36 Affordable Townhomes to Replace Vacant Lot in Port Richmond

Grace Town Homes rendering | Kramer + Marks Architects | Image courtesy of Ceisler Media

Kramer + Marks Architects | Courtesy of Ceisler Media

About ten minutes from the blighted Orinoka textile factory building, another eyesore takes up promising real estate. Fortunately, like Orinoka, the vacant lot at 2201 E. Auburn Street in Port Richmond awaits a Friday groundbreaking on a project that will, upon completion, bring 36 affordable townhomes to the area. Completion is anticipated for fall 2016.

The residential development is to be called Grace Town Homes, according to a press release, and was conceived from a partnership between the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and the Firm Hope Baptist Church. It was designed by Kramer + Marks Architects.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: French Country Estate-Style Dream on the Main Line

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

If this week’s Main Line Monday home seemed fitting as the setting for a Sabrina remake, then this Villanova residence would work great in a period film. Stylized in the character of French Colonial country estates, the three-acre property vaunts superb outdoor spaces by award-winning landscape architect Chuck Hess, while the home itself was designed by Peter Zimmerman Architects, a local firm noted for their historic preservation and residential projects on the Main Line. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Built in 2002, the house at 1113 Brynlawn Road offers elegant rooms with accents that include coffered and latticework ceilings, fireplaces (there are seven total), reclaimed antique pecan floors, and custom millwork. Floor-t0-ceiling windows and French doors are also throughout, with a pair in the garden room leading out to a flagstone patio overlooking the multi-garden grounds (which, for the record, was the Association of Professional Landscape Designers “Residential Best of Show” award winner in 2007). The garden room also connects to a a gallery with access to the study and open family kitchen. Specs and photos below.

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Temple University’s High-Tech Library Gets High Marks at Civic Design Review

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

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

Temple University’s flashy new library went before the Civic Design Review Committee on Tuesday, and it might be an understatement to say that the information-only presentation went well. PlanPhilly’s Jared Bray was on hand as CDR board member Cecil Baker proclaimed his love for the design of the project telling Temple’s architect, Margaret Carney: “I see your project and I get filled with hope.”

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Sold: Connor Barwin’s Super-Cool Rittenhouse Condo With Speakeasy Bar

Left: Jeff Fusco | Right: BHHS Fox   Roach, Center City Walnut

Left: Jeff Fusco | Listing Images by OBEO Photographers via TREND/BHHS Fox & Roach, Center City Walnut

It’s been a busy summer for Connor Barwin. When he’s not at training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles, the guy has been hard at work (literally) making the transformation at Ralph Brooks Park a reality. Somehow, between his gridiron plays and his urbanist ways, Barwin found time to sell his home at 18th and Pine.

That’s right, Barwin’s amazing condo a short walk from Rittenhouse Square sold in early June for $1.25 million, according to city records. If you’ve been following along at home, that’s spot on to the original list price.

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Eastern Half of The Gallery to Shutter in October

15COR108-GalleryPP-9thMarket

Officials from SEPTA and PATCO confirmed today that PREIT plans to shut down the eastern half of the Gallery mall on October 2nd, as the developer commences with the first phase of its $325 million vision that will eventually see it become the glossy Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.

Jeff Gammage of The Inquirer reports that PREIT notified both SEPTA and PATCO officials of the announcement today via hand-delivered letter, which outlined the PREIT’s plan: “The first stage of demolition at the three-block mall will take place between Eighth and 10th Streets. A barricade will block access to the east, and to the stairs and escalator at 10th, which now usher people up to ground level at Market Street.”

The second phase includes work on the western portion of the mall to 11th Street, and is anticipated to begin in 2016.

So, will it be a long, cold winter for the thousands of commuters who prefer to make their way to and from Center City through the warm concourse of The Gallery?

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Trinity (Two-Fer) Tuesday: Chester County Farmhouse With Ties to Prohibition Liquor Still Operation

Still Hollow Farm, a Chest County Farmhouse

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach, Exton

This is a very special edition of Trinity Tuesday–a two-fer, if you will. This historic property in Glenmoore is dubbed Still Hollow Farms, and boasts not only a main house dating back to the 1760’s, but also a standalone trinity within the friendly confines of its 14-acre farm. Typically, we’d save this one for our Farmhouse Friday, but we got too excited about it and, well, here we are.

Throw in the fact that Chester County legend has it the property came to be named Still Hollow Farms due to it housing a popular (and illegal) liquor operation serving Philadelphians during the dark ages of Prohibition, and we damn near fainted when we read the listing.

