Ribbon Cutting: Opening Date Set for Ralph Brooks Park

Community members painted wooden arrows made by guild carpenters to line the local garden that surrounds Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze, Philadelphia. (Jessie Fox/Urban Roots)

Community members painted wooden arrows made by guild carpenters to line the local garden that surrounds Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze, Philadelphia. (Jessie Fox/Urban Roots)

A ribbon cutting planned for Monday, August 31 will top off a major revitalization project at Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze. The ceremony will officially mark the transformation of a downtrodden playground at 20th and Tasker into a true community hub, complete with new basketball courts, rain and community gardens, freshly painted murals, an inter-generational gaming terrace with seating and a brand new tot lot for active play.

The ceremony takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Jeffrey Tubbs, developer with project partner Urban Roots, summed up his feelings in one word when reached by email: “Perseverance!”

While Monday marks the official opening of the park, Tubbs said there’s another date of note. “We started this project on March 13th, 2012,” he said, referencing the first emails to Jahmall Crandall, a Point Breeze native and project partner with I.am.SP.

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New Listing: Fantastically Restored Dwelling Behind Historic Philly Site

TREND images via Redfin

TREND images via Redfin

Under normal circumstances we’d hesitate to show you a home standing near a prison. (Trust us.) Fortunately, the correctional institution in question has long ceased to hold inmates. In fact, it’s now one of the city’s most historic sites and a fun destination during the Halloween season if you don’t mind the long lines – that’s right, we’re talking about Eastern State Penitentiary.

Completed in 1836, the facility was an architectural marvel that drew crowds on horse and buggy all the way from Philadelphia, which was then situated a mile away, according to Eastern State’s website. This restored gem on 23rd is about two blocks from the site and if you’ve ever been in the neighborhood, you know homes in that area are a far cry from the giant’s gloomy past.

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New Center City Wawa Should Open on September 18th

Wawa Broad and Walnut

The sign outside the Broad and Walnut Wawa has been altered to reflect the pushed-up opening.

Center City’s first new Wawa in decades should be open by the end of the summer.

Wawa is hoping to open its new Broad and Walnut location about a week before Pope Francis visits Philadelphia, likely on September 18th, a company spokesperson confirmed to Philly Mag. The signs outside the former Robinson Luggage were recently changed from a Fall to a Summer opening.

Wawa first targeted an opening around Thanksgiving. Read more »

Coming Next Summer: Apartment Development Across From Clark Park

4224 Baltimore Ave rendering

It’s been months since we last revisited the mixed-use project planned for 4224 Baltimore Avenue, but we’ve now finally caught wind of new information regarding the long-stalled development: construction of the planned 132-unit building is slated for late summer 2016.

According to West Philly Local, the news was shared by developer U3 Ventures and property owner Clarkmore LP in a recent letter to the Spruce Hill Community Association Zoning Committee and the neighborhood at large. Despite lack of specifics, WPL reports the mixed-use apartment building is anticipated to include a fitness center and full-service restaurant with outdoor seating, “among other retail options.”

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Pole Position: Light Towers “Appropriate Signal” of North Broad’s Bright Future

Four light masts have risen on North Broad Street between Green Street and Fairmount Avenue. Photos: James Jennings | Rendering: Mark McDonald

Mayor Michael Nutter officially announced the plan that will completely change the look, feel and future of a nearly 2.5 mile stretch of North Broad Street from Hamilton Street to Glenwood Avenue.

The North Broad Streetscape project will see 41 “decorative light towers,” each standing 55-feet tall, introduced to the median of Philly’s main artery. The $8.7 million project is funded by a mix of federal, state and city funds and will look to spur even more investment on North Broad Street.

“As a government, we want do anything we can to support growth and development along this important corridor,” said Mayor Nutter in a press release. “The North Broad Streetscape project will give this area a cohesive look and make it a safer, more inviting place for customers and residents. This project will return North Broad Street to its former glory as a main thoroughfare for our great city.”

