Headlines: Could New Dorms Help Local Penn State Branches Compete?

penn-state-marquee

Universities around the city are rapidly expanding their footprint in order to give their institution the edge when it comes to attracting students and faculty. We know all about the boom at Penn, Drexel and Temple. Now, it’s a few local Penn State branches that are looking to get into the action.

Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that two satellite campuses–Abington and Brandywine in Media–are developing plans to construct new dorms “as a way to compete for students and give them a traditional college experience.” Both schools offer four year degrees and some students don’t want to make the move up to Happy Valley. That doesn’t mean they want to commute from home or miss out of the magical experience of living in the dorms.

Kostelni reports that the Brandywine plan is further along at this point. The $40 million project would contain a four-story residence hall with 248 beds. Plans also call for the construction of a “two-story student affairs center that would have a dining facility, health center, recreational facilities as well as other operations needed to support on-campus living.” Construction could start as early as 2016 and be completed by fall 2017.

Penn State to build dorms on Philadelphia-area campuses [Philadelphia Business Journal]

Citified to the Rescue (and More Headlines):

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NIMBY Cries Stall Proposed Rehabilitation Center in Haddonfield

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

“Where others see problems, O’Neill sees potential,” reads the O’Neill Properties Group mission statement. That attitude must be coming in handy for developer Brian O’Neill right about now. Per the Inquirer, Haddonfielders are putting up staunch “Not In My Back Yard” opposition to his plans of putting a rehab center at the site of the former Bancroft School.

Why the aversion to the parochial school savior’s project? For one thing, the building would be across from Haddonfield Memorial High School and just two blocks the local elementary school. This proximity has not sat well with parents and other locals:  “I cannot imagine a worse site than right next to a high school,” former Mayor Jack Tarditi was quoted as saying last week.

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Groundbreaking: Dranoff’s Luxurious One Riverside Sets the Date

One Riverside | Courtesy: Dranoff Properties

One Riverside | Courtesy: Dranoff Properties

Carl Dranoff is a busy man. We know all about his SLS International Hotel & Residences project at Broad and Spruce. However, let’s not forget about One Riverside, his other luxury condo high rise right on the edge of Schuylkill River Park. If the design by Cecil Baker doesn’t grab you, the tagline certainly will: “The River. The Park. The Ultimate.” And if that doesn’t work, check out the video.

The official groundbreaking for the 22-story project will be on Wednesday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. The building will house 82 condos, 15 of which have already been sold, according Erika Bohl, marketing manager at Dranoff Properties. Earlier reports indicated that priced would range from $685,00o on the lower end and all the way up to $6 million for the bi-level penthouse. The building at 25th and Locust has seen over $25 million in sales, noted Bohl in an email.

The first units are expected to be completed Read more »

Second Life: East Market Looks to Bring Hip Office Hub to Midtown Village

The new look building at 34 South 11th Street | Courtesy: SSH Real Estate

The new look building at 34 South 11th Street | Courtesy: SSH Real Estate

While much of the talk around the East Market mega-project as been about the digital signage, the renderings and the demolition, there is actually one component that has flown a little under the radar–the redevelopment of the former Family Court building at 34 South 11th Street.

The building will get a fancy new facade treatment from Morris Adjmi, but let’s check out what’s going to be under the hood, so to speak. The city’s first MOM’s Organic Market will be topped by 160,000 square-feet of creative office space aimed at developing Midtown Village/Market East into a vibrant live, work and play neighborhood–possibly even into the city’s tech hub. “It’s the type of space you normally can’t find two blocks from City Hall,” said Peter Soens, partner at SSH Real Estate. The firm is in charge of leasing at the building and part owner of the East Market project along with by National Real Estate Advisors, JOSS Realty Partners LLC and Young Capital LLC.

Usually, the cool-kid warehouse office space scene is reserved for the smaller boutique setups or the outskirts of the Center City in converted industrial buildings. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Glenlaurel Gladwyne Estate Going for Over $3.9 Million

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

It’s got a pretty name, and, fortunately, it offers so much more than that too. Glenlaurel, a stone and slate home by Durham and Irvine, is one of those regal Main Line residences that’s not only situated on three-plus-acres of “meticulously landscaped grounds” with mature trees and a spring fed pond, but was constructed in the style of an English Norman manor to boot. Throw in a pool and lighted tennis court and you’ve got yourself an impressive home.

