Rodin Square/The Dalian on the Park site from September | Photo: James Jennings
The development scene on the Ben Franklin Parkway is booming these days as multiple big-time projects–including a revamped luxury hotel, over 1,000 apartments, bridge and park improvements and more–are bringing all kinds of attention to Philly’s cultural corridor.
One such project, a massive mixed-use development dubbed Rodin Square, takes up about a full city block on a three-acre parcel bound by 21st ad 22nd streets, and Spring Garden Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street (map). Dalian Development and International Financial Company (IFC), along with INTECH Construction, will officially “top out” the project today at a ceremony slated for noon.
The event will take place on the tricked-out “Skydeck” amenity terrance overlooking the Parkway, and mark a milestone in the construction process for the $160 million project. The groundbreaking took place in August 2014, and construction is expected to fully wrap up in summer of 2016. The apartments will be ready soon thereafter, but you’ll have to wait a tad longer for the gigantic Whole Foods Market to arrive–it’s scheduled to open in fall 2016.
So what will we have when the proverbial dust has settled? Let’s just say you can expect some big things.
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TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred – Whipple-McFeely Team
Reader, please bear with us as we try to suppress our groan of longing. It’s not our fault that snug master suite with, yes, an exposed brick decorative fireplace has got some pretty strong curl-up-with-a-book-and-hot-cocoa vibes radiating off every corner. Loving the exposed beamed ceiling too. Our verdict? Heart eyes emoji!
Mind you, the house that it’s in is itself a charmer, too.
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Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website
In case you missed it, the University City District has published its latest State of University City report, an annually-released compendium of the developments bubbling up in University City. The guide spotlights several sectors in U.C., among them academic, commercial, and residential, as well as the impact UCD itself has on this section of the city.
With relation to the latter, the release of the report came with the announcement that the 40th Street Trolley Portal transformation would be seeing its groundbreaking take place next year.
We previously reported the makeover project, spearheaded by UCD in partnership with SEPTA, the city, and neighborhood leaders, came with the aim of turning the bleak station into a lively social space with greenery and stormwater infrastructure, movable furniture, and arts and cultural programming.
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BEFORE: “Kolb’s Pan-Dandy Bread” sign| Image: Conrad Benner, Streets Dept.
Lookin’ for a unique pad to rent in Port Richmond? The apartment with the 100-year-old ghost sign is now for rent. The Somers Team pinged us on Twitter to let us know that the place is now completed, and the 2-bed, 2-bath apartment is going for $1,250 per month.
Conrad Benner of Streets Dept. snapped a bunch of great shots of the vintage Kolb’s Bakery sign during construction. Now, it’s the focal point of the bedroom. In short, it’s gorgeous.
The finished product looks super clean and sports and industrial look, especially because of the sign, the bottom portion of which looks to be incorporated into the shared landed and mail area.
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TREND image via Redfin
Hey, you there, do you live in a traditional Philly rowhome? You know, the two story, two bedrooms and one bath type that might also include a reasonably-sized (and typically concrete) yard.
Chances are high that you sometimes feel a tad cramped and you start to daydream about a tiny DIY project that involves knocking out a wall or two and just combining you beloved home with the one next door to give you some more space.
Wouldn’t it be cool? Wait, is that even possible?
Yes, dreams do come true, folks. Better still, you don’t even have to do the work yourself. That’s because this stellar home on Capenter Street in Graduate Hospital has been combined to create a mini-Megatron of rowhomes.
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TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.
Interspersing historic buildings with new constructions, open space with sensitive site planning, not to mention an innovative stormwater management system atop a 55-acre site, it’s no wonder the Harriton Farm development earned the Montgomery County Planning Commission‘s 2007 Land Development Award.
Developed by Pohlig Builders, LLC, and designed by Michael Visich Architects and Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Harriton Farm is unique in that 7 of the 35 homes that reside within it are preserved structures, such as an 1860 gothic cottage, an 1880 Victorian barn and Queen Anne stable, and Lane’s End, an 18th-century farmhouse. There’s also the Harriton Manor House, which we’ve chosen as our Main Line Monday home for today.
