Trinity Tuesday: Not Your Grandfather’s Trinity

Here’s the view of Queen Village | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Trinity houses are inherently a bit outside the box. This house, however, is unique even for a trinity.

The Queen Village home on S 2nd Street has the familiar three-level set up, but it also has a wraparound porch (as you know, a favorite of ours), a shared patio, and a roof deck with planters and an irrigation system that has views of Center City. The brick exterior looks sharp with all of the foliage you could get growing, too.

The inside is a little more familiar. It’s got the cozy quarters that you expect for a trinity, but it’s multi-story fireplace is a real showstopper. The kitchen is pretty roomy, though, and has ample cabinet space and an interesting wood-tile combination on the floor.

It also has a spiral staircase leading from the hardwood-floored master bedroom up onto the roof.

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Affordable Housing Complex for Artists Breaks Ground in West Philly

4050 Haverford Avenue } Rendering: PEC

4050 Haverford Avenue | Rendering: PEC

West Philly is about to get another apartment complex, but this time it’s not geared toward student foodies or young professionals with money to burn.

The People’s Emergency Center (PEC) broke ground on a new building today that will bring 20 units of affordable housing for artists and people in need. The site at 4050 Haverford Avenue is currently a vacant lot.

The project will cost $7.2 million, and PEC said they will begin work at the site on Wednesday in the hopes to having it completed by December of this year.

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Market East: Gallery Rehab Won’t Be Finished Until at Least 2018

The Gallery - under renovation

The Gallery under renovation earlier this year. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The Gallery won’t re-open as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia anytime soon.

Macerich and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, who are co-developing the transformation of the mall, say the project won’t be finished until 2018 or 2019 now. The news was first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer; Macerich VP Robert Perlmutter revealed the news in a conference call with analysts last week.

The Gallery, originally hailed as generator of urban rebirth, had lost its anchor tenants in recent years, and storefronts on upper floors were generally vacant. Though the mall still had a lot of foot traffic and generated respectable sales per square foot, its reputation, quite frankly, stunk.

The eastern half of the mall is closed; the western half (Gallery II) is slowly clearing out for redevelopment. When that’s done, PREIT and Macerich will rehab it into the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia at Market East. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Narberth Home With An Inviting Exterior

Not our usual MLM fare, this home offers some unique amenities.

Not our usual MLM fare, this home has some unique aspects.

Main Line Monday often features huge mansions and estates that are common in some of the Philly area’s wealthiest neighborhoods. At 3,207 square feet, this week’s house isn’t quite that. But it does have something that many of the most luxurious houses don’t—a wraparound porch.

A house could be 10,000 square feet and have four stories, but if it has a wraparound porch, you can bet we are going to lead with that. Every. Single. Time. They’re perfect for spending bright mornings with a book or warm evenings with a drink, and when we saw this house, there was no doubt we were writing about it. The stone exterior around the lower level just adds to the feels we get seeing this place.

This Narberth home is much more than its porch, however. It has recently been renovated, so it’s got an up-to-date interior. Much of the first floor has hardwood flooring, and the wide windows throughout the house are sure to let in tons of natural light.

The bathroom is a real eye-catcher, too. It’s got hardwood floors and huge windows of its own. In addition, there’s a standalone clawfoot bathtub and a stylish walk-in shower. His and hers sinks round out the room.

THE FINE PRINT

Beds: 5

Baths: 3.5

Square Feet: 3,207

Price: $799,000



LOVE Park: Ceremonial Groundbreaking Set for Wednesday

LOVE Park | Hargreaves and Associates

LOVE Park | Hargreaves and Associates

The $16.5 million revamp of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park will officially commence this Wednesday, as city officials and project partners will gather for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the iconic public square at 11 a.m.

It’s unclear when LOVE Park will officially close to the public. Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring and last 12 to 16 months.

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Farmhouse Friday: Villanova House Has 21st Century Style and 19th Century History

This renovated farmhouse offers luxury on an antique foundation.

This renovated farmhouse offers luxury on an antique foundation.

This week’s featured home for Farmhouse Friday is a testament to restoration, renovation and expansion. Technically, it’s Harriton Farm Springhouse, a farmhouse built in the 1840’s. However, it only takes a glance to see that today it is so, so much more than that.

