Here’s What the Upcoming Residences at the Curtis Will Be Like

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

We’d love to have our hands on the latest renderings of the upcoming Residences at the Curtis, but as the saying goes, good things comes to those who wait and wait we must as those are currently in the works.  When will they be ready? “Probably another couple of weeks,” wrote a DAS Architects spokesperson in an email, adding that the “project is on track to begin this summer.

Earlier this year, Keystone Property Group development director Jennifer Cooperman said she envisioned a “vibrant pedestrian experience” to come from the office to mixed-use switch of the Beaux Arts-style building at 6th and Walnut. (KPG, you’ll recall, is joint owner of the structure along with Mack-Cali Realty Corp., the two having purchased the property last year.)

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Headlines: Is a Boutique Hotel Coming to the Navy Yard?

navy yard

Will another hotel soon join the Courtyard Marriot inside the friendly confines of the Navy Yard? While nothing is certain as of yet, Jacob Adelman of the The Inquirer reports that Franklin Square Capital Partners, an investment firm based in the Navy Yard, has applied for a $7.5 million grant through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

The project description on the application shines from light on the plan: Read more »

Forget LED, Historical Commission Says PSFS Building Must Keep Its Neon Sign

Photo credit: James Mitchell via Flickr

Photo credit: James Mitchell via Flickr

The same day the Historical Commission’s Architecture Committee gave Eimer Architecture and Pearl Properties the thumbs down for their plans at the Boyd Theatre site, another iconic property owner was on the losing end of a request to do some building tweaking of their own.

Tuesday saw a Loews Hotel spokesperson present their case for replacing the neon sign atop the Loews Philadelphia Hotel (i.e. the PSFS Building) with LED lights, stating that the old sign “has become too costly and burdensome to maintain.” The Inquirer’s Maria Panaritis reports the committee “voted unanimously against the idea,” citing its historical significance and its repair viability as reasons to keep it:

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New Life for the Philadelphia Blueprint Company on Chestnut Street

Rendering of 725 Chestnut Street | via Urban Space Development Inc.

Rendering of 725 Chestnut Street | via Urban Space Development Inc.

The 700 block of Chestnut Street is about to see some major changes. Sure, you could point to the 32-story tower proposal at the surface parking lot at 709 Chestnut Street as proof positive, but there are smaller plans in the works that will also have a significant impact.

For starters, the movement to have four architecturally important buildings designated as historic means that the character of the block will remain. (A welcome sight an ever-changing city, as well as for a block that features a garish parking garage at the corner of 8th and Chestnut.) That includes the former Quaker City National Bank Building, as well as a lesser known project that will see four condos (with asking prices over the $1 million mark each) added to the block at 725 Chestnut Street, the former home of the Philadelphia Blueprint Company. Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: This High-End Haddonfield Home Was Tailor-Made for Spring

Images via Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo credit: Drew Callaghan

Seriously? As if this custom-designed residence nestled right off historic Kings Highway weren’t pleasant enough with its foliage surround and, quote, “artistically landscaped secret garden” to lure us, its designers went ahead and incorporated its wonderfully verdant location into the home’s interior: there’s a garden atrium facing one of the property’s private outdoor spaces.

Allergies keeping you from delighting in this news? No problem! There’s an entire wall with over-sized windows in the nineteen-foot high entertainment living room area (pictured above) that faces the aforementioned secret garden. In other words, a deluge of natural light and clear view of the grounds, which contain “stunning rock formations,” two small ponds and waterfalls, can go appreciated without all that pesky pollen ruining the scene for you.

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Boyd Theatre Proposal Denied “as Presented” to Historical Commission Committee

The new plans | Rendering: Eimer Architecture, Pearl Properties

The new plans | Rendering: Eimer Architecture, Pearl Properties

Representatives for the redevelopment that is simply being called the Boyd Theatre project made their presentation to the Architectural Committee of the Historical Commission on Tuesday. It’s safe to say that the designs, only seen by the public thanks to the application to the commission posted on the city’s website, haven’t been well received since their release last week.

Inga Saffron was blunt and demanded more from the development team and the Historical Commission. The forum at the Skyscraper Page felt uninspired. On Tuesday, the Architectural Committee officially gave its collective thumbs down to the proposal.

