Commission Approves Digital Signage on Market Street

A new rendering of 205 Race Street, courtesy of the developers.

The city’s Historical Commission has given the go-ahead to three landscape-changing projects in the area: signage for the Market Street side of the former Strawbridge & Clothier, the 205 Race Street development, and an addition to the former Warner Brothers Film Distribution Center.

In terms of 801 Market Street, PlanPhilly reports the Commission voted in favor of  “exterior marquee, awnings, banner signs, and lighting on the Market Street façade of the western half of the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store building.”

The lengthy going-back-to-the-drawing-board cycle for 205 Race has ended with the Commission’s approval of its most recent design. Construction on the mixed-use property, which will include 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and basement parking, is one step closer to reality.

The tower addition for the former Warner Bros. building on 13th and Florist also passed muster, following the Architectural Committee’s July recommendation for its approval — provided developers hew to five conditions. From PlanPhilly:

1. Details of the panel system, glazing, canopy, parapet wall, garage door, and fence are submitted;
2. Color samples of cladding materials for the addition in relation to the historic materials are submitted;
3. It is confirmed that the roof of the historic building will not be occupied;
4. Designs of any railings to installed on the roof of the historic building for occupancy are submitted; and,
5. The locations and configurations of all HVAC equipment are submitted.

• Historical Commission approves Warner Bros. building redo; 205 Race St. construction and 801 Market signage [PlanPhilly]

Wee Price Cut: Exquisite Lane’s End Estate

Lane's End Farm

If you were waiting for the price to go down on Lane’s End Farm, have we got good news for you. The rustic estate whose long tree-lined road could make, as Shannon Rooney noted, “even the hardiest of city dwellers among us feel a pang,” has had its price reduced! Well, reduced only by $355,000, but still.

The property includes a main house, pool, stone barn, two cottages, and a collection of garages and other out-buildings. Gallery below.

THE FINE PRINT
Beds: 5
Baths: 4 full, 1 half
Square feet: 5,770
Price: $2,895,000

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Morning Headlines: More Info On Planned W / Element Hotels Coming Next Week

Photo by Sandy Smith via the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.

1441 Chestnut. Photo by Sandy Smith via the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.

According to PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey, the developers of the planned W and Element Hotels at 15th and Chestnut (currently a parking lot) don’t need zoning variances to build their project. For this reason, their meeting with the Center City Residents Association next week, where they will present their new designs, will be for informational purposes only.

Here’s what to expect of the double tower:

According to a description shared with PlanPhilly by an attorney working on the project, the hotels will have a total of 755 rooms. There will be 295 rooms in the four-star W Hotel, and 460 rooms in the three-star, extended-stay Element by Westin. The entire hotel operation will be managed by Starwood, a Connecticut-based hospitality company.

The project will also include more than 1,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floor at the corner of 15th and Chestnut. The developer, Brook Lenfest, is seeking LEED Certification for the building.

Lenfest, if you recall, caused waves last year when he requested (and got) $33 million in tax breaks for the project.

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Wilmington Mansion With Its Own Waterpark

This is one of those family backyards that are always occupied. Always. Take a look at what basically amounts to a water park in the gallery and you’ll see what I mean. But even without that popular area, the Delaware manse might seduce buyers anyway.

Traditional hardwoods are featured strongly throughout the home, save for the front-to-back foyer, which boasts checkered marble flooring instead. The living room leads into a coffered-ceiling sunroom and an office with cherry millwork. Mansion-style amenities include a fireplace in the master bath; a computer nook; a billiards room; and a stocked bar. From the kitchen (custom cabinetry, granite countertops, double Sub Zero fridge and Miele dishwasher) there’s access to two rooms: 1) a family room with vaulted ceiling, built-ins, and wood burning stove; and 2) a breakfast room with vaulted ceiling and view of the water park — well, they don’t call it that, but they do say it’s “resort-like”. There’s a waterfall, slide, winter hot tub, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, travertine patio and custom pergola, among other resort touches.

