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 »

Hard Hat Tour: One Riverside

The living room in Unit 412, one of two finished model units at One Riverside. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise indicated

The living-dining room in Unit 412, one of two finished model units at One Riverside. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise indicated

The last time we caught up with Carl Dranoff, he was celebrating the topping-off of his One Riverside, the east-bank exclamation point that, along with the all-but-finished FMC Tower at Cira South on the opposite bank, redefine the southern Schuylkill riverfront in Center City.

Last Tuesday (January 3rd), as architects ran down a checklist on a nearly-finished apartment, the proud father showed off his baby with a behind-the-scenes tour that offered glimpses of what the residents can expect when they start moving in in March along with some condos whose fitting out was very much in the early stages.

The tour began in the most-of-the-way-there lobby and proceeded to the fourth floor, where two finished model apartments take full advantage of the building’s clean modern lines and plentiful views. From there, it proceeded to the top floor, where two spectacular penthouses — one a bi-level and the other a nearly full-floor unit — were just beginning to take shape. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Stately Wayne Manor for $7.65M

100 Pembroke Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via Zillow

100 Pembroke Ave., Wayne, Pa. 19087 | TREND images via Zillow

Those of us of a certain age – say, born after 1939 – or of a certain persuasion – say, fans of complex, brooding superheroes with colorful adversaries – know who Bruce Wayne is.

We didn’t know until now that his home was actually in the community that shares his surname.

Of course, when he designed this place in 1895, architect William Price had no idea that he was creating a magnificent home that could easily pass for Wayne Manor, the residence of Batman’s alter ego. But even if your reaction to this observation is “Who’s Bruce Wayne?”, you’ll find this marvelously updated English Gothic Revival manor a wonderfully stately home that combines old-school elegance with a distinctly modern sensibility. Read more »

Just What the Doctor Ordered: A Stunning Makeover in Wynnewood for $1.879M

334 Fairhill Rd., Wynnewood, Pa. 19096 | Photos: David Arena, Alcove Media, via Juliet Cordeiro Group

334 Fairhill Rd., Wynnewood, Pa. 19096 | Photos: David Arena, Alcove Media, via Juliet Cordeiro Group

At least two legends of medicine have called Wynnewood home. One of them, Aaron Beck, the father of cognitive behavioral therapy, still lives there, and the institute he founded to promote and practice it is located nearby in Bala-Cynwyd.

The other legend is the man who developed the Sabin oral vaccine, which supplanted Jonas Salk’s injected vaccine as the most effective defense against polio and ultimately wiped out the disease.

No, not Albert Sabin. His vaccine was developed on the shoulders of (and with polio virus strains supplied by) Hilary Koprowski, who developed the first polio vaccine in 1950. As it was based on weakened live polio virus rather than killed virus, it could be administered orally — Koprowski used himself as a guinea pig — and needed no booster doses to maintain its effectiveness.

His groundbreaking work didn’t spread as quickly as it ought to have in the medical community, but it did get him named head of the Wistar Institute in 1957. As its director, he transformed it into a world-renowned center of vaccine research.

From 1957 until his death in 2013, Koprowski lived in a handsome 1920s Tudor Revival home on Fairhill Road in Wynnewood, to which he added two wings sometime in the 1980s to house his library and art collection.

Now, fresh off a total transformation, this one-of-a-kind residence can become the place where you pursue your own passions. Read more »

How 10 Townhomes Sold Quickly in Fairmount

The living room of 2345 Pennsylvania Ave., one of 10 large luxury townhomes HOW Properties sold within eight months of their construction. | Photos: HOW Properties

The living room of 2345 Pennsylvania Ave., one of 10 large luxury townhomes HOW Properties sold within eight months of their construction. | Photos: HOW Properties

Want some concrete evidence of the strength of the high-end housing market in Philadelphia? Then read on for a tale of a new townhouse project in Fairmount that sold out in just eight months.

The project, Green Street Estates, is a development of HOW Properties, a Conshohocken-based builder with years of experience building homes in up-and-coming Philadelphia neighborhoods. Located on the west end of the 2300 blocks of Green Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, just about around the corner from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the development consists of 10 three-story townhomes with basements and roof decks. The units range in size from 4,921 to 5,282 square feet, and they listed for anywhere from $1.7 to $2 million each.

On the outside, these units were designed to blend in with the architecture of their respective blocks. While contemporary in form, the three homes facing Pennsylvania Avenue have exteriors that match the Moderne style of most of the buildings along that street, while the Green Street homes have darker brick facades and crenellated cornices that more closely match the style of their late 19th-century neighbors. Read more »

The Top 5 Real Estate Stories of 2016

We still don't know what Toll others' proposed mixed-use tower on Jewelers Row will look like, but we do know its facade won't look like this, and that has the city's preservation community up in arms. | Photo: Oscar Beisert

We still don’t know what Toll others’ proposed mixed-use tower on Jewelers Row will look like, but we do know its facade won’t look like this, and that has the city’s preservation community up in arms. | Photo: Oscar Beisert

As we close the book on 2016, let’s take a look back at the year in real estate and development. What were the stories that got people’s attention this year? Here are our picks:

Toll Brothers goes tall on Jewelers Row and sets off a preservation fight.

