Property’s Photo of the Week: Philadelphia Drone Edition

A video posted by Chris DeAntonio (@marinersax) on

Shout out to Chris DeAntonio (a.k.a. marinersax on Instagram) for posting this super dope drone clip a few weeks ago. It’s got us antsy for the start of Memorial Day weekend!

Anyone else plan on staying in the city? Don’t forget to take a bunch of #phillyscape pics! Now go, be safe, and have fun!!!

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Headlines: Philly Among the Top 10 Most Job-Accessible Cities By Walking

Photo credit: Paul Sableman via Flickr

Photo credit: Paul Sableman via Flickr

Did you walk to work today? If you live in Philadelphia proper and answered “no,” all we can say is buddy, you best start taking advantage of living in what researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory are citing as the eighth most job-accessible city for pedestrians. Check out the full report here.

Determining a particular city’s ranking were its average accessibility (because although WalkScore has dubbed Philadelphia the fourth most walkable city overall, it’s not all about walking trails and sidewalks) and the amount of jobs reachable within a ten-minute timespan. Cities went down in their ranking weight with increased work travel times.

You’ll note, as Sustainable Cities Collective points out, that the top 10 cities on the list (New York, San Fran, L.A., Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Boston, Philly, San Jose, and Denver, in case you were wondering) have a blend of two major elements that pave the way for their easy home-to-work walking commute:

The cities that make up the top 10 all have a combination of employment density and fast, frequent transit service. “Employment density is a primary factor in whether an area is economically walkable or not, and employment densities are typically high in cities that employ heavy rail systems leading into a central core,” [Accessibility Observatory director Andrew] Owen says. “In this way, transit systems promote walkability and walking accessibility, without requiring a user to board a transit vehicle to experience the positive effects.

Emphasis ours. Now here’s a visual for yah:

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Plans (Finally) Revealed for Boyd Theatre Project, 19th and Chestnut

Boyd Theatre Philadelphia

A 27-story apartment tower is planned to replace the auditorium at the Boyd Theatre. | Photo: Jeff Fusco

It’s been an interesting week. As you know, we were live at the Allan Domb election party on Tuesday and bumped into the ever-present HughE Dillon. The plugged-in paparazzo told us that a new plan for the Boyd Theatre was about to be released. This one didn’t include a tower that took up the entire site at 19th and Chestnut. Documents recently added on the Historical Commission’s website prove that much of HughE’s info about a revamped plan was indeed correct.

Chestnut Square Associates L.P., an affiliate of Pearl Properties, is scheduled to meet the commission on Tuesday and present their plans for a drastically different interpretation of their clutch of property that includes 1900-1906 Chestnut, 1910 Chestnut, 1912 Chestnut, 110 South 19th and 112 South 19th Street. Attorneys for the project submitted the application (.pdf) to the commission last week. The grand 2,30o-seat auditorium at the 1920’s movie theater stretches back to Sansom Street and has been under demolition since March. More this way, including renderings

Headlines: The Rail Park Gets Go-Ahead from Planning Commission

Image courtesy of Bryan Hanes | Studio Bryan Hanes

Image courtesy of Studio Bryan Hanes

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission officially gave its blessing this week to a bill that would allow the city to purchase a 0.8-acre tract of the former Reading Viaduct in Callowhill. You know it as the future home of The Rail Park.

It’s not too surprising that the commission gave the go-ahead. Jared Brey of PlanPhilly, who was at the meeting, summed it up rather well: “Can you imagine a different outcome? As far as we can tell, this project has zero opponents.” In fact, the entire presentation is wrapped up in a 3-minute long video that ends with a rather ho-hum approval vote from the commissioners.

The Art Commission approved the plan for the park earlier this month and the approval of the bill is the next step in developing the former rail corridor into a public amenity.

Once realized, the experience on the elevated park will include landscaped walking trails, lighting and various site furnishings.

