Why Parkway’s Doubling Down on North Broad

Parkway Corporation's proposed development at Broad and Spring Garden would add offices to the residence-retail mix found in other North Broad projects currently underway. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Parkway Corporation’s proposed development at Broad and Spring Garden would add offices to the residence-retail mix found in other North Broad projects currently underway. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Along with Eric Blumenfeld, Parkway Corporation has become one of the most important developers along the North Broad Street corridor. And like Blumenfeld, Parkway sees the street as having untapped potential as an all-day live/work/play environment. (The folks at Parkway should know: the company headquarters is at Broad and Race streets.)

What’s different about Parkway’s latest development proposal is that it seeks to combine all three of those elements into a single package at a convenient location.

“It’s my dream to build significant office space there, to get some jobs into that neighborhood,” said Parkway CEO Robert Zuritsky. “The retail and residential are a slam dunk, but [North Broad] is also an important commercial district.” Read more »

Networking Comes to the Field of Design

Mix & Match Design worked with a Malvern couple to turn an empty apartment bedroom into a charming rustic space. By doing the furniture-buying themselves based on Charney Widmer's list of items, they saved a bundle. | Photo: Mix & Match Design

Mix & Match Design worked with a Newtown Square couple to turn an empty apartment bedroom into a charming rustic space. By doing the furniture-buying themselves based on Chaney Widmer’s list of items, they saved a bundle. | Photo: Mix & Match Design

One of the great blessings networked computing brings us is the ability to do our work from just about anywhere.

Medical professional Chaney Widmer realized that early on when she decided to give her interest in interior design room to roam on the side. Then, as friends began asking her if she could help answer their design questions, she realized something else: networked computing makes it possible to work with just about anyone, no matter where they might be.

Put the two insights together and you get the business Widmer left the healthcare field to launch, Mix & Match Design Company.

Her firm’s product: Affordable interior design for the rest of us. Read more »

11 Philly-Themed Home Items That Will Actually Look Cool in Your House

philly-etsy-itemsIt’s just a fact of life that themed home decor of any kind can skew really cheesy really fast. There’s a delicate tipping point at which you go from having a good eye for interesting pieces to becoming the weird bag lady with all the porcelain cat figurines.

But another fact of life is this: Philadelphians love Philadelphia. And that’s a good thing. But decor-wise, the trouble begins when you start filling your home with every kind of Philly-themed item under the sun (especially if said items have to do with your favorite Philly sports team).

I’m here to tell you: Moderation is key. One or two striking pieces or objects that show your hometown pride can add a nice punch to your room. I waded through the depths of Etsy to find a handful of non-cheesy Philly-themed pieces you could be proud to display in your home. Just don’t overdo it.  Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: An XXL Trinity in Rittenhouse for $600K

403 S 21st St., Philadelphia, Pa. | TREND image via BHHS Fox & Roach, Realtors

403 S 21st St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Do you love a little bit of history with a modern twist?

If so, say hello to this expanded trinity built in 1917 and located in the heart of Rittenhouse Square.

With two Juliet balconies, a brick paver yard in need of a little bit of love, and that troublesome trinity staircase separating the second and third levels, it may appear that this property is the definition of a traditional trinity. However, its expansive size – for a trinity, of course – separates it from the rest of its kind.

New updates on the main level like the beautiful parquet floors, a marble mantel fireplace, and an adorable breakfast area fit with a floor-to-ceiling window and sliding glass doors add some modern touches that make this property even more special.

Oh, and let’s take a moment to appreciate the modified staircase between the first and second levels.

Speaking of the second level, potential buyers will be pleased to find not just one room, as a typical trinity offers, but three: a den, an office, and an expansive bedroom.

There’s also a full bathroom on the second level that could use a little work – but if you need some inspiration, just head up to the third level, which boasts another full bathroom that’s newly designed with sleek gray tiling, a modern stall shower, and a stylish vanity.

Two additional bedrooms finish off the third level. The laundry room is located in the basement, though, so don’t worry about hitting the gym on laundry day.

This expansive trinity has all the makings of a great home, from curb appeal to interior comfort.

THE FINE PRINT

BEDS: 3

BATHS: 2

SQUARE FEET: 1,512

SALE PRICE: $600,000

OTHER STUFF: This home’s price was reduced by $25,000 on Dec. 15.



403 S. 21st St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 [Mike McCann | BHHS Fox & Roach]

How Builders Discover What Lies Beneath

Builders of commercial and industrial projects, including apartment buildings, can run into costly surprises if they don't check out the condition of the land they're building on - and what's under it. That's where geotechnical engineers come in. | Photo: GZA

Builders of commercial and industrial projects, including apartment buildings, can run into costly surprises if they don’t check out the condition of the land they’re building on – and what’s under it. That’s where geotechnical engineers come in. | Photo: GZA

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the most famous example of what happens when builders fail to do due diligence on the land beneath their buildings and the things that may lie beneath it.

Unfortunately, back in the 1100s, there wasn’t really anyone around who knew enough about such things to advise the tower’s builders on how to avoid potential problems.

Today, there are experts who can offer that advice. They’re known as “geotechnical engineers.”

Ernie Hanna is one. He’s the principal in the Philadelphia office of GZA, a Massachusetts-based engineering and construction management firm with two other offices in this area; the Center City Philadelphia office is its newest. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Contemporary Country Home in Berwyn for $675K

160 Hunt Valley Circle, Berwyn, Pa. 19312 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

160 Hunt Valley Circle, Berwyn, Pa. 19312 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Looking for a backwoods retreat, filled with country charm and nestled deep in the forest?

How about one from which you could commute to your city job every day?

Except for the depth of the forest, we’ve found your place. But it seems to us that a three-acre lot should be plenty deep enough for your purposes.

