Philly 7th on List of Most Dangerous Cities in America to Own Property

The view from 2116 Chestnut looking south

The view from 2116 Chestnut looking south

One thing has been made abundantly clear over the first three-and-a-half weeks of 2015: Philly is on some impressive lists. However, we’re going to have to take the good with the bad in this instance. A report from lists Philly as one of the most dangerous cities in America to own property–in fact, we’re squarely in the top 10 at number seven. If it makes you feel any better, New York City took the top spot. We’re also two spots safer than San Antonio, a city that’s trying to cheat its way to a larger population that Philadelphia.

The list examines data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and takes into account the number of robberies, property crimes, larcenies, motor vehicle thefts and arsons. Here’s what ‘the authority on bad credit” had to say about our fair city:

Neither the weather nor its citizens’ dispositions are always sunny in Philadelphia. The city is home to several hundred homicides a year, a large concentration of organized crime rings and some of professional sports’ rowdiest fans.

In summation, the list of reasons why Philly is seven on the list goes homicides, organized crime and poorly behaved sports fans.

Actually, these number will help to paint a more complete picture:
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Who Will Help Save This 19th-Century Home in Darby?

Darby Main Street House preservation Screenshot via Google Street View

Screenshot via Google Street View

In what appears to be a case of survival of the fittest with a building preservation twist, one Darby resident has taken it upon himself to try and save a few of the countless historical buildings in the borough that are slowly spoiling under the swelling shadow of blight. The question is, which will live on and which will become scrap?

Among his saving projects, John Haigis, The Inquirer‘s Laura McCrystal reports, has been fighting to preserve a vacant white building that neighbors his own home on Main Street.”It has character,” he says of the deteriorating property, which, to his credit, he acknowledges is just another load on the already heavy historical building burden in Darby:

“I think there’s a blessing and a curse,” Haigis said. “The blessing is, we have such incredible historic fabric. The curse is, we have so many old buildings, they overwhelm available resources.”

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Looking for a Single-Bedroom? Check Out This Old City Loft Inside a Former Factory

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach - Center City Walnut

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach – Center City Walnut

The original details that once swathed this former factory from the mid-1800s have not all been lost in the footnotes of history, as many of its materials have been restored to outfit the condo lofts that now sit on this cobblestoned-block of Church Street.

Inside, high ceilings tower above, while original pumpkin floors are throughout. Exposed brick walls, ceiling beams, and built-in bookshelves also have their place in the unit. There’s even a built-in bench seat that was made from reclaimed wood beams from the factory.

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Developer to Present Plans for Little Pete’s Successor Tomorrow Night

Rendering of the Hudson Hotel planned for 17th and Chancellor.

Rendering of the Hudson Hotel planned for 17th and Chancellor.

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard anything about the proposed Hudson Hotel project at 17th and Chancellor Street – you know, the one that will replace Little Pete’s (and the 4-story parking garage above it).

The Center City Residents Association (CCRA) will hold a community meeting at 10th Presbyterian Church (17th and Delancey Street) on January 29th at 7 p.m. where developer Clemens Construction will present its plans then take questions and comments. Steve Huntington of CCRA called it a “public forum regarding the project.” He also mentioned that it’s a chance for the developer and CCRA to get feedback on the project as well as a chance for neighbors to hear each other’s take on the proposal.

In December, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson held the bill that would see the property re-zoned in order to accommodate the construction of the $125 million hotel project.

Here’s more from the newsletter:

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: The Picturesque Wonder You Will Never Want to Leave

Photos presented by Donna Tyson via

Photos by John Armich.

Updated 1/27/2015, 1:54pm to reflect that the neighboring Cuttalossa Farm was the former home of Daniel Garber, not the property we are profiling in this post.

Let me preface this by saying that you’re lucky I’m not in charge of running this blog because if I were you can be certain I’d have never shared this beauty with you. (And that’s saying a lot since I’m not wont to fall for homes that fall outside of a ten mile radius of Philadelphia.)

So why this budding selfishness on my part? For starters, just look at that verdurous scene! (Warning: annoying, slightly cliché hyperbole ahead.) It literally looks like an image you’d be left with after hearing the happy ending of a storybook fairytale. And guess what? In addition to the lush grounds, the interior of this stone carriage house (built in 1820, mind you) is another prize to behold: exposed stone walls, chestnut floors, hand-hewn beams, and original stable doors all merge, with what might possibly be the touch of someone with the gift of interior design, to comprise this hidden jewel of a home.

Also on the property, which the listing makes sure to mention has sheep next door (Cuttalossa Farm, the former home of artist Daniel Garber, is a neighbor!), is a stone guest house with a “sophisticated studio / home office space.” This mini gem comes with hardwood floors, high ceilings, a full bathroom and kitchen area, and sits above a 2-car garage.

So, interested?

