Early Renderings for 1911 Walnut Leaked; Developer Says They’re Outdated

1911 Walnut

The proposed site of 1911 Walnut | Photo: James Jennings

If a popular development forum is to be believed, it looks like Southern Land Company has gigantic plans for 1911 Walnut–like, 600-foot high glass castle-type plans. But as the old saying goes, you can’t necessarily believe everything you see on the Internet.

Representatives from Southern Land Company have long said they envision an iconic development for the site, and according conceptual renderings posted to a thread on the Philadelphia forum (and subsequently on Facebook) of Skyscraper Page, a tower consisting of apartments and condos (as well as many balconies and a large, tree-lined terrace) will rise to 51 floors and top 600 feet. Multiple site plans show a large, multi-story retail and amenity podium fronting Walnut Street, and another on 20th Street that wraps around the corner and onto Sansom Street.

It’s quite a spectacular sight, to be sure, but are these designs the real deal?

Yes, the renderings are indeed legitimate, or at least they were, a spokesperson for Southern Land Company confirmed with Property. However, they are no longer accurate and are out of date.

“We have been meeting with neighborhood stakeholders over the last several months to obtain their input and are updating the renderings accordingly,” wrote Rebecca Divine in a follow up email. “We will release the latest and greatest within the next two weeks. We are excited be a part of Rittenhouse Square and Philadelphia and look forward to sharing our plans with the community.”

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Philly’s Housing Market Roars Onward, Sale Numbers Highest Since the Recession

Photo credit: Julia Rowe | Flickr

Photo credit: Julia Rowe | Flickr

Philadelphia’s housing market is seeing major gains across the board, and according to a new quarterly report from housing guru Kevin C. Gillen, we haven’t seen these kinds of numbers since the Great Recession–or, as is the case with the number of $1 million home sales, ever!

Gillen, senior research fellow at Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and chief economist of Meyers Research LLC, dug into the Q3 numbers and found the rising tide has become a city-wide phenomenon: “Price appreciation continued across all of the City’s neighborhoods, while sales posted their best quarter in the post-bubble era and million dollar sales broke their all-time historic record.”

Let’s take a peek, shall we?

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Six Splendiferous Spaces to Make Your Holiday Season Bright

TREND image via Zillow

TREND image via Zillow

Trust us, the quirkiness will go up a few notches at certain points in this list, but we thought we’d ease you in by starting with a more traditionally designed space. This cozy room, found in what might be an outbuilding on this Main Line property, is just what we imagine for a family get together that counts several adolescents at the dinner table. Just picture it: Every one finishes their Turkey Day meal and the adults file into the formal family room, while the teens make their way here and hang out undisturbed, free to listen to their rock and roll music and do the Snapchatting. It’s a win-win!

The Bryn Mawr residence, which includes a 5-bedroom dwelling with columns, 2-car garage, and storage/playhouse, is listed for $1,699,000. More info here.

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Cherry on Top: Parkway Complex With Mega Whole Foods “Tops Out” Today

The Dalian

Rodin Square/The Dalian on the Park site from September | Photo: James Jennings

The development scene on the Ben Franklin Parkway is booming these days as multiple big-time projects–including a revamped luxury hotel, over 1,000 apartments, bridge and park improvements and more–are bringing all kinds of attention to Philly’s cultural corridor.

One such project, a massive mixed-use development dubbed Rodin Square, takes up about a full city block on a three-acre parcel bound by 21st ad 22nd streets, and Spring Garden Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street (map). Dalian Development and International Financial Company (IFC), along with INTECH Construction, will officially “top out” the project today at a ceremony slated for noon.

The event will take place on the tricked-out “Skydeck” amenity terrance overlooking the Parkway, and mark a milestone in the construction process for the $160 million project. The groundbreaking took place in August 2014, and construction is expected to fully wrap up in summer of 2016. The apartments will be ready soon thereafter, but you’ll have to wait a tad longer for the gigantic Whole Foods Market to arrive–it’s scheduled to open in fall 2016.

So what will we have when the proverbial dust has settled? Let’s just say you can expect some big things.
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Trinity Tuesday: Super Comfy Abode in Queen Village Hits the Market

TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred - Whipple-McFeely Team

TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred – Whipple-McFeely Team

Reader, please bear with us as we try to suppress our groan of longing. It’s not our fault that snug master suite with, yes, an exposed brick decorative fireplace has got some pretty strong curl-up-with-a-book-and-hot-cocoa vibes radiating off every corner. Loving the exposed beamed ceiling too. Our verdict? Heart eyes emoji!

Mind you, the house that it’s in is itself a charmer, too.

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Glam It Up: Makeover of 40th Street Trolley Portal to Start in 2016

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

In case you missed it, the University City District has published its latest State of University City report, an annually-released compendium of the developments bubbling up in University City. The guide spotlights several sectors in U.C., among them academic, commercial, and residential, as well as the impact UCD itself has on this section of the city.