Originally built in 1842, the Harriton Manor House sits on a lush plot overlooking a pond. It’s a country-style residence and as such offers features like plantation shutters and a breakfast room with fireplace and wood-stove insert. It’s newer details are likely to have come about during an extensive renovation in 2003. It was then that it had flagstone decking, a lower-level wine cellar and wet bar, and an apartment above the 3-car detached garage added to its repertoire. (FYI, its terrace is two stories and comes with massive columns.)
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The Rittenhouse Coffee Shop on the 1900 block of Sansom Street
We’ve devoted quite a bit of time to the 1911 Walnut project already. The fact that something, anything, was going to happen at the lot was one of our bold predictions for 2015, so it’s only natural that we check in on any and every happening with the project. Well, news is starting to come fast and furious and it’s been a mixed bag of sorts, especially on the preservation front.
As you probably know, Southern Land Company bought the massive L-shaped assemblage in February for $30 million and recently submitted an application to the Historical Commission to demolish a trio of buildings on the 1900 block of Sansom Street, the northern border of the property. The list includes the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop, the Warwick apartment building, and the O.H.Bair Funeral Home. The developer has claimed economic hardship and cited that it would be too costly to revive the handsome structures, even though they told us in February that they intended “to work with the historic commission to restore the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop and Warwick.”
Well, it looks like they’ve done a slight about-face, as the company announced on Friday that they’ve pulled back the demo application for one of the three buildings, specifically the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop.
“As a result of meetings with officials from the Preservation Alliance and the Center City Residents’ Association task force, Southern Land Company, as a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to principles of historic preservation, will withdraw its application to the Historical Commission for the demolition of the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop.”
However, as per the next sentence in the release, we also learn that its neighbors aren’t necessarily so lucky: “The previously submitted applications for the severely deteriorated Warwick apartment building and Oliver Bair funeral home will remain in place.”
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We’d by lying if we said Chad Aaronson‘s cool City Hall drone video wasn’t still on our minds. So with that being the case, we went in search of yet another unique angle from which to view Philadelphia’s grand Second Empire construction. The #Phillyscape shot that won us over? This classic disorienting puddle capture taken by Instagrammer @beansauer.
Unlike the last reflection photo we featured of City Hall, this one showcases Philly’s recognizable building in the midst of late fall with some stray leaves sprinkled on the street. Its simplicity captures the season in Philadelphia perfectly (though of, of course, a mash up of the city’s foliage in all its glory is just as striking) and reminds us that for all our town’s flaws and difficulties, its got a whole lot of its beauty tucked away in the most random places.
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TREND images via Zillow / Long & Foster
Its current owners like to call it “an oasis of calm” and by the looks of it, it might in fact be a fitting moniker: Windhorse Farm is a unique compound nestled privately on a plot in Ottsville, Bucks County. It consists of several buildings, one of which is an 18th-century stone farmhouse with period bedrooms, original random-width floors, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the details each building has to offer, shall we?
- The farmhouse – As we just mentioned, its got original flooring and sleeping quarters reminiscent of its charming past. In addition to this, though, the residence boasts open beams, deep sill windows, and two walk-in fireplaces. The kitchen even vaunts a neat restaurant-style stove and broiler alongside a cozy sitting area.
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Can you believe this used to be a de-facto storage unit for Apple products? Photography by christopher Leaman
It’s fitting that a designer and architect from Argentina, who also spent 14 years practicing his craft in London, would stumble upon an apartment whose road-less-traveled history is as unconventional as they come.
Two years ago, Eduardo Ardiles, founder of Studio Edo in Fishtown, and his partner, Joe Ujobai, heard whispers that a 19th-floor unit at the Barclay on Rittenhouse Square was available for rent. The two were hunting for a long-term rental to live in as they renovated their dream home at 21st and Delancey, and Ardiles negotiated a deal in which he’d revamp the apartment in exchange for lower rent.
The pair landed the coveted apartment, but there was a catch: The owner used it to store a vast collection of vintage Apple computers*. “It was almost like a technology crash course in one place,” Ardiles laughs. “A lot of boxes weren’t even open.”
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