In addition to its five bedrooms, the home’s service quarters provide three extra bedrooms. Recent changes to the house include renovated baths, refaced Poggenpohl kitchen cabinetry, and a finished lower level and covered rear terrace. A guest house / three-car garage has also been renovated and enlarged. It’s most visibly charming feature from the outside, however, must be the turret, which houses a turned staircase to the bedroom level where a master suite awaits.

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Headlines: Near Tragic Accident Caused by Crumbling 25th Street Viaduct

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

Do you see that rendering?  That’s what the 25th Street Viaduct in South Philadelphia is supposed to look like once the planned renovation project by the city and owners CSX is complete in five years. It’s pristine, as far as utilitarian concrete structures go. Today, however, is a much different, and nearly tragic, story.

Officials deemed the bridge “structurally sound” just a few weeks ago during the announcement of the renovations. NBC10 reports that a large chunk of concrete fell from the bridge near the intersection of 25th and Dickinson on Friday night in Point Breeze. It landed on the passenger side window of a BMW sedan. The driver narrowly escaped a tragic scene and was “shaken” but not injured.

Phase one, which is supposed to start in June, includes wrapping the bridge in safety netting. After the incident on Friday, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wants to get it going ASAP:

“The incident today shows we should start immediately cause it’s important,” Johnson said. “We don’t want to risk somebody else riding under this bridge and a catastrophe happening.”

A clogged drainage system is being labeled as the cause of the incident. For video at the scene, hit up that link from NBC10 below.

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City House of the Week: Historic Joseph Wetherill House in Society Hill

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

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

We’re back in Society Hill this week with a gorgeous historical home on one of the city’s premier streets: 233 Delancey. The home was built between 1800 and 1810 as the residence to Joseph Wetherill and is one of the finest examples of the Federal style in all of Philadelphia. Don’t believe us? Well, it’s registered, pal. It’s even got a four-picture slideshow in the Library of Congress.

Moving on. Read more »

Property’s Photo of the Week: Green Thumbs Gardening Under Guinn Mural

Admittedly, it’s slightly late, but this one is for Earth Day.

Yeah, it may be a little chilly and windy and crappy outside, but see those little green nubs? That means warmer, glorious weather is on the horizon. While we can’t predict the weather, we can be certain of one thing in this world: those with green thumbs  being well-prepared for the growing season. Big ups to the many neighborhood gardens throughout the city.

This shot comes from the highly successful and now super recognizable–thanks to the brilliant new mural by David Guinn–Manton Street Park and Community Garden in the ever-popular Dickinson Square West/Pennsport neighborhood of South Philly. Read more »

Is the Former Please Touch Museum Site Going to be Demolished?

The former Please Touch Museum Site at 208-212 N. 21st St. | Photo: James Jennings

The former Please Touch Museum Site at 208-212 N. 21st St. | Photo: James Jennings

Here’s an interesting nugget of information found in a document of the January minutes of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA). As you’ll read in topic #7 under the Zoning Committee report, Toll Brothers has “an agreement” to buy the former Please Touch Museum site at 208-212 North 21st Street (near Race). Fast forward to February, where minutes show that a meeting with near neighbors took place on January 28. Initial plans called to knock down the building in favor of a five-story (58-feet high) condo building housing “approximately 35 units” with balconies and underground parking accessed from Van Pelt Street.

Unsurprisingly, the proposal was met with “unanimous opposition” from near neighbors, who also deemed it “unacceptable” due to its size and it being “out of character with the rest of our neighborhood,” according to the doc. Ed Panek, LSNA’s zoning committee chair, would not comment on the project. When asked about the project, Michael Duff, marketing director at Toll Brothers, said, Read more »

New Habitat for Humanity ReStore Coming to Washington Avenue in June

Photo via Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia blog

Rendering via Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia blog

Point Breeze and Grays Ferry are two of Philly’s many up-and-coming ‘hoods, and we just caught wind of a small project adding to that slow but sustained spark of revitalization that may soon catch on: a Habitat for Humanity ReStore is coming to 23rd and Washington.

The latest addition to Washington Avenue is a mark of change on the South Philly strip, which locals like the Washington Avenue Property Owners Association have been trying to transform into a bustling business / retail corridor. As of recently, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission voted in favor of recommending “a new zoning overlay for Washington Avenue west of Broad Street,” according to Jared Brey over at PlanPhilly. The temporary overlay blocks undesirables from setting up shop on the avenue while community groups, the Commission, and the office of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson “work on long-term planning.” Undesirables include strip clubs, junk yards, storage facilities, car-oriented uses and more.

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