Green Roof Incentive Bill Gets Thumbs Up From Council

A photo posted by katep629 (@katep629) on

The newly opened Cira Green in University City sits atop a parking garage between the FMC Tower and evo apartment building like some sort of amazing proto-Jetsonian green space – and we’re dying to pay it a visit. At least, that’s how the photos (one of them included above) taken at the new public roof-top park make us feel.

What’s more, it has both built-in blue roof and green roof systems, which means stormwater management and grass and other greenery, respectively, will help reduce at least some of the negative environmental impact the buildings have. Managed stormwater runoff, for example, helps alleviate some of the pollution that enters our waterways.

As you can see, green roofs can be pretty beneficial, which is why it should come as little surprise that City Council’s Committee on Rules recently voted in favor of approving a bill that encourages developers building within RM-1, CMX-2, and CMX-2.5 districts to include them in their projects. Huzzah!

Introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, the bill would allow developers to build more than previously approved units within these designated zoning districts if – and only if – they include approved green roofs. Sayeth PlanPhilly:

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Trinity Tuesday: Faux-Painted Wash West Home Evokes European Palaces

Image via Google Streetview

Image via Google Streetview

UPDATE:  A spokesperson from the Tobey Team at Coldwell Banker Preferred got back to us! And guess what? They had something better than hi-res photos. Behold this segment on HGTV‘s Small Space, Big Style. The clip reveals artist and homeowner in question of the unique house is local painter and muralist William Whiting.

See the home for yourself during the open house on Saturday between 11am and 1pm. Deets below.


We promise you we tried. But as of press time, we have yet to hear back from the agent after having request clearer, hi-res images of the home. We’ll update if and when they do come in, so be sure check back later. In the mean time, take a look at the photos that are available and listen to what caught our eye…

Cloistered on little South Delhi Street within a block bounded by 9th and 10th, and Locust and Spruce (map) in Washington Square West, this golden oldie is essentially a hidden gem. According to Zillow, it was built in 1865 and was recently put on the market last month. We’ll admit it looks to be in need of some TLC, but its present owner, a renowned muralist, has made sure to spruce it up where he can – namely, the decor.

“He has faux painted just about every surface in this home to resemble the Grand Places of Europe, but all on a compact living scale,” notes the listing. Indeed, it’s a must-see, which is why – hi-res or not – you should take a look at the gallery. What’s more, most of the furniture is for sale, so don’t hesitate to ask the owner should something (is that a puppet theatre box?) catch your eye.

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Someone Has Bought Dana Spain’s Mediterranean Villa Home in South Philly

TREND photos via Redfin

TREND photos via Redfin

Holy moly, the day has finally come: someone has bought that mysterious manse at Fitzwater and Marshall Streets in Bella Vista.

But hold on a second there, reader. If you’ve been following along on Property, or have been one of the lucky people fortunate enough to have been invited to step foot inside the Mediterranean villa-inspired home, you’ve known exactly who’s lived there for the past few years: local developer and branding queen – not to mention Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society founder and former Philadelphia Style COO and would-be mayoral candidate – Dana Spain.

The Philly business maven originally listed her South Philly property early last year for a whopping $4.25 million. This past April, it was reduced to $3.75 million and, now, we’ve gotten word that the home got a third price cut, which eventually led to its purchase in a deal that closed on Friday.

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Main Line Monday: Furness-Designed “Lynhurst” Going For $3.1 Million

TREND images via Zillow/BHHS Fox & Roach-Bryn Mawr

TREND images via Zillow/BHHS Fox & Roach-Bryn Mawr

Gosh, what a time to be alive. Originally part of the historic Knollbrook estate, Lynhurst was a three-year construction built at the behest of attorney I. Layton Register who would go on to use it at his summer residence. Given that it was the late 1800s (the stone manse was completed in 1890), Register was able to have its designer be none other than now legendary Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. Today, it’s listed for a cool $3.1 million.

As you’d imagine, the Main Line stunner is said to have retained its “impeccable architectural symmetry,” though it’s also in the way of offering a meticulously update interior, beginning with the kitchen, which has been recently renovated, along with the breakfast area. Here, built-in seating lends some charm to the pristine space, which comes with an ogee-edged center island and ample cabinetry.

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Venice Island Transformation Receives 2015 Groundbreaker Award

Image via Buell Kratzer Powell

Image via Buell Kratzer Powell

Seems like yesterday that the Venice Island Performing Arts Center in Manayunk had its grand unveiling. Point in fact, it and its surrounding renewal, which involved infrastructure, landscape design, stormwater management improvements, were opened to the public just over a year ago. And now, believe it or not, the results continue to be sung praises.

Its latest prize? The 2015 Groundbreaker Award from the Delaware Valley Green Building Council.

