Property’s Photo of the Week: Lookin’ Good, Billy Ray!


A photo posted by Danny Lopez (@_dopez) on

Instagrammer Danny Lopez snapped an incredible #PhillyScape shot from the infinity edge pool atop evo, a new-ish apartment building that’s part of the Cira Centre South complex in University City. Not only do we get a stunning view of the Philadelphia skyline, but also its beautifully warped reflection on the pool’s pristine waters.

Clearly, Lopez was lovin’ life in this shot, and the whole image reminds us of the final scene in Trading Places, the classic 80’s comedy set in (a very different looking) Philadelphia. You probably (hopefully!) know it well: Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis are on the yacht, and Eddie Murphy is on the beach … well, fine, we’ll just show you the clip from the movie. Caution: SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD.

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Pearl Properties Buys Another Art Deco Treasure, Plans Old Navy

1618 Chestnut

Image via Google Street View

Pearl Properties continues its run of recent activity. The real estate developer has now purchased the beautiful Art Deco building at 1618-22 Chestnut Street, according to a report in The Inquirer, and signed on Old Navy to anchor the lower floors of the building.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia has been a tenant of the property since 1982, and will move its operations to another part of the building.

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Pole Position: Light Towers “Appropriate Signal” of North Broad’s Bright Future

Four light masts have risen on North Broad Street between Green Street and Fairmount Avenue. Photos: James Jennings | Rendering: Mark McDonald

Mayor Michael Nutter officially announced the plan that will completely change the look, feel and future of a nearly 2.5 mile stretch of North Broad Street from Hamilton Street to Glenwood Avenue.

The North Broad Streetscape project will see 41 “decorative light towers,” each standing 55-feet tall, introduced to the median of Philly’s main artery. The $8.7 million project is funded by a mix of federal, state and city funds and will look to spur even more investment on North Broad Street.

“As a government, we want do anything we can to support growth and development along this important corridor,” said Mayor Nutter in a press release. “The North Broad Streetscape project will give this area a cohesive look and make it a safer, more inviting place for customers and residents. This project will return North Broad Street to its former glory as a main thoroughfare for our great city.”

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Temple University Plans to Start Demolition at Barton Hall by End of the Week

Temple University Libray | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University Library | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Here’s a brief update on the status of Temple University’s upcoming $190 million library project. Patricia Madej of The Temple News talked with Dozie Ibeh, assistant vice president of the university’s Project Delivery Group, and it looks like the end of Barton Hall on Liacouras Walk is near.  “Demolition [of Barton Hall], which will cost about $2.8 million, is expected by the end of the week, with anticipated completion by the end of the year.”

The site will eventually house an impressive library designed by Snøhetta and Stantec. Temple University has been very busy this year, and crews have been removing hazardous material from the building over the summer. The project is scheduled to head before Civic Design Review on September 1 for an information-only presentation.

H/T: Main Campus undergoing a major facelift [The Temple News]

Drone Video Looks to Enlighten Papal Pilgrims About Philly’s Awesomeness

A screengrab from Philadelphia in 4K in anticipation of the Philadelphia Pope Visit| Via Matt Satell

A screengrab from Philadelphia in 4K | Via Matt Satell

If you take a moment to look at Philadelphia from a grand-scheme-of-things kind of perspective, one thing is immediately evident: this city is damn beautiful. We’ve got acres of city parkland, ornate fountains, gorgeous rivers and a wonderful array of buildings, old and new, short and tall.

Of course, we know this, but does the rest of the world know how awesome Philly is? Thanks to a new drone video, they’re about to get a glimpse.

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Innovation Plaza to Open This Fall, Include Innovators Walk of Fame

Innovation Plaza, Innovators Walk of Fame rendering | Courtesy of University City Science Center

Innovation Plaza, Innovators Walk of Fame rendering | Courtesy of University City Science Center

Let’s rewind to early summer for a moment. In June, we told you all about the University City Science Center‘s expanding campus: the upcoming apartments, retail, restaurants, office and lab space (of course) and new walkable streets and a public square slated to “give the 14-acre campus a sense of place.” All well and good, right?

