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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

A Rowhouse In Manayunk That Is Not a Rowhouse

manayunk canal

Pretty Manayunk. Photo by Liz Spikol.

Manayunk’s Main Street waxes and wanes, but here’s something new: Rowhouse, a furniture and home goods store, which Shoppist describes as “a treasure hunt for cool home finds.” We don’t have much intel yet, but for some initial info, head here.

Reduced: Andy Reid’s Villanova Home

andy reid's house

Detail photo of Andy Reid’s Villanova house via Main Line Executive Realty, Inc.

When we say that former Eagles coach Andy Reid’s Villanova home dropped its asking price by “about $300,000 last week,” what we mean is this: it actually dropped $300,001. That’s real estate for you: that exceedingly precise dollar amount makes it possible to now put the home’s ask below $2 million, which is to say $1,999,999. Bob Barker would love that.

A little refresher, with some notes for winter: The very private Main Line home is at the end of a cul-de-sac and has two fireplaces and a heated driveway and front walkway for easy snow removal. Specs and gallery below.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Saffron: Philly’s Boardwalk Beats NYC’s High Line

Photo via Schuylkill Banks on Facebook.

Photo via Schuylkill Banks on Facebook.

Phila.’s new gem: A stroll on the Schuylkill [Inquirer]

Inga Saffron is downright ebullient today. Her feelings about the newly completed and opened Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk are unmistakable:

As wonderful as the High Line is, it merely allows people to wend their way through Manhattan a few stories above its bustling streets. When the latest segment of the Schuylkill Banks trail opens to the public Thursday, you’ll be able to walk on water, under the glittering gaze of the Center City skyline.

Take that, New York.

Saffron is convinced that the Boardwalk trumps the High Line mostly for its transformative powers. She alternately says the distanced perspective can make Center City feel like “outer space” at night and that at other times, “strange optical illusions appear.” Why, she asks, does it look like there’s a Penn building on Spruce Street when we all know it’s on Walnut?

Read more »

Property’s Weekend Agenda: Mid-Century Modern Sale

vintage-mcm-sale

I feel for Joe Ujj, the person who’s having a mid-century modern furniture/art/lighting/accessories sale this weekend in New Hope. I don’t know him, but he posted the info online, and wrote, along with his description of the items, “Not everything is pictured yet, this got kind of overwhelming.” Oh, man.

Well, we’re about to make it more so by suggesting readers go. Here’s what’s up. It’s a two-day sale with, Ujj writes, “mostly 60′s, 70′s and 80′s modernist pieces. Some real designer stuff, some ‘style of’ and some just fun decorative pieces. I love to buy stuff, but I have to sell stuff so I can buy more stuff.”

He notes that “artisan Yvette Prazsak from Princeton, NJ will also be selling her incredible, handmade jewelry, glass pieces, artwork, etc.”

WHAT: Vintage MCM sale
WHEN: Saturday Sep 27, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday Sep 28, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
WHERE: 6220 Lower York Rd., New Hope, PA 18938
WHY: Look at these photos

Falcon Condominiums Ready to Launch

Four of the units feature master bedrooms that are 15'x15'. Rendering via FalconCondominiums.com

Four of the units feature master bedrooms that are 15′x15′. Rendering via FalconCondominiums.com

I once asked Bart Blatstein, one of the more successful developers in Philadelphia, what he thought were some of the biggest issues in city development. The first thing he said? The scarcity of female developers in Philadelphia. (The second thing he mentioned was minority developers.) It is certainly true that the names that get mentioned over and over are men’s — Carl Dranoff, Eric Blumenfeld, Kenny Gamble, Tom Scannapieco, etc. But it’s also true that there are women in the business, including Lesley Scannapieco, who plans to develop the former Bok School. Add to that list of names Khara Cartagena, a successful businesswoman (she’s the owner of the Velvet Lily), who’s been quietly developing since she was 18. With her newest project, the Falcon Condominiums on the 3800 block of Terrace Street, she’s making a bit more noise.

First, the skinny: the condos, built on the site of the former Falcon Polish Social Hall, consist of seven contemporary units in the heart of Manayunk. The units are three stories; six have two bedrooms, one den and two and a half baths. There’s also a one-bedroom unit that’s ADA compliant. All units have at least one patio, if not two, and there’s secure garage parking. Kitchens have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and bamboo floors, while bathrooms have both wood grained tile and white wall tile. The units range from 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, except for the one bedroom, which is 600 square feet.

Read more »

$1.75M Princeton Estate With Luxe Amenities

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

We have already seen Sally Weisman’s new home in New Hope (to be honest, we are still dreaming of that perfect patio). At the time, it was hard to imagine why she would have been reluctant to move there. Now we see the home she’s leaving in Princeton, and it’s a lot easier to understand. The five-bedroom estate has recently been listed at $1.75 million, and it is just as jaw-dropping as the New Hope property.

The home is stretched over nearly 6,000 square feet of living space. The main level includes a formal foyer and center hall, a sun room, an office, the kitchen, a butler’s pantry, a breakfast room, and formal living and dining rooms. The kitchen namechecks all the luxury appliance brands. A Viking six-burner stove is not far from the SubZero refrigerator, and it’s all connected with granite. Upstairs the master suite has a sitting room all its own and an en-suite spa-like bath with a double walk-in closet. Two additional bedrooms are each en-suite and the remaining two bedrooms share a bath. The laundry room rounds up the upstairs living space. The finished lower level includes a game room, exercise room, additional laundry facilities, a kitchenette, storage and a serious wine cellar. The cellar is fully conditioned and has room for more than 1,000 bottles.

Read more »

« Older Posts