Jean Pecknoe, the home’s listing agent and Realtor with BHHS Fox & Roach in Exton, tells us that there are actually four buildings on the property: the main house, the trinity, a spring house and a bank barn that features a caretaker’s apartment. “It’s a very pretty property,” Pecknoe says.

The main house dates back to the 1760’s and, though added to over the years, its field stone and cedar shingle exterior has kept that classic farmhouse feel. Let’s all grab a glass of sun-brewed iced tea and mozy on inside this place.

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Spotted: Industrial Loft On Washington Avenue Before it Was Cool

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach, Center City, Rittenhouse Hotel

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach, Center City, Rittenhouse Hotel

Washington Avenue is a hotbed of activity (and talk) these days. And hell, if Bart Blatstein is bullish on the strip currently marked with shopping malls, massive industrial buildings, home improvement centers and cars parked everywhere from the sidewalk to the median to the bike lane, well then, we are, too.

You know who else was rather keen on Washington Avenue? Developer David Grasso, when his development company transformed a former industrial building at 11th and Washington into the at the Lofts at Bella Vista, a 78-unit condo building topped with classy penthouse units.

That was back in 2006. Now, #505 is available for $425,000, and if Blatstein’s thinking that Washington Avenue could see a potential of $1 billion in future investment (as he said in the Citified piece, you should read it), then that might actually turn out to be a bargain.

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Under Armour Flagship, Apartment High-Rise Planned for 16th and Walnut

1527-33 Walnut Street | Rendering via Pearl Properties, DAS

1527-33 Walnut Street | Rendering via Pearl Properties, DAS

Plans are starting to take shape for two key properties on the corner of 16th and Walnut, as owner Pearl Properties is busy working on designs for 1527 and 1529-33 Walnut Street–the former site of Lululemon and current home of the Brown Brothers Harriman Co. building, respectively.

“We are very excited and are still working on our final designs with our architect, DAS,” said James Pearlstein, the “Pearl” in Pearl Properties, in an email. ” Our plan is a mixed use residential apartment project anchored by two large retail spaces, Under Armour on the corner and an additional retailer to the east.”

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Transformation In Store For Vacant Factory Building on Spring Garden

Google Street View

Google Street View

Situated near the corner’s edge of Spring Garden and 11th, the old Lawsonia Building stands in anticipation of a pending renovation and three-story addition. The news, which we heard from GroJLart on Hidden City Daily, is great, considering the property has been vacant for well over a decade. Harman Deutsch Architecture is designing the mixed-use development, he says, which will include ground level commercial space. Currently, zoning issues have the project on hold.

According to GroJ, the structure has been in the neighborhood for eighty-five years and started out as the manufacturing headquarters of the Woodward-Wanger plumbing supplies company. The facility was actually a $45,000 construction built on the site of the original factory, which had consisted of five combined row houses that operated for fourteen years before burning down in 1929. The newer colonial revival building, he writes, lasted a little longer, with seven decades and a stint as a hand-crafted furniture workshop (Lawsonia Manufacturing Company) under its belt. It was vacated in 2002 and has been empty ever since.

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Main Line Monday: Refined Villanova Manse Perfect Setting for Sabrina Remake

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

With Hollywood’s occasional remake frenzy in mind, we propose this Villanova home as one of the settings for a modern-day version of Sabrina, a 1954 rom-com starring Audrey Hepburn. (Let’s pretend the Harrison Ford* one never happened.) Without giving too much away, there’s an early scene in the film where a young, heartbroken Sabrina locks herself in the multi-car garage after seeing her crush, the spoiled younger son of her father’s rich employer, with another woman. She blacks out from car exhaust poisoning, but is saved at the last minute by Humphrey Bogart, the more together, mature elder son. You can imagine how this is going to end, right?

Anyway, the point is this residence has an expanded four-door garage that would be an excellent backdrop for that scene. It doesn’t hurt that it can actually hold up to seven vehicles, what with its three commercial parking lifts, thereby driving the point that Sabrina, the daughter of the family chauffeur, is considered a less than suitable match for either of the young men of the house and vice-versa (the house staff wants to protect her good name).

Other high-end features on the property include a pool and pool house, while inside are three separate recreation areas, plus a walk-in, temperature-controlled wine cellar. What’s more, the grey stone Tudor has several French doors with original leaded glass, as well as a marvelous Downsview kitchen with built-in banquette seating in the breakfast room. Then, there’s the matter of the deluxe master retreat, which has a bathroom encompassing separate baths, hers with seated shower, jetted tub, fireplace, and adjacent walk-in closet; his with steam shower and dressing area. A mirrored gym can be found on the third level.

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