Indeed. Now, tack onto that news of one of the many indoor and outdoor gathering spots planned with the expansion opening this fall: Innovation Plaza.

Sited on the walkway along 37th Street between Market and Chestnut, according to a press release, Innovation Plaza will include an Innovators Walk of Fame (rendered above) with free WiFi, chess tables and greenery. Originally launched in 2013, the Walk was conceived from an effort to honor the Science Center’s 50th anniversary and with the idea of highlighting the Greater Philadelphia region’s diverse tradition of discovery and innovation. 

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Development Roundup: PMC Property Group Has Been Busy

One Water Street | Rendering: PMC Property Group, Varenhorst

One Water Street | Rendering: PMC Property Group, Varenhorst

PMC Property Group has been making some noise around the Philadelphia real estate landscape recently. We talked with Jonathan Stavin, PMC’s executive vice president, to catch up on a hand full of their projects from Old City to Logan Square.

Retail Back in Play at One Water Street

Construction is well underway One Water Steet, a 250-unit apartment complex just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Stavin said the timeline “remains on schedule” to top off the building by mid-October.  The big news is that there are some major changes coming to the final product.

Stavin confirmed that they’re adding retail inside the building and public art to the site, “in order to address some of the the additional concerns raised by the community.”

Though it’s probably not as architecturally bold as the Bridge project at 2nd and Race, the latest rendering (above) of the project shows more variation in color and textures than the previous iterations. Here’s to hoping to looks great in real life. Leasing is expected to begin “as soon as January,” said Stavin.

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City House of the Week: The One-Time Gardener’s Cottage at Krisheim Estate

All TREND photos via Elfant Wissahickon-Chestnut Hill

All TREND photos via Elfant Wissahickon-Chestnut Hill

This newly listed property in Chestnut Hill offers plenty of intrigue. On its own, it would be a beautiful property nestled on over two acres of land adjacent to Fairmount Park. But it’s the history behind this place that makes it truly standout.

Chestnut Hill is chockfull of historic homes, thanks in large part to Henry Howard Houston, the one-time director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and his son-in-law, Dr. George Woodward (you may be familiar with Woodward Homes). The home on Gatehouse Lane was at one time part of a much larger picture, as it was originally built as the gardener’s cottage of the Krisheim Estate (the original gatehouse sold in June). Woodward built it in 1910 as his private family estate, and it famously became a place for him to raise horses, particularly Woodward Arabians. Read more »

Arrivederci! Former Italian Consulate in Rittenhouse Sells in an Instant

All images by TREND via Redfin

All images by TREND via Redfin

Those of you in the market for a 10,000-square-foot (plus) mansion in Rittenhouse upon which to plant your flag are out of luck: the one-time Italian Consulate at 2136 Locust Street has been sold.

Brett Furman, listing agent with Re/Max Classic Realtors in Radnor, tells Property the massive home sold for $3.35 million on August 14. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s $100,000 over the asking price.

“There was overwhelming interest in the property,” said Furman. “We had multiple bids on it … as far as [we] know, the buyer is going to restore it back to its original grandeur.”

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Three Mega-Projects Slated for Civic Design Review in September

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

Let’s delve a little deeper into some major projects facing the increasingly colorful Civic Design Review process, shall we? The meeting starts at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1 in Room 18-029 at 1515 Arch Street. Three big-time projects go under the microscope, including a repeat visit for one project in Pennsport.

In their 1300 Fairmount proposal, RAL Development looks to bring a massive mixed-use apartment complex, possibly anchored by a grocery store, to the vast vacant lot that wraps the Divine Lorraine. Maryland-based Concordia Group plans to raze the former (and newer part of) Mount Sinai Hospital, once dubbed the Divine Lorraine of South Philadelphia. Finally, Temple University looks to knock down an aging building to make room for a decidedly Scandinavian project designed by starchitects Snøhetta, a Norwegian firm with an eye for the spectacular, and the local firm Stantec.

Alright, let’s get right to it.

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