The summer temps and packed crowd in room 578 in City Hall made for a stuffy atmosphere for a presentation. While reps from Eimer Architecture and Pearl Properties had information to give to the committee, they didn’t have enough in there to paint a clear picture of the proposal. Read more »

Headlines: Groundswell Design Group Entrusted with Next Phase in Proposed Pocket Park Project

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

Are you a fan of Spruce Street Harbor Park? Apparently, Groundswell Design Group, the firm responsible for the popular outdoor space, has been hit up by the Roxborough Development Corporation to come up with design concepts for the proposed Ridge Avenue Pocket Park, a hoped-for neighborhood green space at 6170-72 Ridge Avenue.

The site consists of parking lot and the formerly vacant Allison Building, since redeveloped by RDC and now occupied by two upper floor tenants.

PlanPhilly’s Alan Jaffe has the scoop:

Taking on the next phase of the park plan is Groundswell Design Group, a firm whose recent projects have included Spruce Street Harbor Park, Winterfest, The Porch @ 30th Street Station, and portions of Dilworth Plaza. At the meeting, Groundswell designer Rob Brady, who lived in Roxborough for three years, said the firm would bring its experience in creating “activation spaces” to the Ridge Avenue project. He and Groundswell colleague Kyle Blackwell said their goal is to gather the “needs, likes and desires” of the community and return with design concepts.

Emphasis ours.

The meeting Jaffe is referring to is the “informal community meeting” that took place this past Thursday. According to him, residents presented their vision for the proposed space so that the Groundswell team might be well informed as to the desires of the neighborhood when going about this next phase. He adds that an online survey that gauged park ideas from some 200 residents was also conducted prior to this gathering. The concepts, as well as neighborhood feedback, are expected for the next meeting.


Plus, Northeast Philly is getting…

Northeast Philly is getting what?? Yes, folks, we’re getting two (hey, it’s a start) protected bike lanes! From Citified:

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New Exhibit Will Put CITC, Norman Foster on Full Display


The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will completely change the Philadelphia skyline forever, yet it just doesn’t seem like people are as pumped about it as they should be. East Market is getting a ton of plaudits. The same can be said for the Gallery. Admittedly, we’ve been tracking the progress at the W Hotel more than the CITC. Here’s a little bit of perspective: the CITC will be nearly twice as tall as the W and feature the Four Seasons Hotel on its top 12 floors. If you’re scoring along at home, that’s Norman Foster, Comcast’s second skyline busting tower full of innovation, a marquee hotel in the clouds and it will be the tallest building in North America outside of New York and Chicago.

Thankfully, the Philadelphia Center for Architecture realizes this and has a cool exhibit starting this week. Designing Our Skyline: The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center by Foster + Partners will run from May 29 through June 21. Not only will you get to learn all about the soon-to-be-tallest building in the city, but there will also be detailed models on display, renderings and “a timeline of concept sketches by Pritzker Prize winning Norman Foster.” It’s also completely free, which makes it even better.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be held on May 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture at 1218 Arch Street and feature music, beer, wine and hors d’oeuvers. Register here.

Massive Office Property Adjacent to PHL to Be Part of Expansion?

400x347 International Plaza Tinicum Township in Delaware County

Image via Amerimar Enterprises website

There’s no official mention of this being part of the big expansion project slated for the Philadelphia International Airport (Automated. People. Mover. Enough said!), but it has piqued our interest as there’s the possibility that it might be.

According to the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni, a bill that would pave the way for the city to buy the International Plaza property adjacent to the airport has been introduced to City Council. Extra space means extra new airport stuff, right?

Looks like it. Kostelni has this to say about the potential nature of the relationship between PHL and its 27-acre neighbor, an Amerimar Enterprises-owned tract consisting of a two-building office complex with a breezeway and parking:

It is assumed the property would go toward the eventual expansion of the Philadelphia International Airport. The airport has eyed the property for years for possible runway expansion or even for cargo operations.

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The Power Went Out in Claude Giroux’s Building Over the Weekend

10 Rittenhouse

10 Rittenhouse | Image: Google Street View

The power went out at 10 Rittenhouse over the weekend, leaving residents who stayed in town for the holiday without electricity for around 35 hours or so.

According to The Inquirer, the outage occurred around noon on Sunday and PECO blames an “underground cable problem” for the issues. KYW reports that the power was restored around 11 p.m. Monday night. So yes, even people that live in incredibly-priced condos right on Rittenhouse Square are subject to Philadelphia’s unpredictable infrastructure, including Claude Giroux.

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