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$24 Million Loan Arranged for Redevelopment of Former West Philadelphia High School

The former West Philadelphia High School | via Colliers

The former West Philadelphia High School | via Colliers

The redevelopment of the former West Philadelphia High School into an apartment building has been talked about for some time–the better part of four years–but there has been little to no movement on the project. It looks as though that could soon change.

Colliers International announced today that the company has arranged a $24 million loan for “the acquisition and redevelopment” of the shuttered school building at 47th and Walnut.

Strong Place Partners (SSP), a Brooklyn-based development company, had sought to turn the shuttered school building into a mixed-use property consisting of 298 loft-style apartments with ground floor retail. The firm first presented their plans back in 2012, and expected the building to be move-in ready by 2016.

Though the Office of Property Assessment still shows the School District of Philadelphia as the owner of the building, it lists WPHS Venture Partners LLC as the mailing address; its Brooklyn street address leads to a company called Heights Advisors. Their website describes the project at 4700 Walnut as a “gut rehabilitation,” and states construction will commence in 2017.  Representatives from Heights Advisors were not immediately available for comment.

So what’s been the hold up?

“The borrower wanted to purchase and reposition the former school located in West Philadelphia near University City,” said Kristopher Wood of Colliers International Capital Markets in a release, who along with CICM’s John Banas arranged the loan. “Getting a construction loan was challenging because this was the first development the New York developer had done in Philadelphia, and many thought the location was not ready for 298 new apartments.”

A lot has changed in four years, to say the least. Developers are betting big that University City will continue its ascension onto the national scene as a force for eds, meds, and technology, and they’ve been lining up multiple apartment projects to accommodate the influx of young professionals.

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Brandywine Realty Trust Unloads 58 Properties in Near $400 Million Deal

Brandywine Realty Trust expects to close on the sale of Cira Square this month | Google Street View

Brandywine Realty Trust expects to close on the sale of Cira Square this month | Google Street View

Brandywine Realty Trust has sold a large portfolio of properties to an affiliate of Och Ziff Capital Management Group LCC, according to a company release.

The complex deal–worth $398.1 million–includes nearly 4 million square feet of rentable space over 58 “non-core holdings” in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. It marks the completion of what Brandywine called a “multi-year portfolio repositioning strategy” totaling $1.1 billion.

“The 2015 and early 2016 dispositions provide significant liquidity and results in a portfolio much more focused on urban and town center properties,” said Gerard Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine realty Trust, in the statement. “In addition, these transactions significantly increase our financial capacity, reduce debt and provide ample liquidity for our development pipeline.”

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Just-Listed Home on East Passyunk Avenue Betwixt the Pope and Brigantessa

TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

Looking for a place that is quite literally in the middle of all the action on East Passyunk Avenue? Of course you are!

We’re not delving into broker babble, either. Head out the front door of this newly listed home at 1516 East Passyunk Avenue and you’ll hit all kinds of fun shops, great gastropubs and killer restaurants. Hang a louie, and you’re steps from Brigantessa. A quick right takes you to the Pub on Passyunk East (“the POPE”), and either direction takes you to great coffee options at either B2 or Black N Brew.

Our point is that you have a ton of options, including childcare two doors down at Alphabet Academy and a damn ACME down the block.

So what about the digs?
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New Plan for the SS United States: Have it Sail Again

Restored SS United States - rendering

Rendering of the restored SS United States from Crystal Cruises

The SS United States may sail again after all.

At a press conference today in Manhattan, SS United States Conservancy director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruise president Edie Rodriguez announced a proposed $700-plus million restoration and modernization of the SS United States, after which the 990-foot long ship will return to active cruise service. The news was first reported by The New York Times this morning.

There were not concrete details today. Rodriguez said all the decisions on the ship’s future would be ironed out in the feasibility study. There is no decision on where the ship will be docked, though Gibbs said she’d like it to be New York. Either way, the ship is likely headed out of Philadelphia.

“I’d like to thank the City of Philadelphia for so warmly hosting the SS United States,” Gibbs said. “Together, we beat the odds. And together, we refused to give up.” Read more »

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