New Tower Could Rise on Rittenhouse Square After All

A rendering of Castleway's pre-recession proposal, courtesy of Skyscraper Page

A rendering of Castleway’s pre-recession proposal, courtesy of Skyscraper Page

Irish developer Castleway Properties is again working on plans for a luxury condo tower and boutique hotel on a prominent vacant lot on Rittenhouse Square. Castleway had proposed something similar for the site in 2007, but the proposal collapsed during the recession. Then, in 2013, megadeveloper Toll Brothers showed interested in purchasing the lot, but earlier this year the sale fell through and Toll Brothers walked away.

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Financing Secured for Rodin Square Apartments

A rendering of Rodin Square, courtesy of the project's developers

A rendering of Rodin Square, courtesy of the project’s developers

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the 293-unit apartment building to be part of the planned Rodin Square complex has received a $20 million loan to finance its groundbreaking. The complex, which was approved in the fall, will face the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and take up much of the block bounded by 21st, 22nd, Spring Garden, and Hamilton streets. In addition to the residences, it will include a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods with underground parking, a “sky park” with an outdoor pool for residents, several commercial spaces, and a parking garage for residents.

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Spectacular Ceilings in Anglecot Condo

TREND photo courtesy Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy Fox & Roach.

Built in 1883 by Wilson Eyre Jr. (you know him from the Penn Museum and the Swan Memorial Fountain), Anglecot was once a grand single family home. It’s now a grand multi-family dwelling that has been carved into nine very distinct condominiums. Unit B sold last fall. Now Unit D is on the market.

The condo is stretched over three floors of the mansion. It includes three beds and three full baths as well as a powder room. Ceilings on the main living floor are jaw-dropping, likely because what is now the living and dining area was once the ballroom in the original Anglecot configuration. The downstairs also includes two tiled fireplaces and a wall of built-in bookshelves. The galley kitchen features one of two skylights (the other is on the third floor in the studio). The master suite is accessible by a spiral staircase and includes a dressing room, sitting area and Juliet balcony.
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Morning Headlines: Flagship Wawa Closes; Locals Mourn

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Okay, that’s not true. Though the Greater Philadelphia area is taking this harder than James Garner’s death (RIP, Rockford), I doubt there’ll be a candlelight vigil — but note my use of the word “doubt,” because the region’s love for Wawa is (some would say irrationally) fierce.

deco daily times coverIt’s the front page of the Delaware County Daily Times, headline blaring: “1…and Done” and “End of the line for historic Wawa store.” To which I reply: WHERE WAS THE PRESERVATION ALLIANCE ON THIS? Working on the Boyd and the Blue Horizon? Priorities, people!

Barbara Ormsby, reporting for the Delco Daily Times, strikes a wistful note: “The Wawa on MacDade Boulevard and Swarthmore Avenue — the company’s very first convenience store that opened 50 years ago — will soon be gone, but won’t be forgotten.”

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Local Real Estate Agents Give to Delco SPCA After Selling Homes

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Who knew house-buying could help guys like Tamale and Olive Oil?

Well, here’s a healthy dose of heart-warming information: Two real estate agents and one buyer’s agency have a partnership with the Delaware County SPCA wherein they donate a portion of property sales to the animal society.

According to the Delco SPCA’s Community Partners page, Sharon Goodspeed of Long and Foster gives to the organization each time she completes a sale with a “referral client from a volunteer, employee or someone who has adopted from the Adoption Center,” while Keller Williams’ David Slaughter gives a portion of his commission for every property he sells.

The home we chose to showcase is one represented by Linda Walters, owner of Sage Realty in the Main Line, who is committed to giving the non-profit $200 for each person who uses Sage to buy a home priced at $300,000 or more. It’s a Bryn Mawr property with tons of new features, among them a cedar shake roof, baths, and first floor addition with mudroom, laundry, and extra pantry.

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Is Wynnestay The Oldest Philadelphia House On the Market?

Wynnestay : Wynnstay

We all know Philly is chock-full of historic homes, but which of these golden oldies is the oldest currently on the market? A quick Zillow search limiting construction years between 0 and 1700 led to this Wynnefield heirloom built in 1689.

According to the estate’s website, Wynnestay is considered “Philadelphia’s oldest existing private residence,” and was owned by Welsh Quaker Thomas Wynne (a.k.a. the guy who gave his name to the seventh most popular suburb among renters). The self-taught physician acquired the property from patient and good friend William Penn who had been selling seven 5,000-acre land grants.

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Roof Deck-Ready Penthouse at Vine Street Condos

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

Penthouses in any Center City condo are bound to be pretty spectacular in their own way. This one caught our eye because of the handsome exposed brick, which gives the unit a homier feeling than many other similarly situated penthouse lofts. The Vine Street Condos are in a nine-unit building at 5th and Vine and being the penthouse, this unit also has solitary access to the roof.

The main living space in the 2,600-square-foot-plus penthouse is completely open plan. A gourmet kitchen – finished with granite countertops, a huge center island and very shiny backsplash – overlooks the bricked living and dining spaces. Bedrooms are separated by frosted glass sliding doors (a feature we like far better in photos than by description). The master suite includes a custom closet as well as an en-suite bath with soaking tub.
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On the Market: Painter’s Folly, Former Home of Howard Pyle

1421 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.

1421 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA.

Vincent van Gogh once wrote to his brother that he was struck “dumb with admiration” by Howard Pyle’s illustrations in Harper’s Monthly. Unsurprisingly, Pyle rose to celebrity-status for his work, and illustrated numerous magazines and books, most notably the The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.

He also did images for works by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Dean Howells, and Woodrow Wilson, and was a mentor to notable painter and illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Upon his death, the New York Times bestowed Pyle the title of “”father of American magazine illustration as it is known to-day.” More on Pyle’s legacy can be found here.

As it stands, this Chadds Ford house –called Painter’s Folly–once belonged to the artist, and even served as inspiration for works by celebrated realist painter Andrew Wyeth, son of N.C.

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Morning Headlines: Wynnewood Is One of the Most Popular Suburbs for Renters

Photo credit: Google Maps.

Photo credit: Google Maps.

Last week we heard homeownership in the area had been slowing down, only to learn the next day that the apartment market in Center City was cooling as well. So where exactly are renters going? ApartmentGuide points to the the suburbs.

Despite Lower Merion Township having some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the area, Philly.com’s Lauren Mennen reports the apartment-hunting website found Wynnewood to be the seventh “hottest suburb” for renters in the country after analyzing 100 of the most-searched cities between April and July. The numbers below may explain why:

According to statistics on the website, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom home in Wynnewood is $1,443, which is still cheaper than two-bedroom homes Old City ($2,137), Society Hill ($2,137), Northern Liberties ($1,582), Graduate Hospital ($1,512), and Fairmount/Art Museum ($1,495).

Lower cost and taxes aside, Wynnewood has a the advantage of having a “larger concentration of apartments” compared to other areas, all while offering better schools, more shopping, easy access to Center City, and being walker-friendly for commuters.

Wynnewood named one of the ‘hottest suburbs’ for renters [Philly.com]

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For Sale: Three Furness-Designed Properties

301 Washington Street, Birdsboro, PA.

301 Washington Street, Birdsboro, PA.

The “eccentricity of his architectural designs” may have appalled some of his contemporaries who clung to more traditional forms, but Philadelphia’s Victorian starchitect Frank Furness has had the last laugh. Furness-designed buildings with their signature high ceilings, beautiful staircases, and period details abound in the area, and his legacy and influence are alive as ever.

It just so happens that some of these are on the market.

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