One Year on the Market: Frank Palumbo’s Former Main Line Home

palumbo house

The house is secluded behind tall trees and a fence, as this 2012 Google Street View capture shows.

There are a slew of properties on the Main Line worth more than 204 Merion Road’s $1,399,000 asking price, but those houses with their gaudy price tags — well, they’re just houses.

This house is different. This is where the legendary nightclub owner Frank Palumbo and his “vivacious” former Hollywood starlet wife, Kippee Valez, lived. That means the new owners of 204 Merion Road will be acquiring a home that comes with a story.

In 2004 the Inquirer’s Matt Blanchard said the home “is probably the closest thing to Graceland in Pennsylvania, and the last remnant of a once-great hospitality empire.”

Read more »

From Movie Theater to French Hammered Pewter Countertop, David Magerman’s Gladwyne House Does Not Disappoint

magerman.opener

$3.9 million is the asking price for Main Line Orthodox Jewish community leader David Magerman’s current residence at 1357 Hearthstone Lane in Gladwyne. The occasionally controversial philanthropist, restaurateur, and former hedge fund manager will soon move to his new home on Latches Lane in Merion, which is still under construction.

Some of Magerman’s soon-to-be new neighbors had grown accustomed to looking at the 75-year-old, 12,000-square-foot house that once stood on the 3.57 acre corner lot of Magerman’s new home. Magerman completely demolished that house to make room for his new one. Last year he told Property that the old house “was not very usable.”

The Hearthstone Lane house has five bedrooms that are “squeezed” into 9,629 of living space. That doesn’t include the 2,112 square foot very finished basement that’s home to a 13-seat movie theater. The entertainment center features oversized leather reclining chairs and is powered by a Kaleidescape server. In addition to the home theater, the house comes with five other flat screen TV’s, all 45” or larger.

Read more »

Main Line Monday: Ornate, Extravagant Monk Road Estate

monkroadopener
If the $24.5 million price tag for Linden Hill at 1543 Monk Road is just a tad above your price range, fret not. Berkshire Hathaway is listing another house on the same street. This one’s at 1410 Monk Road, a mere 285 feet from the estate formerly owned by Campbell Soup mogul Jack Dorrance.

The eight-bedroom home on two acres is a sprawling 14,500 square feet with nine full baths and three powder rooms. Downstairs (please don’t call it the basement) you’ll find a bar, a billiard room, a family room, cardio and weight rooms, and a home theater.

Read more »

Big Turnout for Merion Meeting to Talk About St. Charles Seminary Redevelopment

seminary

At the Merion Tribute House on Wednesday night, Susan Guthrie began by telling her larger than expected audience, “We believe it’s better to be prepared and not needed, than needed and unprepared.” Guthrie is one of the founding members of the recently formed Coalition for Neighborhood Character and Quality (CNCQ), a community group which hopes to minimize the negative impacts as St. Charles Seminary moves ahead with its plan to sell more than half of the 80 acres it currently occupies in Wynnewood.

Earlier this week Property reported that the Pittsburgh-based HHF LP announced
last week that “it has been exclusively retained for the disposition of the St. Charles
Borromeo Seminary Development Site.”

Before the meeting began, CNCQ members had neatly arranged about 50 chairs in the front room of the Tribute House (the room that’s usually used for serving cocktails to wedding and Bar/Bat Mitzvah guests before they’re ushered into “the big room” for dinner and dancing).

Read more »

New Main Line Neighborhood Group Forms to Monitor Seminary Development [UPDATED]

seminary

While St. Charles Seminary is moving forward with its plan to sell 45 of its 75 acres, several residents of the neighboring community have formed an organization called Coalition for Neighborhood Character and Quality. The coalition has been circulating a flyer around Merion and Wynnewood to announce a November 6 meeting at the Merion Tribute House. The flyer states the goals of the coalition are:

• To preserve the aesthetics, quality of life, green space, low density and character of a historic neighborhood along East Wynnewood Road in the face of increasing development pressures.
• To participate in land use planning for the future use of the St. Charles Seminary tract.
• To inform members of the Coalition and affected neighborhoods of matters regarding the development of the St. Charles Seminary tract, including traffic volume and parking on neighborhood roadways.
• To provide advice and potential support to affected neighborhoods regarding other development along East Wynnewood Road.

