Movin’ On Up Just Got A Little Harder Hereabouts, According to Zillow

The number of high-end homes on the market in the Philadelphia area rose over the last year while inventory in the bottom and middle fell. If it's any comfort, the most expensive homes are also the most likely to experience price cuts, according to Zillow. Photo: David Baron | Flickr

The number of high-end homes on the market in the Philadelphia area rose over the last year while inventory in the bottom and middle fell. If it’s any comfort, the most expensive homes are also the most likely to experience price cuts, according to Zillow. Photo: David Baron | Flickr

Those Millennials flocking here from New York in search of affordable starter homes may find themselves waiting a little longer to get one now.

Figures for Philadelphia released by Zillow.com Thursday in conjunction with its Real Estate Market Report for the first quarter of 2016 show that house values rose across the board in Philadelphia, but they rose faster at the bottom than at the top of the market, and they rose even faster in the middle, while inventory of all but the most expensive houses shrank. Read more »

King of Prussia Moves to Put the “Urban” in “Suburban”

The King of Prussia District covers the areas shown on the map above. Image | ConnectKOP.com

The King of Prussia District covers the areas shown on the map above. Image | ConnectKOP.com

“King of Prussia is a suburban community and it will remain a suburban community.”

So said Eric Goldstein, executive director of the King of Prussia District, when we spoke about the currents of urbanity that flow through the business improvement district’s latest “Report to the Community.”

Those currents are there, however, because the district can see the writing on the wall. Or, more accurately, the footsteps on the sidewalk.

And what that means is that, much like its well-known counterpart outside Washington, Tysons Corner, the biggest edge city north of Tysons is giving itself injections of urbanity in hopes of attracting a new generation of businesses and workers. Read more »

I. Goldberg Hopes To Stay But Is Prepared to Go

Owner Nana Goldberg says the iconic military surplus/outdoor store will have a future, either at 13th and Chestnut or somewhere else. Photo | Sandy Smith

Owner Nana Goldberg says the iconic military surplus/outdoor store will have a future, either at 13th and Chestnut or somewhere else. Photo | Sandy Smith

The owner of 1300 Chestnut St., once a high-fashion department store for women, is interested in getting more for its money. Pursuant to that, owner PMC Property Group has been shopping the commercial space on its first two floors and its basement to prospective tenants.

The space already has a tenant, however: I. Goldberg, the iconic military surplus store and outdoor outfitter that’s been a Chestnut Street landmark for decades. It landed here when Thomas Jefferson University bought its former location at 902 Chestnut St. in the early 2000s to build a parking garage. Read more »

Why Philly Has Become a Millennial Magnet

Trinities like this one at 1635 Rodman Street may well be Philadelphia's secret weapon in the affordability arms race for Millennials. Image | Zillow.com

Trinities like this one at 1635 Rodman Street may well be Philadelphia’s secret weapon in the affordability arms race for Millennials in search of starter homes. Image | Zillow.com

If you’ve been paying attention to the articles that have been popping up here of late, you may note a common theme running through several of them: Philadelphia as an attractive choice for Millennials looking to climb aboard the homeownership bandwagon.

Millennials have been moving to Philadelphia at a rapid clip: a study by commercial real estate brokerage JLL found that the city’s Millennial population jumped by 41 percent since 2006, and the percentage of Millennials in the city’s population rose faster than in any other of the nation’s 10 largest cities during that same time period. And at 26.5 percent, they represent a larger share of the population than in all but two of those cities (San Diego and Chicago).

One reason why: the city is lively and filled with interesting things to do, see and experience, most of them within easy walking, biking or transit distance of the places Millennials have chosen to live. But maybe an even bigger reason why is because they can actually afford to do, see and experience those interesting things because they’re not spending that much on a house. Read more »

Philly’s (Almost) Tops for Young First-Time Buyers, Says NAR

Bob and Barbara's may not be the birthplace of the Citywide Special, but it is a shrine to its beer. The $3 shot-and-beer special is one of those "livability" factors that contributed to Philly's high ranking as a city for first-time homebuyers.

Bob and Barbara’s, a perennial on the Foobooz 50 Best Bars list, is the birthplace of the Citywide Special, one of those “livability” factors that contributed to Philly’s high ranking as a city for first-time homebuyers. Photo | Trevor Dixon

The real estate rebound has left Millennial would-be homeowners in the dust in many cities, but not this one.

Nationally, the number of first-time homebuyers continues to fall, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In 2015, the industry trade group says, 32 percent of all home buyers were making their first home purchase, down from 33 percent the year before and the lowest share in nearly 30 years.