Gallery below.

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Defense For June Building Collapse May Call Nutter Staff As Witnesses

philadelphia-building-collapse01

Fifty prospective witnesses may be called to testify after the defense in the June 2013 building collapse asked Judge Benjamin Lerner to schedule an expedited trial. Mayor Nutter was included on the filed list, which was drawn up by the attorney’s of Sean Benschop and Griffin Campbell, both of who are currently in prison.

Representing Benschop and Campbell, respectively, are Daine A. Grey Jr. and William D. Hobson. Benschop had been the hired excavator operator in the demoliton and Campbell, the contractor.

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Morning Headlines: Home Values In Greater Philadelphia Area Have Gone Up, And Expected to Keep Rising

Screen shot Zillow

The national average for home values may be $174,800, but Philly’s is higher. Here, the median home value is $199,200, a number which Zillow says is the result of a sneaky 3.3% spike every year.

According to the report, Greater Philadelphia Area home values are 13.9% higher than the rest of the country. Using this data, Zillow predicts a 0.9% rise in area home prices “over the next year (July 2014-July 2015)”.

Philadelphia home values up 4.6 percent in past year, says Zillow [Business Journal]

In other news…

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Converted Bakery in Fairmount’s Pig’s Alley

2310 Aspen St, Philadelphia, PA ,19130

2310 Aspen St, Philadelphia, PA ,19130

Despite being in the old Pig’s Alley section of Fairmount (which some say got its name from the butcher shops that used to line the blocks), this circa 1860 rowhouse served a different kind of culinary purpose prior to becoming a residence: It was a bakery. We imagine the bulkhead door that faces the street was suited to the business.

Today, however, any aroma of fresh baked bread is likely come from a wholly residential kitchen, which features a skylight and stainless steel appliances, and opens into a dining area with a bench. Custom woodwork and flooring is featured throughout, but restored wood floors cover the expanse of the living room, which has a coffered ceiling and decorative mantle.

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On the Market: A Charming Live/Work Home in Germantown

70 E Coulter St, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

70 E Coulter St, Philadelphia, PA 19144.

Last October we put the spotlight on five houses ideal for those who work from home. Even better, they were vintage homes with a charm all their own, and came in styles ranging from studio to carriage house. This Germantown property, which has since gotten a $50k price cut,  is one of them.

A carriage house built in 1869, the home is a mix of history and convenience (and isn’t too shabby looking). Inside, the first floor features 9-foot ceilings and cement floors, and is a 1,500-square-foot work space with office, guest room, laundry, and storage. There’s also a wood stove and bathroom.

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Morning Headlines: Roof Collapses At For Pete’s Sake Pub Building

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo credit: Google Street View

Nobody was hurt, but that was a close one! The building that houses For Pete’s Sake Pub in Queen Village partially collapsed yesterday around 3:30pm. According to Philly.com, L&I is looking into what could have caused the roof of the three-story property (with apartments on the top two floors) to fall through.

Thus far, L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams said “a zoning permit for interior renovations of the second and third floors” was granted to Peterbuilt Construction back in June. That permit was changed a few weeks ago to include floors and stairs, and an L&I inspector paid a visit to the site just last week to go over “building and fire safety with the contractor.”

No violations have been found at the site.

L&I probes partial building collapse in Queen Village [Philly.com]

In other news…

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Reduced: Society Hill Beauty Gets Price Cut of $100K

311 spruce

This high-ceilinged Society Hill townhouse has a traditional facade that hides a mix of modern and historic elements. The kitchen has Viking stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops and backsplash, Shaker-style wood cabinets, and limestone flooring. The formal dining and living rooms have crown molding and wood floors. There’s a breakfast room that leads out to the red brick garden.

The second floor has the master suite, a rear library with built-ins, and a small deck. Another deck is possible right off the stairs leading to the third floor, where two bedrooms share a marble bathroom. A fourth bedroom with a bathroom and bonus open area can be found on the fourth floor. The lower level has a media room.

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