Main Line Monday: A Narberth Home With An Inviting Exterior

Not our usual MLM fare, this home offers some unique amenities.

Not our usual MLM fare, this home has some unique aspects.

Main Line Monday often features huge mansions and estates that are common in some of the Philly area’s wealthiest neighborhoods. At 3,207 square feet, this week’s house isn’t quite that. But it does have something that many of the most luxurious houses don’t—a wraparound porch.

A house could be 10,000 square feet and have four stories, but if it has a wraparound porch, you can bet we are going to lead with that. Every. Single. Time. They’re perfect for spending bright mornings with a book or warm evenings with a drink, and when we saw this house, there was no doubt we were writing about it. The stone exterior around the lower level just adds to the feels we get seeing this place.

This Narberth home is much more than its porch, however. It has recently been renovated, so it’s got an up-to-date interior. Much of the first floor has hardwood flooring, and the wide windows throughout the house are sure to let in tons of natural light.

The bathroom is a real eye-catcher, too. It’s got hardwood floors and huge windows of its own. In addition, there’s a standalone clawfoot bathtub and a stylish walk-in shower. His and hers sinks round out the room.

THE FINE PRINT

Beds: 5

Baths: 3.5

Square Feet: 3,207

Price: $799,000



LOVE Park: Ceremonial Groundbreaking Set for Wednesday

LOVE Park | Hargreaves and Associates

LOVE Park | Hargreaves and Associates

The $16.5 million revamp of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park will officially commence this Wednesday, as city officials and project partners will gather for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the iconic public square at 11 a.m.

It’s unclear when LOVE Park will officially close to the public. Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring and last 12 to 16 months.

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Farmhouse Friday: Villanova House Has 21st Century Style and 19th Century History

This renovated farmhouse offers luxury on an antique foundation.

This renovated farmhouse offers luxury on an antique foundation.

This week’s featured home for Farmhouse Friday is a testament to restoration, renovation and expansion. Technically, it’s Harriton Farm Springhouse, a farmhouse built in the 1840’s. However, it only takes a glance to see that today it is so, so much more than that.

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$24 Million Loan Arranged for Redevelopment of Former West Philadelphia High School

The former West Philadelphia High School | via Colliers

The former West Philadelphia High School | via Colliers

The redevelopment of the former West Philadelphia High School into an apartment building has been talked about for some time–the better part of four years–but there has been little to no movement on the project. It looks as though that could soon change.

Colliers International announced today that the company has arranged a $24 million loan for “the acquisition and redevelopment” of the shuttered school building at 47th and Walnut.

Strong Place Partners (SSP), a Brooklyn-based development company, had sought to turn the shuttered school building into a mixed-use property consisting of 298 loft-style apartments with ground floor retail. The firm first presented their plans back in 2012, and expected the building to be move-in ready by 2016.

Though the Office of Property Assessment still shows the School District of Philadelphia as the owner of the building, it lists WPHS Venture Partners LLC as the mailing address; its Brooklyn street address leads to a company called Heights Advisors. Their website describes the project at 4700 Walnut as a “gut rehabilitation,” and states construction will commence in 2017.  Representatives from Heights Advisors were not immediately available for comment.

So what’s been the hold up?

“The borrower wanted to purchase and reposition the former school located in West Philadelphia near University City,” said Kristopher Wood of Colliers International Capital Markets in a release, who along with CICM’s John Banas arranged the loan. “Getting a construction loan was challenging because this was the first development the New York developer had done in Philadelphia, and many thought the location was not ready for 298 new apartments.”

A lot has changed in four years, to say the least. Developers are betting big that University City will continue its ascension onto the national scene as a force for eds, meds, and technology, and they’ve been lining up multiple apartment projects to accommodate the influx of young professionals.

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Brandywine Realty Trust Unloads 58 Properties in Near $400 Million Deal

Brandywine Realty Trust expects to close on the sale of Cira Square this month | Google Street View

Brandywine Realty Trust expects to close on the sale of Cira Square this month | Google Street View

Brandywine Realty Trust has sold a large portfolio of properties to an affiliate of Och Ziff Capital Management Group LCC, according to a company release.

The complex deal–worth $398.1 million–includes nearly 4 million square feet of rentable space over 58 “non-core holdings” in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. It marks the completion of what Brandywine called a “multi-year portfolio repositioning strategy” totaling $1.1 billion.

“The 2015 and early 2016 dispositions provide significant liquidity and results in a portfolio much more focused on urban and town center properties,” said Gerard Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine realty Trust, in the statement. “In addition, these transactions significantly increase our financial capacity, reduce debt and provide ample liquidity for our development pipeline.”