Spotted: Lower Merion Victorian with Turret Bathroom

TREND photo via RE/MAX Executive Realty-Bryn Mawr.

TREND photo via RE/MAX Executive Realty-Bryn Mawr.

Lest the above image dishearten you, take a look at the home in snowless weather in the gallery below because, ultimately, we think it’s a winner.

Some of its more striking elements? How about a heated greenhouse room (potential art studio?), generously-sized master suite (seriously, it has a sitting area, dressing room, and bathroom!), and turret bathroom. That turret, by the way, also houses a curved stairway with stained glass windows. Additionally, outside is a carriage house with 1-car garage.

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Morning Headlines: Commercial Real Estate Is “Turning a Corner”

Photo credit: Gene Tobia via Flickr.

Photo credit: Gene Tobia via Flickr.

Philadelphia office space may be among the most affordable in comparison to other major cities, but a recent observation from Jones, Lang, LaSalle, a financial and professional services company with a knack for commercial real estate, reveals Philly’s commercial market is on the road to significant growth.

According to PlanPhilly’s Jon Geeting, Sean Coghlin, JLL’s manager of capital markets research, says Philly’s commercial real estate market “turned the corner last year” after having initially peaked in 2007, only to go on to endure a period of sluggish office space absorption during the recession years (late 2007-mid 2009). This was followed by gradual strengthening in late 2013 and rising office rents in 2014, something Geeting notes is a reflection of the growing office space demand.

This was followed by gradual strengthening in late 2013 and rising office rents in 2014, something Geeting notes is a reflection of the growing office space demand.

And so, what makes this different from the last upswing we saw? Here’s what Geeting reports:

Coghlin says that what distinguishes this cycle of expansion from the prior cycle is that the participation rate, the growth across sectors and the number of companies, is much higher.

“If we’re looking at office leasing, that breaks into three categories: lease expiration, organic growth, and in-bound demand,” he says, “In prior cycles, the majority of our activity was driven by lease expiration, then by organic growth of a few users and big institutions, and then in-bound demand, companies moving in from outside the city, which really wasn’t in play. Looking at office leasing demand today, we’re seeing one out of every four lease transactions has some element of growth, either organic growth of existing companies or in-bound growth.”

So, are we experiencing a real estate bubble? PlanPhilly doesn’t think so:

…we would need to be building a volume of offices or mixed-use multi-family buildings that can’t be justified by the near-term and medium-term levels of demand for office space and apartments. But the high absorption rates in the office markets and the apartment markets that we see accompanying high levels of construction make that story unlikely.

…For the foreseeable future, the more pressing worry is that we’ll build too few apartments and offices, not too many.

JLL: Philly’s commercial real estate market turned the corner in 2014 [PlanPhilly]
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Philadelphia Commuting Patterns Show a Minor Sway in the Balance

Screenshot of a new commuting map from

Screenshot of a new commuting map from

Could we be bike lanes away from turning Philadelphia into a full on bike-to-work city? Over half of Philly commuters still opt to take the car instead of SEPTA or a bike when it comes to going to work, but that’s not to say the balance isn’t swaying even just a little, according to Patrick Kerkstra over at Citified:

Philly is growing less reliant on car commuting, however. The city estimates that total vehicle miles traveled in Philadelphia declined 8.6 percent between 2005 and 2014. SEPTA ridership dipped slightly last year, but it’s still at strong levels compared to the past.

We highly recommend you read his full post (link below), which also takes a look at how the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is making strides in the biking to work department.

Philadelphia Commuters Are Slowly, Slowly Giving Up Their Cars [Citified]

Report: Partial Roof Collapse Injures Three Inside Center City Lululemon Store

Multiple reports are stating that three people were injured when bricks from an adjacent building crashed through the roof of the Lululemon store at 1527 Walnut Street. According to 6abc, the incident took place around 3:30 p.m. and three women sustained minor injures.

Be Well, our sister site, has more details:

According to the city, everyone has been accounted for. But in response to the partial collapse, it says, “Traffic is temporarily being diverted from the area around 15th and Walnut Streets. Motorists can expect residual delays. Septa bus routes have been impacted as well.”

Report: 3 Hurt in Partial Roof Collapse at Lululemon Center City [Be Well]

On the Market: $1.59 Million-Plus Rittenhouse Condo with Sleek Kitchen

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach - CC 1818 Rittenhouse.

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach – CC 1818 Rittenhouse.

Wouldn’t you like Claude Giroux as a neighbor? This unit at 10 Rittenhouse, the same condo building the Flyers’ captain is said to have been moving into last year, is on the prowl for a new owner.

Noteworthy features specific to this unit are its sleek Poggenpohl-designed kitchen (they make very, very, nice kitchens, we must say), bathrooms made of marble, and a sweet balcony. Meanwhile, building amenities include gym, pool, garage parking with valet service, as well as 24-hour concierge and doorman services.

Further details and listing info below!

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