Morning Headlines: Conshohocken Development Stalled Again

Screenshot via Google Street View

Screenshot via Google Street View

It’s been almost seven years since the Borough of Conshohocken purchased the 60,000-square-foot, three-story Verizon building on Fayette Street, but getting redevelopment of the property off the ground has not been easy.

Last week the Borough Council postponed the award of a demolition contract after concerns about a low bid from one of the four bidders, Neuber Demolition & Environmental Services, which made a “less than ideal offer” of $414,950, according to the Times Herald’s Carl Rotenberg.

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Morning Headlines: Penn’s Landing Redevelopment Plans Still Being Perfected

Penn's Landing Master Plan rendering via PlanPhilly.

Penn’s Landing Master Plan rendering via PlanPhilly.

As of now, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) has more of what project manager Karen Thompson calls “a conceptual framework.” But in a little over a week — April 25th, to be exact — the DRWC aims to showcase stronger renderings of Penn’s Landing redevelopment.

According to PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates, the current framework elaborates on certain points in the Master Plan and tests the project’s feasibility “in terms of logistics and engineering.”

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Art Museum Stunner With Four-Car Parking for $1.6M

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Pretty sure I’m not the only one who would have loved to grow up here! This completely redone home (renovated in 2011) is a century-old, looks fantastic, and is within walking distance of the Barnes and various restaurants and coffee shops. But for some reason, although maybe some of you will appreciate this, it includes private 4-car parking (I much prefer public trans).
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Morning Headlines: Lit Brothers Tower Gets Civic Design Approval

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

The new Comcast tower wasn’t the only project given the go-ahead by the Civic Design Review committee. It also approved revised plans from developer Brickstone Realty for the “Lit Brothers Tower,” a 30-story residential “growth” (as Curbed Philly put it) on top of the historic department store building.

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Morning Headlines: Artist-Designed Bike Rack Winners Will Be Available This Summer

Photo credit: Bicycle Coalition of Great Philadelphia.

Some of the new designs.
Photo credit: Bicycle Coalition of Great Philadelphia.

Cyclists will soon get to test the functionality of last year’s bike rack design contest winners, which are currently on display at City Hall until June 17th. They will be made available for public beta testing sometime this summer.

According to the Inquirer’s Inga Saffron, the prototypes range from cute to elegant, with all adhering to the practicality requirement from the competition. But has the true bike rack issue been addressed? Maybe not. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place Gets Township Committee Approval

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Carl Dranoff’s various Ardmore plans, first proposed more than a decade ago, have caused controversy for almost as long. So it wasn’t surprising that discussion of the residential/retail proposal for Ardmore at last night’s Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Committee meeting was “raucous,” as the Inquirer‘s Carolyn Davis put it. Things devolved into personal sniping, with words like “boorish” and “venomous” being thrown around. (Davis writes that things started getting ugly last week with a string of emails — which, alas, no one leaked to us.) The meeting didn’t end until after 1 a.m.

What’s known among Main Line residents as the “Cricket Lot” project — real name: One Ardmore Place — involves an apartment building with 121 units and roughly 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space fronting Cricket Avenue. Carolyn Davis boils down years of debate:

Critics say the project is too big for its site and neighborhood. Proponents claim it would boost downtown Ardmore by drawing young residents to live in a transit-friendly building near the train station.

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Morning Headlines: Civic Design Review Committee Gives Thumbs Up to Comcast & Foster

Rendering of CITC. Photo courtesy of Comcast Corporate.

Rendering of CITC.
Photo courtesy of Comcast Corporate.

The Civic Design Review Committee may not have the final say as to which projects get the go-ahead, but yesterday their approval of Comcast’s proposed Innovation and Technology Center, designed by London architect Norman Foster, ended the regulatory process for the building. Developers are now permits away from commencing construction this summer.

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Morning Headlines: L&I Officials Request $2 Million From City Council

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

City-owned blight may be the hardest to get rid of, but in the meantime Licenses and Inspections has been making an effort where it can. Yesterday, L&I petitioned City Council for an additional $2 million to their funding.

If Council approves the request, according to the Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas, L&I believes it could “demolish 650 buildings and seal 1,400 in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and hire an additional 34 employees, including 26 building inspectors.”

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Retail Report: Tons of New Store Openings

Screenshot of  the former Ligne Roset at 35 N 3rd Street via Google Street View.

Screenshot of 35 N 3rd Street via Google Street View.

Earlier this year we noted how North Third Street had lost two neighborhood staples with the closing of the Three Sirens Boutique and Ligne Roset. But like warm weather sneaking in day by day, so too has new retail been springing up around the area.

Old City: Erdon and Philadelphia Independents
Ligne Roset’s former spot, 162 North Third, is now taken by Erdon, whose owner tells Shoppist the space is a tad small.┬áBut hey, with the included storage area, they’re sure to figure out where to put the extra merch. Some three blocks down, Philadelphia Independents, which will carry repurposed furniture and miscellaneous home decor, among other things, is moving in at 35 North Third (pictured above).

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Midday Headlines: Why City-Owned Blight Is So Hard to Get Rid Of

blight The city still festers with zombie properties, many of which have the label “imminently dangerous.” But we already know this, know the age-old adage of the sneaky slumlord skipping town to avoid fines or worse. But what of city-owned blight that endangers surrounding buildings and people? Doesn’t the government get around to fixing/demolishing its own first? Short answer, not exactly. Read more »

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