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Just-Listed Home on East Passyunk Avenue Betwixt the Pope and Brigantessa

TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

Looking for a place that is quite literally in the middle of all the action on East Passyunk Avenue? Of course you are!

We’re not delving into broker babble, either. Head out the front door of this newly listed home at 1516 East Passyunk Avenue and you’ll hit all kinds of fun shops, great gastropubs and killer restaurants. Hang a louie, and you’re steps from Brigantessa. A quick right takes you to the Pub on Passyunk East (“the POPE”), and either direction takes you to great coffee options at either B2 or Black N Brew.

Our point is that you have a ton of options, including childcare two doors down at Alphabet Academy and a damn ACME down the block.

So what about the digs?
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New Plan for the SS United States: Have it Sail Again

Restored SS United States - rendering

Rendering of the restored SS United States from Crystal Cruises

The SS United States may sail again after all.

At a press conference today in Manhattan, SS United States Conservancy director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruise president Edie Rodriguez announced a proposed $700-plus million restoration and modernization of the SS United States, after which the 990-foot long ship will return to active cruise service. The news was first reported by The New York Times this morning.

There were not concrete details today. Rodriguez said all the decisions on the ship’s future would be ironed out in the feasibility study. There is no decision on where the ship will be docked, though Gibbs said she’d like it to be New York. Either way, the ship is likely headed out of Philadelphia.

“I’d like to thank the City of Philadelphia for so warmly hosting the SS United States,” Gibbs said. “Together, we beat the odds. And together, we refused to give up.” Read more »

Bart Blatstein Seeks Variance for 32-Story Tower, Retail at Broad and Washington

Broad and Washington | Google Maps

Broad and Washington | Google Maps

We all know Bart Blatstein has big plans for the northeast corner of Broad and Washington, but when are we going to see some action at the lot that spans a full city block? The answer is that it could actually be soon. Fingers crossed, of course.

Blatstein is seeking zoning variances to construct one 32-story tower that consists of 944 apartments, 11 retail spaces, 882 parking spots, 357 bike parking spaces, and what the appeal refers to as 80 units of “visitor accommodations” (potentially a hotel or extended stay apartment scenario) on floors one through nine.

The plan has gone through a few iterations over the past two years. The original incarnation didn’t have a residential component, instead it was project similar to Blatstein’s work on Columbus Boulevard: a bunch of big box stores.

The apartment tower aspect was added soon thereafter, as the plan called to build one 800-unit tower over some retail. It then morphed into a dual-tower mega project that included over 1,600 apartments over 200,000-square-feet of retail and an amenity deck. Though certainly not finalized, this ZBA appeal looks to be closer to Blatstein’s first residential trick, with the possibility of a hotel now added as an intriguing wrinkle.

Blatstein could not be reached for comment on the new plans, so there’s no telling if that second tower could be built in the future.

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Penthouse Condo at Old City’s Other National Building Boasts Bridge Views

Old City views abound in this penthouse at The National | TREND images via BHHS Fox and Roach-Walnut

Old City views abound in this penthouse at The National | TREND images via BHHS Fox and Roach-Walnut

So there’s sort of a unique situation happening over on North 2nd Street in Old City.

As you may have seen, the gloriously orange National Products Company building –or simply “The National”– adjacent to Elfreth’s Alley has been demolished. It will soon to be reborn (and re-tiled) as a 6-story apartment building dubbed The National at Old City East. Read this excellent piece from Bradley Maule at Hidden City for more information.

However, as Maule notes, there’s a 10-story condo building across the street that now bears the “National” moniker. So yeah, we’ll soon have a dueling-National situation on North 2nd, one chockfull of apartments and the other with high-end condos.

This super cool penthouse unit at the current National just hit the market for $879,900, and offers plenty of city views from its many oversized windows. The listing from BHHS Fox & Roach says you can see the Ben Franklin Bridge (see above), Old City, the Delaware River and even the “Jersey Skyline,” which we’ll assume they simply forgot to add future onto that last one before the skyline bit.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: A Rittenhouse Square Home With Heavenly Sunroom

Open floor plans define this Rittenhouse Square home.

Open floor plans define this Rittenhouse Square home.

Our latest edition of Jawdropper of the Week is a two-story contemporary home in Rittenhouse Square that’s just…cool. Currently listed at $1,900,000, it’s designed with a worldly flair fitting for one of Philadelphia’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Almost every space in the three bedroom, four and a half bathroom home has a wide open floor plan that allows the owner to choose from limitless layout possibilities.

Stick around for the gallery after the jump. You’re not going to want to miss this sunroom.

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