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Eagles Watch Estate In Huntingdon Valley

Images via Zillow.com

Images via Zillow.com

Eagles Watch may sound like it was christened by your hardcore green-blooded uncle, but the truth behind the moniker of this Montgomery County estate isn’t actually that outré: it’s a home parked atop five acres filled with hundreds of mature trees and backs up to more than 800 preserved acres belonging to the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust. Naturally, the arboreal surroundings attract creatures of the avian variety, in this case the spot being of particular interest to nesting eagles. So cute!

The French Normandy-style home, custom built and completed in 2008, is said to boast fine carpentry and energy efficient amenities like seven climate control zones. Spaces of note include a stone and beam Great room with 20-foot ceiling and gourmet kitchen with hearth room, breakfast room and details like Sub-Zero fridge, stereo speaker system and Viking commercial 6 burner gas range. Downstairs, the lower level is an entertainment haven encompassing the likes of a wine tasting room, massage room, billiards parlor and game room. A fitness center with built-in bar and fridge is here too.

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Bella Vista’s Bean Exchange Building Sells; Coffee Shop Shutters

All images by TREND via Redfin

All images by TREND via Redfin

There’s a double-shot of an update regarding the building that housed the Bean Exchange at 7th and Bainbridge in Bella Vista. After being listed in July for $779,000, the building–which includes the retail space and two renovated 1-bedroom condos with parking–sold this week for $800,000, according to listing agent Kathleen Conway’s website (and Redfin).

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Airbnb Plans “Hosting Meetup” in Preparation for Philadelphia Papal Visit


How do I rent my place out when Pope Francis comes to town? 

It’s a question we’ve been getting for some time now (and even spelled it out for people).  But as the Philadelphia Papal Visit rapidly approaches, the tone with which the question is now being asked has transitioned from casual cooler talk to a holy-crap-it’s-in-less-than-a-month-please-help-me-for-the-love-of-God type urgency.

Relax, there’s still some time to make it happen.

Airbnb is running a free “Hosting Meetup” on Thursday night at Pipeline, a co-working space inside the Graham Building at 30 South 15th Street, to get new and prospective hosts acquainted with the process in advance the upcoming large scale events, including Made in America over Labor Day weekend and Papal Visit at the end of September.

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New York to Philly Among Largest Metro-to-Metro Migration Flows, Says Census Bureau

Feel like you’re always running into former New York denizens? It’s not surprising given that new statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau show the New York to Philadelphia mobility train to be one of the largest metro-to-metro flows in the country.

But let’s back up a second.

According to the Census Bureau press release regarding the new figures, the stats examine the overall metro-to-metro mobility within the United States and Puerto Rico using data gathered by the American Community Survey between 2009 and 2013. The numbers reveal that nearly 18 percent of all movers relocated to a different metropolitan area in the last year – that’s about 8.5 million people packing up their stuff and saying sayonara to their old home.

As mentioned earlier, Philly’s metro-to-metro inbound mobility proved in large part to be dominated by New Yorkers, with up to 26,957 per year moving to the Greater Philadelphia Metro during that time. We’ve known this has been happening for awhile, so Property dug a little deeper to find the next two metros whose residents up and left for Philly.

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Temple University Plans to Start Demolition at Barton Hall by End of the Week

Temple University Libray | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University Library | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Here’s a brief update on the status of Temple University’s upcoming $190 million library project. Patricia Madej of The Temple News talked with Dozie Ibeh, assistant vice president of the university’s Project Delivery Group, and it looks like the end of Barton Hall on Liacouras Walk is near.  “Demolition [of Barton Hall], which will cost about $2.8 million, is expected by the end of the week, with anticipated completion by the end of the year.”

The site will eventually house an impressive library designed by Snøhetta and Stantec. Temple University has been very busy this year, and crews have been removing hazardous material from the building over the summer. The project is scheduled to head before Civic Design Review on September 1 for an information-only presentation.

H/T: Main Campus undergoing a major facelift [The Temple News]

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