for Lawrence Street townhomes

Monday, July 7th, 2014
Front perspective drawing of 823-5 N. Lawrence St.

KJO Architecture turned four townhomes into two duplexes, giving both Callahan Ward and the NLNA Zoning Committee what each wanted at 823-5 N. Lawrence St.

The Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) wanted 30 percent open space and 1:1 parking for the homes at 823-5 N. Lawrence St., even if it meant fewer units in the development. Callahan Ward Companies wanted to build four units on the site, even if it meant giving up parking spaces.

By turning the four single-family townhomes into two duplexes, both Callahan Ward and the NLNA got what they wanted, which means this project will now proceed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment with the NLNA’s support. (more…)

NLNA asks neighbor to tweak house design – and add some color, please

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Line drawings of "422 Poplar St." (879 N. Lawrence St.)

Everything looks worse in black and white.

“Colorless” is a word not used much to describe meetings of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) Zoning Committee. But it was oddly appropriate for the committee’s July meeting, given how many of the people who came before it put up simple architectural line drawings to accompany their presentations.

As a result, “Please return with plans…that have color drawings of the facade” became a leitmotif in the evening’s decisions. It was part of the request the NLNA Zoning Committee made to neighbor Rodney Allen, who came before it with a proposal to build a second home for possible sale or lease on the currently empty rear portion of the two lots his own residence – address: 420 Poplar St. – occupies. (more…)

NoLibs Neighbors mulls valet parking proposal

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Circles Restaurant

Northern Liberties restaurants in particular would benefit from having a pooled valet parking service available, but so would residents, the proponent of such a service argued before the NLNA Zoning Committee last night.

A parking lot operator who lives in the neighborhood came before the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association (NLNA) Zoning Committee last night with a proposal to replicate a successful program that has added convenience for visitors to East Passyunk Avenue and eased the parking crunch in the area, if only just a little bit. The committee members liked the idea and voted to explore it further, but as is the case with proposals of this type, God – or the devil – will be in the details.

Northern Liberties resident Lavi Shenkman and his business partner Gary Elms, general manager of Quality Park, presented to the NLNA a proposal to operate a pooled valet parking service on North 2nd Street that would be supported by local businesses and controlled by the association. (more…)

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