Blatstein Unveils Atlantic City Pier Plans: “This Place Won’t Fail”

The Playground - Outside

Image Courtesy Steelman Partners and Tower Investments

Saying he would make Atlantic City the “the capital of entertainment on the East Coast,” Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein unveiled his dramatic redevelopment for the Pier Shops at Caesars today. The pier, which Blatstein’s Tower Investments is developing along with casino architect Paul Steelman’s firm, has been rechristened The Playground.

“I promise you, this will become the number one tourist attraction in Atlantic City,” Blatstein said yesterday at a dog-and-pony show at the pier. “I guarantee it.” Later, he doubled down on the pier’s success: “It’s a symbol of what Atlantic City is going to become… With Paul here by my side, this place can’t fail. It won’t fail. I don’t want to want it to sound oysters here, but I have never failed in my career. I have never not picked an area that has not turned around. This is going to be the greatest success of my career.” Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: OMG This Gothic Church Is Actually A House

All photos by John Armich

All photos by John Armich

We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no: No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

Admittedly, even we thought it was too good to be true for a second there, but a conversation with the very real listing agent abated our suspicions. Plus, we’ve come to expect super unique and amazing residences up in Bucks County. (Ahem, cube of sugar anyone?)

Read more »

Urban Archaeology: 100 Year-Old Ghost Sign Discovered in Port Richmond

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

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

Billboards, 3-D, digital or static, are a hot topic of discussion these days. While the powers that be swear that we’ll all just love those dandy UEDs some day, there are advertisements that are almost universally adored as relics of Philly’s past–those hand painted, brilliantly faded, ghost signs.

Conrad Benner of Streets Dept. took some incredible shots of a huge ghost sign found within an ongoing renovation project by Urban Renewal Builders on Richmond Street in Port Richmond. The multi-color sign dates back at least 100 years and promotes “Kolb’s Pan-Dandy Bread” from Kolb Bakery. More from Benner: Read more »

VIDEO: “The Abandoned Tunnel Under Philadelphia”

Screenshot of Uncover Philly, episode one.

Screenshot of Uncover Philly, episode one.

At this point, most of us are aware–and of course totally jazzed about–the planned Rail Park on the elevated section of the long-disused Reading Viaduct. What some may not be aware of is that the underground portion of the Viaduct, formerly used to transfer freight out of the city, is still there, silently waiting for its next functional chapter in Philadelphia.

What its next purpose might be is a question that hovers in the back of our minds as we watch Cory J. Popp’s latest video: “The Abandoned Tunnel Under Philadelphia,” the first episode in his Uncover Philly series. Here’s how Popp describes it:

The Reading Viaduct Tunnel is one of those places that most Philadelphian’s know exist, but few have actually seen it themselves. My hope is that this story will reignite interest in seeing this space repurposed and encourage more people to discover parts of the city they don’t often see.

Check out the episode here.

Morning Headlines: Community Funds Historic Restoration at The Woodlands

Cleaned and numbered 18th century bricks. These will all be put back exactly where they came from. #cryptoconstruction

A photo posted by The Woodlands (@woodlandsphila) on

Last year, we found out that University City District had raised $1.4 million to help realize their grandiose plans to transform the 40th Street Trolley terminal at 40th and Woodland Avenue, right out side of the cemetery gates, into a public amenity that incorporated the hustle and bustle of a transit hub with green space and a cafe.

Last week, the celebratory news came two-fold for the cemetery dating back to 1840. Not only did a number Instagrammers start the Philly iteration of the World Wide Instameet within its hallowed confines, but the The Woodlands announced it had reached its fundraising goals in order to restore the Hamilton Stable. By raising the $218,000, they’ve secured a $612,000 challenge grant to restore the Hamilton Mansion as well, according to West Philly Local. The mansion is a stunner. According to The Woodlands, it’s one of the greatest domestic achievements of the 18th century with “what were likely the best-finished and most sophisticated internal service spaces created at that time in Philadelphia, and perhaps the country as a whole.” Damn.

 More Headlines This Way:

Read more »

Property’s Photo(s) of the Week: The Loft District Horse and Miss Divine

We just couldn’t help ourselves. A day after selecting her magnificent shadowy capture of this horse in Callowhill (it was shot somewhere along 13th and Nectarine) for Property’s Photo of the Week, photographer Theresa Stigale posted a new one–and it’s awesome.

But, what else do you expect from an amazing photog whose primary interest is Philadelphia documentary photography? The bonus image in question was taken on Broad, near Brown Street, and has a cameo of the changing Divine Lorraine.

Needless to say we couldn’t choose just one.

Click here to see them

This Is How Much Philly Has Changed In Three Decades–And It Continues to Do So

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Remember that mesmerizing slider that compared the Center City of 1965 with the one from 2014? Well, we stumbled upon an old CityLab post (old meaning two years ago) that highlighted an interactive time-lapse of various satellite images from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat program. It gave us an idea…

According to CityLab, the Timelapse project–which Google has GIFs of!–is a venture between TIME, Google, NASA, USGS, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. It’s meant as a kind of digital flip book that puts the “stunning change across the earth’s surface, in both our natural environments and our man-made ones” right before our eyes.

Read more »

Tower Proposal Looks to Continue the Boom on Chestnut Street

Tower at 709 Chestnut Street | via Roseland Property

Tower at 709 Chestnut Street | via Roseland Property

Chestnut Street is in the middle of quite the renaissance. While some are looking to protect the future of its architectural gems of yesteryear, others are working to re-imagine the identity of the Chestnut Street corridor as a live-work environment that’s near everything Philly has to offer. Look no further than this week’s announcement that the partnership of Roseland–a subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corp.–and Parkway Corporation, wants to bring a 32-story residential tower to the parking lot at 709 Chestnut Street, adjacent to Union Trust, which is currently a catering facility.

“We’re seeing a tremendous move back into Center City,” said Marshall Tycher, president of Roseland. Plans call for a 32-story tower consisting of 304 luxury rental units to be built on the parking lot. Read more »

Philly Council OKs Massive 3-D Billboards in Center City

An urban experiential display outside of Reading Terminal Market.

Philadelphia City Council passed legislation Thursday to allow large-size digital billboards in a part of Center City near the Reading Terminal Market and Convention Center.

Critics of the ads — known as “urban experiential displays” — said they would be unsightly and lower the value of nearby properties.

“We’re not talking kiosks,” said Kiki Bolender, chairwoman of the Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia. “We’re talking about the house next door lit up like a billboard on I-95.”

Read more »

Spotted in Manayunk: Center City Style With a Four-Stop Elevator

All images by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Chestnut Hill

All images by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Chestnut Hill

Looking for a luxurious place in Manayunk? You might want to check into what’s going on over at Delmar Street. Mainstreet Development Company and Harman Deutsch (Remember Design Home 2014?) have teamed up on four high-end units and this one, located at 234 Delmar Street, is probably the top of the heap. Not to mention: It has a four-stop elevator.  Read more »

« Older Posts