Read more »

Radnor Township Hearing About Ardrossan Gets — You Guessed It — Contentious

ardrossan hearing

Photo of the heated action at the Radnor Township Ardrossan meeting by Gerry Senker.

Monday night at a Radnor Township conditional use hearing, Hope Montgomery Scott heir Edgar Scott III told hearing officer Bill Bolla that he hoped to find “like minded people” to buy some large tracks of land, along with a proposed 64 to 87 smaller home lots that comprise the remaining 311 acres of the iconic Ardrossan Farm.

The purpose of the hearing was for Bolla, on behalf of Radnor Township, to determine if Scott’s plan meets the criteria of the township ordinance that allows developers to build homes on lots that are smaller than what are usually allowed, based on standard zoning rules.

Scott’s company, which applied for the conditional use is called E.S. LP. He was represented at the hearing by John Snyder a partner at the Saul Ewing law firm.

After Bolla explained who he was and what the purpose of the hearing was, he invited interested parties who wanted to be recognized as having “standing,” to step forward.

Right then and there, things got contentious.

Read more »

Villanova Expansion Advances After An Emotional Late-Night Debate

villanova university main campus

A view of the main campus at Villanova by Alertjean via Wikimedia

At 1:10 a.m. this morning, the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners, by a vote of 5-1, introduced an amendment to the township zoning code that would permit Villanova University to proceed toward implementing a massive expansion program. The vote followed more than three hours of discussion involving the board, the professional staff of the township, and members of the community.

At times the debate became emotional and acrimonious. At one point Commissioner Jim Higgins had to intercede during a heated exchange between Commissioner John Fisher and Township Manager Robert A. Zienkowski. Zienkowski took offense to Fisher’s suggestion that the township planning staff was not up to the task of dealing with the university’s proposal. Fisher was advocating for Radnor to hire an independent planner for the project.

Read more »

New Organic Grocery Store — But Not Whole Foods — Will Take Borders’ Rosemont Square Space

moms

Last week, the Inquirer’s Michael Klein wrote, “MOM’s Organic Market, a greener-than-thou grocery chain whose locations ring D.C., has signed to open its first Philly-area location. Its Facebook locates it only in ‘Rosemont,’ but insiders pinpoint it further: It will take the former Borders in Rosemont Square.”

We called the ultimate insider, Steve Bajus, founder and president of S.W. Bajus, the real estate development and management company that owns Rosemont Square. He confirmed that Mom’s will be taking 16,000 square feet (just about the same size as the current location of Whole Foods in Wynnewood) in the former Borders store at Rosemont Square.

Read more »

Montgomery Avenue: More Than Ever, a Magnet for Orthodox Jews

In 1957 there weren’t many Orthodox Jews in Lower Merion. There weren’t many Jews at all. The synagogues Har Zion, now in Penn Valley, and Beth David, now in Gladwyne were going strong, but they were still in Wynnefield. Main Line Reform was holding services in a big old house in Wynnewood. Adath Israel had already moved to its current location on Old Lancaster Road, in Merion, but construction on its big domed sanctuary did not start until the following year.

Also in 1957, Lower Merion Synagogue (LMS) moved to its current location, also on Old Lancaster Road directly across the street from Adath Israel. In 1957 LMS was the only Orthodox synagogue in the township. Its “monopoly” lasted for close to 40 years.

Read more »

Neighbors Invited by Bishop to Discuss St. Charles Re-Purposing

seminary

2 br, newly re-puroposed and renovated
Spectacular, Architectural-Digest-worthy historic building
Expansive drop-dead landscaping,
Walk to Overbrook Station – 10 minutes to 30th St.
LM schools.

Sounds nice doesn’t it? There’s only one problem. It’s not available yet. In fact, you might never see a listing like that; at least not for this property.

On the other hand, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia did announce (last March) that it wants to “re-purpose” the buildings and the land in the south east section of its 75-acre St. Charles Seminary.

Read more »

« Older Posts