A few years ago, Toll Brothers, the Horsham-based luxury home builder, decided to enter the urban development game with its City Living division. Urbanist critics loved to fault the builder’s Philadelphia projects for their notable lack of urban features like density and mixed uses. So when the company announced it wanted to build an apartment tower with street-level retail in Philadelphia, everyone cheered, right? Wrong, because the tower would replace three buildings on historic Jewelers Row. The fight to preserve the buildings pitted the preservation community against just about all of the property owners on the 700 block of Sansom Street, who see the apartment tower as giving their businesses a shot in the arm from a ready-made customer base. (Or so it appeared from the testimony delivered to the Philadelphia Historical Commission in September, when it opted to punt on the issue of preserving the endangered buildings. The Jewelers Row merchants who appeared at this month’s Washington Square West Civic Association Zoning Committee meeting sang a different tune altogether.) Toll can build this project by right under the lot’s zoning, but Toll has indicated it wants to work with the community to shape a project everyone could live with. Right now, it looks like that project has yet to emerge. Read more »

The Ultimate Gift for the Do-It-Yourselfer: Build Your Own Thos. Moser Furniture

Eric Corkhill of Philadelphia (left) participated in the Thos. Moser Customer in Residence program last year as a gift from his wife. Here he works on his furniture with Moser craftsman Bob Fisher. | Photo: Courtesy Thos. Moser

Eric Corkhill of Philadelphia (left) participated in the Thos. Moser Customer in Residence program last year as a gift from his wife. Here he works on his furniture with Moser craftsman Bob Fisher. | Photo: Courtesy Thos. Moser

At the Thos. Moser showroom on Walnut Street, the staff will gladly show you the tools, the raw material and the techniques that go into a chair, table, chest or bed.

But maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you’d like to see a Moser chair actually being made.

The usual way to do that with most furniture makers is to take a tour, and Moser offers tours of its workshop in Auburn, Maine.

But maybe that’s still not enough for you. Maybe you’re the kind of person who wants to become immersed in the experience of making a fine handcrafted object.

In which case, you’re in luck, for Moser also offers 35 people each year the opportunity to come up to the workshop for a week and build their own furniture. Read more »

How Passive Houses Yield Aggressive Savings

This cross-section shows the features that make passive house buildings super-efficient and extremely comfortable to live and work in. Energy savings of 80 to 90 percent are an added bonus. | Image: RPA

This cross-section shows the features that make passive house buildings super-efficient and extremely comfortable to live and work in. Energy savings of 80 to 90 percent are an added bonus. | Image: RPA

How do you keep warm in your home in the winter?

Do you crank the thermostat in the hall up past 78 so you can keep your bedroom at 68?

Do you stuff foam tubes under doors and tape plastic over drafty windows?

Do you take a space heater into a room that’s too cold?

Do you wrap yourself in thick sweaters and blankets?

If you do any of these things, you’re like more than half the country, according to a recent survey conducted by Ecocor, a manufacturer of high-performance sustainable houses and other buildings. Read more »

AKA University City, (Almost) Ready For Its Closeup

One of the furnished suites tour guests got to inspect. This unit was furnished and equipped like those on the penthouse floors, with even higher-end European appliances and furnishings, including a concealed refrigerator in the kitchen. |Photos: AKA

One of the furnished suites tour guests got to inspect. This unit was furnished and equipped like those on the penthouse floors, with even higher-end European appliances and furnishings, including a concealed Liebherr refrigerator in the kitchen. | Photos: AKA

The last time we toured AKA University City at Cira Centre South, the residence/hotel was largely piles of drywall and warrens of metal studs.

That wasn’t the case on Dec. 7, when AKA President and Korman Communities co-CEO Larry Korman and Brandywine Realty Trust CEO Jerry Sweeney took the wraps off the completed residence and hotel suites in a panel discussion and tour.

The discussion, which took place at Cira Green next door and included panelists from the architects and designers whose work went into the tower and hotel — Mark Shoemaker of Cira Centre supervising architect Pelli Clarke Pelli, Eric Rahe of project architect BLTa, Nicoletta Canesi of Lissoni Associati and Edward Asfour of Asfour Guzy Associates — focused on the evolution and development of what’s being billed as “Philadelphia’s first vertical neighborhood,” a key component of which is AKA University City. Read more »

Modern Icons To Light Up Your Home

Alvar Aalto's lighting is now available in the United States for the first time. Millésimé in Old City is the exclusive Philadelphia distributor for the Artek lighting line. | Photos: Courtesy Millésimé

Alvar Aalto’s lighting is now available in the United States for the first time. Millésimé in Old City is the exclusive Philadelphia distributor for the Artek lighting line. | Photos: Courtesy Millésimé

Finnish architect Alvar Aalto ranks with Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen (another Finn), Walter Gropius and Philadelphian Louis Kahn as one of the true giants of modernist architecture.

Up until now, though, if you wanted to see Aalto’s work up close and personal, you’d pretty much have to travel to his native country, for Aalto produced only three commissioned works in the United States: a dormitory on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge, Mass., a library at a Benedictine abbey in Oregon and a conference room in an office building across the street from the United Nations in New York.

But thanks to Artek, it’s possible to add your dining room, kitchen or family room to the list of Aalto creations. And you can now shine Aalto-designed light on the subject as well. Read more »

« Older Posts