And it comes with a bonus: a huge serving of modern sophistication to go along with the country charm. Read more »

That House Out There: Light(s) Fantastic in Upper Darby for $229K

11 S. Lynn Blvd., Upper Darby, Pa. 19082 | Images: Ann Marie Lander, Berks 360 Tour Designs via Wagner Real Estate

11 S. Lynn Blvd., Upper Darby, Pa. 19082 | Images: Ann Marie Lander, Berks 360 Tour Designs via Wagner Real Estate

The first question we asked when this listing crossed our radar screen was:

Are all those chandeliers included with the purchase?

The owner of this eclectically decorated Georgian Revival home in Upper Darby clearly has a thing about light fixtures in general and chandeliers in particular: it appears there’s not a single room in the house that lacks a chandelier, and several, including the huge master bedroom on the third floor, have more than one.

Then toss in the paper lanterns, ceiling fan lights, and distinctive pendant fixtures, and this home becomes a true festival of light — augmented by the natural light that pours through the home’s generously sized windows. Read more »

Coming Soon from Comcast: The Wireless Remote For Your Whole House

Comcast announced its new Advanced Wireless Gateway at CES 2017 | Image via Comcast

Comcast announced its new Advanced Wireless Gateway at CES 2017. | Photos: Comcast

If you’re one of the 10 million current Xfinity Wireless Gateway users, your whole household is about to experience a change – and for the better.

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Comcast demoed a brand new cloud-based platform that will provide users with an easier way to manage all of their digital devices in the home.

A Comcast news release says in the first half of 2017, the platform will be enabled automatically for the 10 million current Xfinity Internet users in possession of a Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to 15 million when the Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to all customers in the second half of the year.

This new cloud-based program, along with the Advanced Wireless Gateway, is a whole-home networking solution that will deliver faster and more reliable connectivity in the home, allow users to easily add devices, and have voice control capabilities when paired with an Xfinity X1 remote. Other features include parental control, monitoring, scheduling, pause, and more.

These parental control features are anything but ordinary, though, thanks to Comcast’s new mobile app. From your smartphone device, you can customize your own household rules and schedules (like no Wi-Fi for the kids on weeknights) and put your house in “bedtime mode” to block certain devices from internet access after a certain time.

You can even enjoy an interruption-free dinnertime, as the app allows you to pause all devices at any time.

Image via Comcast

Image via Comcast

That’s not all the app does, either. It also makes setting up your new Gateway system easy (and who doesn’t love a stress-free setup?). All you have to do is download the mobile app, scan the QR code on your Gateway device, and create a simple username and password. Then, the device will automatically connect to all Wi-Fi devices in that home.

The Advanced Gateway is based on the Intel Puma 7 system on a chip. Both companies are collaborating to make the digital home even more innovative for the modern household.

The average household currently has ten connected devices, but this number is expected to skyrocket to 50 by 2020, according to Navin Shenoy, corporate vice president and general manager for the client computing group (CCG) at Intel.

“I believe we are at the beginning of a new cycle of growth – a virtuous cycle between devices and the data center,” Shenoy said at Computex 2016. “The question we ask at Intel is, how do we accelerate this virtuous cycle. One fundamental way is to make devices smarter and more connected.”

Intel believes that the increase in number of connected devices per household will also lead to an increase in the demand for gateway devices.

Comcast Cable Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer Chris Satchell said in Comcast’s news release, “People want to connect and control the products and devices in their home, quickly and easily. By creating this new home solution and offering it to millions of people as part of their existing internet subscription, our combination of speed, personalized controls, features and devices has the potential to make the Internet of Things and the Digital Home more of a reality than ever.”

Comcast plans to make the platform available to its syndication partners later in the year.

What $500K Will Buy You in Fishtown

1349 E. Oxford Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | TREND image via Space & Company Real Estate

1349 E. Oxford Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | TREND image via Space & Company Real Estate

It’s no secret that Fishtown is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, especially for Millennials or anyone looking for a hint of food and culture. Formerly known for its booming shad fish industry, this hip neighborhood has been recently dominated by a flood of new bars, restaurants and music venues that make it even more appealing to younger people looking to plant their roots in Philadelphia. But just how affordable is this colorful, urban neighborhood for aspiring homeowners?

With most properties falling between $200,000 to $400,000, but some stretching upwards to $800,000 or more, it seems there is truly something for everyone in this up-and-coming neighborhood. We searched for homes that fall right in the middle, around $500,000, and what we found was this: there is a pretty even distribution of properties between Frankford Avenue and Lehigh Avenue. Here are our top three picks: Read more »

Philly’s A Bargain* for the Short-Term Renter

You could spend top dollar for a fabulous short-term furnished residence

You could spend top dollar for a fabulous short-term furnished residence like those offered at AKA’s three Philadelphia locations when visiting Philadelphia. Fortunately, if you don’t have that kind of coin, you can find very affordable alternatives, according to the Priceonomics Data Studio. It just depends on where you look. | Photo: AKA

With the presence of luxury extended-stay pioneer AKA in this market, you might get the impression that renting a residence for a short visit is an expensive proposition here.

Fortunately for your wallet, you’d be wrong.

According to the research team at the Priceonomics Data Studio, Philadelphia actually has the fourth-least-expensive short-term rental rates of any city in the country.

The study, explained in detail on the Priceonomics blog, actually examines daily rates for short-term rentals – the kind a visitor to the city would pay as opposed to what someone needing to find a place to rest their head for a month or longer might pay. But the study is nonetheless interesting for what it also reveals about data analysis: namely, the results you get depend on the data you analyze.

It’s something journalists like me often neglect to point out in stories discussing statistics, but it’s an important fact to remember.

So here’s the breakdown: Read more »

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