Navy Yard-Like Makeover Envisioned for Former Steel Mill Site in Claymont

Once a noisy, 425-acre industrial site in Claymont, Delaware (it’s less than an hour from Philly), the former Evraz Steel Mill property said goodbye to its last tenant right before the start of 2014. “It marked the end of nearly 100 years of steel manufacturing in Claymont,” wrote Delaware Online’s Xerces Wilson back in April. Now, the property has the potential for a new lease on life, one akin to Philadelphia’s relatively successful Navy Yard if things go accordingly.

The group with the plan? St. Louis-based Commercial Development Co., who bought the tract earlier this year. CDC has made a name for itself thanks to their work transforming “large, shuttered heavy manufacturing sites” into new usable spaces, reports Wilson.

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Farmhouse Friday: Kimberton Country Spread With Views of French Creek

Now that's a fireplace. | Images by TREND via

Now that’s a fireplace. | Images by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach-Collegeville

Let’s head out to Chester County just west of Phoenixville for a moment to check in on a property that looks to be the quintessential farmhouse. The home dates back 269 years (!) and was later expanded to give it more space and a covered patio. We can imagine catching many a firefly on its 2.70-acres of land.

Don’t let the age fool you, it has all those much-needed modern amenities that you’ll need, including two-zone air conditioning, an in-ground pool in the yard and a workout room in the barn. Features like the two wood burning fireplaces, hardwood floors, exposed beams, farmhouse tub and dual-horse stalls in the barn call back to its workmanlike past. In other words: this place has kept it real after all these years. Read more »

Headlines: Philly Among the Top 10 Most Job-Accessible Cities By Walking

Photo credit: Paul Sableman via Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Sableman via Flickr

Did you walk to work today? If you live in Philadelphia proper and answered “no,” all we can say is buddy, you best start taking advantage of living in what researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory are citing as the eighth most job-accessible city for pedestrians. Check out the full report here.

Determining a particular city’s ranking were its average accessibility (because although WalkScore has dubbed Philadelphia the fourth most walkable city overall, it’s not all about walking trails and sidewalks) and the amount of jobs reachable within a ten-minute timespan. Cities went down in their ranking weight with increased work travel times.

You’ll note, as Sustainable Cities Collective points out, that the top 10 cities on the list (New York, San Fran, L.A., Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Boston, Philly, San Jose, and Denver, in case you were wondering) have a blend of two major elements that pave the way for their easy home-to-work walking commute:

The cities that make up the top 10 all have a combination of employment density and fast, frequent transit service. “Employment density is a primary factor in whether an area is economically walkable or not, and employment densities are typically high in cities that employ heavy rail systems leading into a central core,” [Accessibility Observatory director Andrew] Owen says. “In this way, transit systems promote walkability and walking accessibility, without requiring a user to board a transit vehicle to experience the positive effects.

Emphasis ours. Now here’s a visual for yah:

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Head Scratcher Rankings: Forget Beverly Hills, Narberth Is the Place to Live

Downtown Narberth | Photo: Dan Groff/Facebook

Downtown Narberth | Photo: Don Groff

Ahhh, Narberth, we often find ourselves longing to bask in your wonderland of sunshine, streets lined with palm trees, (good) Eddie Murphy cop movies and Hillbillies shows, iconic shopping and bevy of stars living in mega-exclusive compounds. Wait, that’s Beverly Hills. Sorry, we often get the two mixed up. How is that possible, you ask? Well, Niche, a website that says its goal is to transform “the way people make big life decisions,” has ranked the Montgomery County locale as the tenth best suburb in the nation, ahead of places like Beverly Hills (12), Manhattan Beach, California (11) and even Lower Merion Township (25).  Are we proud of this? Yes, and Narberth Online’s Facebook page summed it up for pretty much everyone in the region with a simple, “In your face, Beverly Hills!” Read more »

Spotted in Spring Garden: Mixed-Use Building with Brewpub Nearing Completion


Rendering of 1720 Fairmount, future location of Bar Hygge

Exciting stuff,  you guys! Along with the expected onslaught of summer heat, we’ll be seeing the final touches on the upcoming 1720 Fairmount mixed-use project in Spring Garden / Fairmount begin to take place. According to developer Dan Greenberg of North Broad Living, the expected completion date is July 1st. (That’ll be here in the blink of an eye, you just watch.) Pretty swell news regarding a spot that used to be a drab vacant lot!