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Property’s Photo of the Week: You’ve Got to Have Guts to Clean Certain Philly Windows

A photo posted by Robert Mann (@rcmannjr) on

We’ve got to hand it to Philadelphia’s window washers and façade restorers. ‘Cause honestly? There is no way we’d accept getting assigned a spot that high up a high-rise if we’re not going to be, you know, inside the building. But that’s just us. (Unlike our Heath & Fitness editor.)

The guys sprucing up One Liberty Place a few days ago, pictured here in a neat capture by Robert Mann (@rcmannjr on Instagram), have especially earned our awe, what with the mechanisms holding them up appearing to be a scarier version of the already intimidating (to us) bosun chair. Anyone know what the ones in the photo are called?

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Just a Little Peek: Inside Delaware’s (Royally-Tied) Rockspring Estate

Images courtesy of Carroll Laurence

Photos: Brandywine Sotheby’s International Realty

Well, this obviously trumps that time my friends and I found a wad of old bills hidden in the rafters of my basement closet. See, Francesca Rudin, she of unique vintage collectibles shop Scout and Annie +Details in Kennett Square, lives with her family at Rockspring, a 14-acre estate in New Castle County, Delaware. It’s a home with quite the story.

Once a property belonging to the famous Du Pont family, Rudin says she and her husband found it terribly dreary, with little light or notable architectural details to speak of when they bought it nearly fifteen years ago. They wanted it regardless, however. “Our goal was to bring it into the 21st century and to let in a lot of light because it was a dark house. Peter really had a vision of how to do that, so now it’s a very bright and airy house,” she recalls.

The Peter in question is architect Peter Zimmerman, who’s had a hand in designing other area homes like this and this.

But why the Rudin’s commitment to what sounded like a TLC-needing home?

“Probably insanity,” laughs Rudin.

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Excitement Over Possible Fox Chase Lorimer Trail Grows in Northeast Philly

The proposed Fox Chase Lorimer Trail would run from the defunct rail bed across from Fox Chase Station in Northeast Philadelphia to the Pennypack Park Trail | Image via Google Earth | Click to enlarge

The proposed Fox Chase Lorimer Trail would run through the former rail bed across from Fox Chase Station in Northeast Philadelphia to Montgomery County’s Lorimer Trail. | Image via Google Earth

As it turns out, Bridesburg isn’t the only Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood getting to earnestly explore the viability of a new community green space. Further up the Great Northeast, Fox Chase has inched its way a tad closer to getting a long-desired amenity that’s been in talks for some time: the Fox Chase Lorimer Trail.

“We want to hear your ideas and we want to make sure this is okay with you before we go for funding,” explained Jeannette Brugger, Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator at the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities, during a Tuesday feasibility study meeting with Fox Chase residents. Much like the Bridesburg waterfront park project, the proposed FCL trail is still in the wee early stages of concept development, so it isn’t necessarily something that’s going to “happen next week or even next year.”

Should it come to fruition, however, the approximately half-mile trail would be a promising neighborhood amenity indeed. Extending from the start of the defunct Fox Chase-Newtown Line rail-bed (across from the Fox Chase Regional Rail Station) to Lorimer Trail in Montgomery County, which in turn links to the Pennypack Trail, the proposed FCL trail would be part of the Circuit Trail Network, a 750-mile regional trail system that connects Philadelphia to surrounding suburban and rural communities.

Currently, the Circuit Trail Network has about 350 miles built already and 50 miles in progress, said Chris Stanford, an engineering consultant from Michael Baker International, who is working with the feasibility study team. “There’s a goal to build another 400 miles on top of it,” he added. “This portion of the path could really connect a lot of different pieces for the neighborhood.”

Connectivity aside, the proposed trail could boost Fox Chase in other ways too.

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Chinatown’s Eastern Tower Gets Groundbreaking Pushed to 2016 (Renderings)

Some things are worth the wait and Chinatown‘s long-discussed Eastern Tower is undoubtedly one of them. However, should things progress without a hitch, the wait for the long-planned 20-story building at 10th and Vine (map) could come to an end by next year.

Although we reported last year that the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, the project’s developer, was looking to break ground this fall, Flying Kite Media now says that’s been pushed back for financial reasons, though not of the strapped kind:

“We had initially thought that we wanted to break ground in the beginning of [2015], but we actually spent the bulk of this year strengthening our position financially,” explains [Sarah] Yeung. The last several months have brought significant contributions from PECO and Comcast, as major public and private funders took notice of the project’s traction.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Rittenhouse Home May Have Once Been a Boarding House

TREND images via Zillow/BHHS Fox & Roach-Center City Walnut

TREND images by Drew Callaghan via Zillow/BHHS Fox & Roach-Center City Walnut

If the walls inside this Rittenhouse Square home could talk…well, we couldn’t even begin to imagine what they’d say if what the listing says is true: formerly a corner store and, later, a boarding house, the unique property has now settled into its latest iteration as a sleek single-family dwelling a mere few blocks from the neighborhood’s namesake park (map). It’s currently listed for $812,500.

So, what does a supposedly flexible building like this yield as a three-bedroom home? Read more »

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