But according to number-cruncher Yuqing Pan writing on the Realtor.com blog, there are still cities where first-time homebuyers stand a fighting chance of getting a good deal in a place where they will enjoy living. Of the “Top 10 Cities For First-Time Homebuyers—And Not Just Because They’re Affordable,” there’s only one city in the country that’s better for Millennial house-hunters than Philadelphia, and that’s Portland. Read more »

Temple Tosses Ceremonial Dirt to Formally Launch New Library Construction

Temple University's new main library as it will appear from a new campus green to be built across 13th Street from it. All renderings | Snøhetta

Temple University’s new main library as it will appear from a new campus green to be built across 13th Street from it. All renderings | Snøhetta

As the huge hole taking up almost an entire half city block in the center of the Temple University campus attested, ground had long since been broken for the construction of the university’s new main library. But even though this afternoon’s formal groundbreaking was strictly for the benefit of the assembled dignitaries, onlookers and media, it was nonetheless fraught with significance, for as all who spoke at the event noted, Temple’s new library is a groundbreaking project in just about every way. Read more »

Thrillist Names Wayne The Epitome of Cool in Philly’s ‘Burbs

The editors of Thrillist managed to get their White Dogs confused when they ran their ranking of Wayne with a photo of the West Philly original. Here's a picture of the White Dog Cafe in Wayne.

The editors of Thrillist managed to get their White Dogs confused when they ran their ranking of Wayne with a photo of the West Philly original. Here’s a picture of the White Dog Cafe in Wayne.

The Philadelphia region happens to be unusually well endowed with cool suburbs that boast walkable Main Streets, interesting shops and great places to eat—great Millennial bait, in short. We could rattle off a litany of them—and will now: Ardmore. Bryn Mawr. Collingswood. Conshohocken. Doylestown. Glenside. Jenkintown. Haddonfield (though it skews older). Media. Merchantville. Others, such as Burlington, Lansdowne and Upper Darby, are loaded with potential, some of it even being realized.

But what’s the coolest of them all? According to the folks at Thrillist, the bible for Millennials seeking advice on what’s hot, what’s fun and how to drop what money they have on stuff, that distinction belongs to Wayne. Read more »

The Circuit as Catalyst for Development

The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, a key connecting segment of the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail has become a magnet for real estate developers interested in marketing to clients seeking an active lifestyle and transportation choices. | Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, a key connecting segment of the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail has become a magnet for real estate developers interested in marketing to clients seeking an active lifestyle and transportation choices. | Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Imagine: 750 miles of golden opportunities for real estate development geared towards the active lifestyle, stretching across nine counties in two states. On top of that, some of those 750 miles are being built by real estate developers themselves.

That’s one way to describe The Circuit, the growing regional network of bicycle trails designed to make bicycle transportation an integral part of the region’s overall transportation network.

“The Circuit is definitely a national leader if not an international leader in efforts to plan and connect bicycle trails across a large region,” says Matthew Norris, co-author of a recently released Urban Land Institute study, “Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier,” which features the Schuylkill Banks boardwalk on its cover. “It’s gained a lot of traction and has been well received by the development community.” Read more »

Spruce Street Harbor Park Opens Earlier This Year

Spruce Street Harbor Park

The multicolored lights that enchanted visitors to Spruce Street Harbor Park last summer return in even greater numbers this summer. Photo | Matt Stanley

Mark your calendars for May 6 this year. That’s when Spruce Street Harbor Park, the pop-up park that’s turned Penn’s Landing into the place to be in summer, opens for an extended season.

The three-week head start comes courtesy of Univest Corporation and its local subsidiary Valley Green Bank, who are serving as the park’s presenting sponsors for the first time. Read more »

Four Philly Projects Named 2016 Knight Cities Challenge Winners

The Reading Terminal Market, already a crossroads for Philadelphians of all stripes, will serve as a bridge between the city's ethnic communities through a Knight Cities Challenge-winning series of cooking classes. Photo | Fletcher6 from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Reading Terminal Market, already a crossroads for Philadelphians of all stripes, will serve as a bridge between the city’s ethnic communities through a Knight Cities Challenge-winning series of cooking classes. Photo | Fletcher6 from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the winners of the 2016 Knight Cities Challenge April 12, and this year’s 37 winners include four projects from Philadelphia.

The foundation received more than 4,500 answers to the question it posed: “What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?” The 37 winning ideas will each get a share of $5 million in grant money distributed through the challenge. All of them aim at helping cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunities and create a culture of civic engagement. Read more »

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