With relation to the latter, the release of the report came with the announcement that the 40th Street Trolley Portal transformation would be seeing its groundbreaking take place next year.

We previously reported the makeover project, spearheaded by UCD in partnership with SEPTA, the city, and neighborhood leaders, came with the aim of turning the bleak station into a lively social space with greenery and stormwater infrastructure, movable furniture, and arts and cultural programming.

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For Rent: Port Richmond’s Pan-Dandy Ghost Sign Apartment

"Kolb's Pan-Dandy Bread" sign | Image: Conrad Benner, Streets Dept.

BEFORE: “Kolb’s Pan-Dandy Bread” sign| Image: Conrad Benner, Streets Dept.

Lookin’ for a unique pad to rent in Port Richmond? The apartment with the 100-year-old ghost sign is now for rent. The Somers Team pinged us on Twitter to let us know that the place is now completed, and the 2-bed, 2-bath apartment is going for $1,250 per month.

Conrad Benner of Streets Dept. snapped a bunch of great shots of the vintage Kolb’s Bakery sign during construction. Now, it’s the focal point of the bedroom. In short, it’s gorgeous.

The finished product looks super clean and sports and industrial look, especially because of the sign, the bottom portion of which looks to be incorporated into the shared landed and mail area.

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Twofer: Must-See Mini-Megatron Rowhome in Graduate Hospital

TREND image via Redfin

TREND image via Redfin

Hey, you there, do you live in a traditional Philly rowhome? You know, the two story, two bedrooms and one bath type that might also include a reasonably-sized (and typically concrete) yard.

Chances are high that you sometimes feel a tad cramped and you start to daydream about a tiny DIY project that involves knocking out a wall or two and just combining you beloved home with the one next door to give you some more space.

Wouldn’t it be cool? Wait, is that even possible?

Yes, dreams do come true, folks. Better still, you don’t even have to do the work yourself. That’s because this stellar home on Capenter Street in Graduate Hospital has been combined to create a mini-Megatron of rowhomes.
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Main Line Monday: Villanova’s Harriton Manor House Is a Blend of Past and Present

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

Interspersing historic buildings with new constructions, open space with sensitive site planning, not to mention an innovative stormwater management system atop a 55-acre site, it’s no wonder the Harriton Farm development earned the Montgomery County Planning Commission‘s 2007 Land Development Award.

Developed by Pohlig Builders, LLC, and designed by Michael Visich Architects and Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Harriton Farm is unique in that 7 of the 35 homes that reside within it are preserved structures, such as an 1860 gothic cottage, an 1880 Victorian barn and Queen Anne stable, and Lane’s End, an 18th-century farmhouse. There’s also the Harriton Manor House, which we’ve chosen as our Main Line Monday home for today.

Originally built in 1842, the Harriton Manor House sits on a lush plot overlooking a pond. It’s a country-style residence and as such offers features like plantation shutters and a breakfast room with fireplace and wood-stove insert. It’s newer details are likely to have come about during an extensive renovation in 2003. It was then that it had flagstone decking, a lower-level wine cellar and wet bar, and an apartment above the 3-car detached garage added to its repertoire. (FYI, its terrace is two stories and comes with massive columns.)

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Rittenhouse Coffee Shop Spared, Its Two Neighbors Still on Chopping Block

The Rittenhouse Coffee Shop on the 1900 block of Sansom Street

The Rittenhouse Coffee Shop on the 1900 block of Sansom Street

We’ve devoted quite a bit of time to the 1911 Walnut project already. The fact that something, anything, was going to happen at the lot was one of our bold predictions for 2015, so it’s only natural that we check in on any and every happening with the project. Well, news is starting to come fast and furious and it’s been a mixed bag of sorts, especially on the preservation front.

As you probably know, Southern Land Company bought the massive L-shaped assemblage in February for $30 million and recently submitted an application to the Historical Commission to demolish a trio of buildings on the 1900 block of Sansom Street, the northern border of the property. The list includes the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop, the Warwick apartment building, and the O.H.Bair Funeral Home. The developer has claimed economic hardship and cited that it would be too costly to revive the handsome structures, even though they told us in February that they intended “to work with the historic commission to restore the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop and Warwick.”

Well, it looks like they’ve done a slight about-face, as the company announced on Friday that they’ve pulled back the demo application for one of the three buildings, specifically the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop.

“As a result of meetings with officials from the Preservation Alliance and the Center City Residents’ Association task force, Southern Land Company, as a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to principles of historic preservation, will withdraw its application to the Historical Commission for the demolition of the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop.”

However, as per the next sentence in the release, we also learn that its neighbors aren’t necessarily so lucky: “The previously submitted applications for the severely deteriorated Warwick apartment building and Oliver Bair funeral home will remain in place.”

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