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Tweet Tease: You’re One Step Closer to La Colombe on Independence Mall

Back in December, La Colombe made your coffee-soaked, history-loving heart flutter with happiness when they announced plans to open an outpost in the Dow Building on Independence Mall. As evidenced by the tweet above from Keystone Property Group, those plans as coming along nicely. Crews are busy putting in the stairs, though we still don’t know when exactly it will open. According to Foobooz, La Colombe will eventually be leasing a 1,700-square-feet corner in the building that also contains the highly-popular Independence Beer Garden. Here is rendering of what the outdoor seating area will look like once it’s complete. Read more »

Headlines: Major Changes on the Way at the Ritz-Carlton


The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia | George Widman/Visit Philly

Hotels are a hot topic around the city these days. While a lot of the talk has been about the construction of the W and Element Hotel at 15th and Chestnut, the Ritz-Carlton has long been a stalwart on that very same block and recent changes seem to suggest it’s looking to reassert its dominance in a rapidly changing hospitality scene.

Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that “Carey Watermark Investors Inc has purchased a majority interest in the Ritz-Carlton and plans a $21.3 million renovation on the entire 299-room property on South Broad Street in Philadelphia.” The deal is a joint venture with Philadelphia Hospitality Partners and it sounds like a full-scale “contemporary” revamp of iconic hotel is on its way, including upgrades to the rooms, ballroom and more.

The work is expected to be wrapped up in 2016. The Ritz won’t be the only high-end hotel getting a new look in the near future. The Four Seasons on the Parkway is set to close in June, with a yet-to-be-named hotel featuring a modern look taking its place.

Ritz Carlton ownership changes, renovations in the works [Philadelphia Business Journal]

More Headlines:

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PAFA Museum to Undergo Historic Restoration This Summer

The Historic Landmark Building at PAFA | Photo: GPTMC

The Historic Landmark Building at PAFA | Photo: GPTMC

If you happen to see scaffolding going up around the hallowed Historic Landmark Building at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, don’t fret. It’s all part of a summer-long restoration project to the building designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt in the late-1800s.

Juxtaposed with the gigantic glass and metal Pennsylvania Convention Center across Broad Street, the Victorian Gothic museum building is still a wonder to this very day. It will see a handful of skillful–and gentle–repairs, including the restoration of the slate and glass roof as well as its stone and brick exterior, according to a recent press release from PAFA. Scaffolding installation begins May 18 and should take seven to 10 days to complete. The cost of the project is “about $1.5 million,” says PAFA’s Heike Rass. Here’s more:

For the rest of the summer, work will include stone cleaning, mortar repair, new slate on the center roof, new gutter work, resetting and sealing skylights, and installation of heat tracers in the building’s rain gutters to prevent formation of icicles on the edge of the facade.

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Farm Refresh: A Masterful Barn Conversion in Blue Bell

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania Barn Conversion

Yes, this is a barn. All photos by Jeffrey Totaro

“There isn’t really any playbook for a barn conversion,” says Mark Hallowell, owner of Hallowell Construction. So when a Blue Bell family decided to renovate the barn on their property — once owned by the wife’s great-grandfather — both skill and a strong vision were required to pull it off. Read more »

Property’s Photo of the Week: Exploring Gorgeous Addison Street

A photo posted by Rachel (@rachel.hara) on

It was a tough call trying to decide which #phillyscape photo we’d use for this week. There was that sweet Sister Cities Park capture, then a look down from Citizen’s Bank Park, and this cool shot of One and Two Liberty Place admiring themselves in the reflection of the Comcast Tower. All in all, a wonderfully warm week to get out there and snap some pictures!

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PHOTOS: A Look Inside the Boyd Theatre Post Demolition

Boyd Theatre, after. A 1920’s era movie palace from the inside out. #boydtheatre

A photo posted by Meghan Baciu (@kodiax) on

It’s likely you’ve been able to have a few peeks inside the demolished 1920s movie palace since March (that’s not including the Art Deco lobby, which is being kept of course) but we haven’t been able to take a good look around the site from the inside…until now that is.

Photographer Meghan Baciu has posted some photos taken inside the former Boyd Theatre to her Instagram account, which, let’s be honest here, is the perfect vicarious excursion into a neat place that will (soon?) be replaced by more apartments and retail. So join us on this second-hand urbex trip and be thankful you didn’t suffer any bug bites as Baciu, bless her photog heart, did. Enjoy! Read more »

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