Local Agent Talks Safety in Wake of Realtor Murder


Being a realtor may not sound like a deadly career, but when you consider the chilling stories of this one or tragic cases like those of Vivian Martin, Andrew VonStein, Suzanne Parsons, and now, Beverly Carter (among many others), the dangers become more apparent.

In fact, Inman News reported a rise in real estate workplace deaths earlier this year; a 2012 statistic said the majority of deaths resulted from “violence and other injuries from persons or animals.” After speaking with local realtor Kaui Garcia, we don’t doubt it.

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Most Dreamt About Topics in Pennsylvania


Estately recently teamed up with dream interpretation website DreamsCloud to map the most dreamt about things by state. The findings in Pennsylvania? Apparently sales, walls, choking, the ocean, and lions–in that order–often make cameos during our sleep-time hours.

We imagine someone who had all five in one dream (or nightmare) might have gotten a scenario like this: You put your home up for sale–which happens to be at the bottom of the ocean–because the walls are lined with seaweed, but the potential buyers are lions who start choking you.

Below is the map with the topic that makes it into our dreams (or nightmares) the most often:

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Jon Runyan’s Ginormous $5.8M Estate With Sports Bar

TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach-Moorestown

TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach-Moorestown

The buildings on Jon Runyan‘s 23 acre estate were designed in the style of the French chateau by the David Donachy firm. They’re built, according to the listing, from Peruvian Travertine, limestone cast stone and custom ironwork. Naturally, as befits a former Eagle and current congressman, there are all kinds of amenities, including a surplus of purposeful rooms, like three home offices, a music room, and “a raised panel library for the little ones.” And then there’s that Tiki hut by the pool.

Most exciting, though, has to be that sports bar with its multiple TVs. The listing says it’s “dressed in timber,” but at the moment, it’s dressed in Eagles regalia as well. No surprise there. ’Tis the season! Gallery below.

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Selling Like Hot Cakes: Million Dollar Condos in Rittenhouse

#1105, 130 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

#1105, 130 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

Rittenhouse may be among the most expensive neighborhoods for renters looking for 1 and 2-bedrooms, but that didn’t stop buyers from purchasing homes in the area. Redfin shows that more than a few condos in the million-dollar range were sold in the last month. Below are galleries of just a few of these residences.

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Morning Headlines: Reading Terminal Market Included in Top 10 List of Great Public Spaces in America


Today the American Planning Association announces their selections for their annual “10 Great Public Spaces in America” list. As the title suggests, the catalog includes places from all corners of the country that “represent the gold standard” when it comes to having “a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.”

This year, Reading Terminal Market was included in the list.

According to Philly.com’s Bob Fernandez, the market’s general manager said APA picked the market because of “its history and function in Philadelphia, and the diversity of its food stores and customer base.”

Reading Terminal Market is a Top 10 public space [Philly.com]

In other news…

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DesignPhiladelphia Special VIP Offer!

design-philadelphia-logoThat’s right — if you register today for Property’s event at DesignPhiladelphia, you can get a front-row seat for FREE. Let me explain.

For the event, I decided to bring together a bunch of really funny, creative folks in and around the design world — people who develop properties, or write fiction about architects, or design urban farms, or photograph designs in progress, or do interior design on the Main Line for clients who think they’re too young and naive. Many people who have stories. Participants include Nathaniel Popkin, Khara Cartagena, Bradley Maule, Gretchen Kubiak, Nic Esposito, GroJLart, and more!

These people will be sharing their experiences during a storytelling hootenanny with an audience — that’s YOU! — at the AIA Bookstore and Design Center at 12th and Arch on October 9th. All the event info is below, and if you register now, or tomorrow, or, like, anytime before the event, YOU WILL GET IN FOR FREE.

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Rittenhouse Modern Drops to $5.9M

hank mcneill home

Tylenol heir Henry McNeil (who sold the famed “McIlhenney Mansion” at 1914 Rittenhouse Square to developer Bart Blatstein) was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about Philadelphia-area homes that have historic facades but modern interiors. The WSJ slideshow indeed demonstrates the contrast, which may or may not appeal to every buyer. But at the high end, the initial $8 million asking price was too hot to handle, it seems.

Since that time, McNeill has reduced the price to $6.85 million and now to $5.9 million. Below, there are new photos of the home since the last time it was listed.

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On the Market: $2M Boxly Estate in Chestnut Hill

515 W Gravers Ln, Philadelphia, PA, 19118

515 W Gravers Ln, Philadelphia, PA, 19118

A stream runs through the meadows surrounding Boxly, which, to give you an idea of its pedigree, was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who was involved in planning Central Park in New York.

The home itself is a 1903 Georgian Rival with high ceilings, crown moldings, and custom casework throughout. In 2005 and 2008, the home got some restoration done, but it wasn’t until 2012 that it got a three-story addition with family room, in-law suite, and a library with two-story windows.

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Development Roundup: Digital Billboards Are Finally Coming to Market Street and Other Projects…

Market Street side of Mellon Independence Center. Photo credit: Google Street View

Market Street side of Mellon Independence Center.
Photo credit: Google Street View

Construction making way for video billboards set to line the roof of the former Lit Bros. building on Market Street has begun. Philly.com’s Maria Panaritis reports $10 million went into the project with an additional $10 million going to updating nearby public amenities.

Investors and other involved parties are aiming for a New Year’s Eve light up as the area has long been a ghost of its retail past. The “stadiumlike, wraparound, LED signs” are expected to encourage redevelopment and bring in revenue, something it has already started doing:

Indeed, advertising contracts for billboards of this nature can be very lucrative. Merlini estimated that annual revenues from the signs to be installed atop the Lits building would be in the “seven figures.”

“We didn’t know what a revenue source it would be until we got into it,” he said, adding that advertisement contracts were already in place.

Here are other unfolding projects…

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Morning Headlines: St. Laurentius Decree Takes Effect Today

st laurentius church

Photo of St. Laurentius at Memphis and Berks in Fishtown: Google Street View.

For Philadelphia’s Roman Catholics, Sunday’s generally a day of prayer, but this week it was anything but for one Fishtown church, St. Laurentius, which Archbishop Chaput “decertified,” meaning it’s no longer a Roman Catholic church.

However, the decertification says the building can be used in the future for “profane but not sordid use,” according to the Inquirer — and that’ll be true even if it’s demolished and condos are put in its place.

Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the decree means that if the church is demolished or put to another use, the property could not be used for any purpose contrary to Catholic teachings. The order takes effect Wednesday…

John Wisniewski, a longtime member of St. Laurentius, said that a group of parishioners has hired a canon lawyer and that an appeal of the relegation was being sent to the Vatican.

While an appeal is in process, the church cannot be torn down, Gavin said.

Archbishop decertifies Fishtown church [Inquirer]

More headlines, this way…

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