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You Have to Check Out This Neat, Solar-Paneled Home in Northern Liberties

TREND photos via Redfin

TREND photos via Redfin

Is it just us or is there something a tad maze-like about this home (at least by what we can tell from the photos, see gallery below)? It’s interesting because other than that quirk and its über neat details, it’s a fairly unassuming newer construction in Northern Liberties, tucked away on the cobblestoned corner of Reno and Orkney Streets.

Unique features include a glass wall segregating the dining room from the Joanne Hudson-designed kitchen, where there’s custom concrete countertops and dining island (seats four), appliances made by Miele, Liebherr, and Wolf, and Downsview cabinetry; and a split-level second floor with three bedrooms (one of which has a custom steel fireplace) and a walk-in laundry room. Birch hardwood floors are throughout and there’s a custom-crafted wood, steel, and glass central staircase.

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Plans (Finally) Revealed for Boyd Theatre Project, 19th and Chestnut

Boyd Theatre Philadelphia

A 27-story apartment tower is planned to replace the auditorium at the Boyd Theatre. | Photo: Jeff Fusco

It’s been an interesting week. As you know, we were live at the Allan Domb election party on Tuesday and bumped into the ever-present HughE Dillon. The plugged-in paparazzo told us that a new plan for the Boyd Theatre was about to be released. This one didn’t include a tower that took up the entire site at 19th and Chestnut. Documents recently added on the Historical Commission’s website prove that much of HughE’s info about a revamped plan was indeed correct.

Chestnut Square Associates L.P., an affiliate of Pearl Properties, is scheduled to meet the commission on Tuesday and present their plans for a drastically different interpretation of their clutch of property that includes 1900-1906 Chestnut, 1910 Chestnut, 1912 Chestnut, 110 South 19th and 112 South 19th Street. Attorneys for the project submitted the application (.pdf) to the commission last week. The grand 2,30o-seat auditorium at the 1920’s movie theater stretches back to Sansom Street and has been under demolition since March. More this way, including renderings

Headlines: The Rail Park Gets Go-Ahead from Planning Commission

Image courtesy of Bryan Hanes | Studio Bryan Hanes

Image courtesy of Studio Bryan Hanes

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission officially gave its blessing this week to a bill that would allow the city to purchase a 0.8-acre tract of the former Reading Viaduct in Callowhill. You know it as the future home of The Rail Park.

It’s not too surprising that the commission gave the go-ahead. Jared Brey of PlanPhilly, who was at the meeting, summed it up rather well: “Can you imagine a different outcome? As far as we can tell, this project has zero opponents.” In fact, the entire presentation is wrapped up in a 3-minute long video that ends with a rather ho-hum approval vote from the commissioners.

The Art Commission approved the plan for the park earlier this month and the approval of the bill is the next step in developing the former rail corridor into a public amenity.

Once realized, the experience on the elevated park will include landscaped walking trails, lighting and various site furnishings.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Inviting Waterfall Pool Spotted Inside Bucks County Home

TREND images via

TREND images via

Would we recommend it as a summer house? Perhaps not (unless you got the cash…), but it would make for a pretty remarkable year-round home.

Gazebos, flower beds and specimen trees, small bridge, reflecting ponds, and even a loggia are all part of this five-acre property, which in addition to having a lush landscape (which comes with a night-lit tennis court by the way) claims a magnificent 11,000-square-foot home to its repertoire.

Some luxe features you’ll stumble upon at Ivy Manor? Let’s start with that full-blown theater space, which has a nearby massage room and billiards and exercise areas. The main house prize, however, is the swimming pool room, complete with waterfall, murals, and laundry. An au pair suite is attached to the home via a mud room, while the house itself welcomes guests through its large twin staircase foyer.  Upstairs, the master bathroom includes a shower with a domed ceiling.  

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Tweet Tease: You’re One Step Closer to La Colombe on Independence Mall

Back in December, La Colombe made your coffee-soaked, history-loving heart flutter with happiness when they announced plans to open an outpost in the Dow Building on Independence Mall. As evidenced by the tweet above from Keystone Property Group, those plans as coming along nicely. Crews are busy putting in the stairs, though we still don’t know when exactly it will open. According to Foobooz, La Colombe will eventually be leasing a 1,700-square-feet corner in the building that also contains the highly-popular Independence Beer Garden. Here is rendering of what the outdoor seating area will look like once it’s complete. Read more »

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