Morning Headlines: Velodrome Developers Meet Opponents During Wednesday Presentation


Developers behind the proposed $100 million velodrome project at FDR Park had their first presentation before the Parks and Recreation Commission yesterday, reports Inga Saffron. According to her, the meeting was packed with over 150 attendees, some of who were not there to voice their support:

Although the velodrome developers have promised to make significant park improvements to mitigate the arena’s impact, several neighborhood residents expressed skepticism about the benefits of another large facility in South Philadelphia. The velodrome would be located across from the sports complex and a few blocks from the site of a newly approved casino on Packer Avenue.

“This is the elephant in the room. We are already impacted so severely,” argued Anna Maria Vona, who uses the park for morning walks. “I’m tired of outsiders coming into our community.”

One project backer responded by saying…

Coming to the Marketplace Design Center: The “Family Apartment”

An interior shot of the Marketplace Design Center by MikeWebkist via Flickr.

An interior shot of the Marketplace Design Center by MikeWebkist via Flickr.

Apartments in Philadelphia generally come in three sizes: small (studio), medium (one bedroom), and large (two-bedroom), with small and medium dominating.

A new development that will transform a Schuylkill riverside landmark is about to rewrite that formula in response to changing demographics and trends. Instead of small, medium and large, the apartments in this new project will come in medium, large and extra large.

Next year, PMC Property Group will begin work on a project that will turn the Marketplace Design Center at 2401 Market St. into a mixed-use building that will include office space, street-level retail, a hotel and apartments in addition to a reconfigured showcase for interior designers. Read more »

Northeast Philly’s Center for Autism Awarded $1 Million Grant For Expansion

The Center for Autism in Philadelphia has two facilities, one of which has just received a $1 million grant courtesy of the state’s Economic Initiative Grant Program. John George at the Business Journal reports the money will go to expanding the center’s satellite facility in Northeast Philadelphia:

Awarded through the state’s Economic Initiative Grant Program, the money will be used to renovate space at center’s Grant Avenue location, which will allow the facility to provide 350 more evaluations each year and serve 270 more individuals and families through its various treatment programs.

But wait, there’s more…

New Owner of 1635 Market to Invest $5 Million in Renovations

Photo via Loopnet.

Photo via Loopnet.

According to the Inquirer’s Erin Arvedlund, New York-based firm Nightingale Properties has bought Seven Penn Center, the 19-story building at 1635 Market Street.

The Tuesday purchase was made at an undisclosed price, but plans for a $5 million dollar renovation are already in the works as real estate agents with CBRE, the company marketing the property, say its new owner is “committed to transforming 1635 Market into a modern, high tech facility.” Changes are set to include the structure’s “facade, main lobby, concourse elevators, common corridors and bathrooms.”

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Game-Changing Tower Planned For Walnut Street

Photo via Google Street View.

The long-planned “Fergie Tower” project by U3 Ventures has officially passed over to the Goldenberg Group who bought the site of the proposed mixed-use development for $8.2 million, according to Natalie Kostelni at the Philadelphia Business Journal. A 26-story tower with 300 apartments and ground-level retail space is anticipated for the property at 1213-19 Walnut Street.

Kostelni adds that the $100 million project “has the potential to be a game changer for that part of Walnut Street and an anchor east of Broad Street.” Here are early renderings of the planned structure when U3 Ventures and Goldenberg teamed up in April.

Parking lot where ‘Fergie Tower’ was proposed sold to Goldenberg Group [Business Journal]

Meanwhile, in other news…

Morning Headlines: New Luxury Hotel to Replace Four Seasons After Renovation

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

The Inquirer’s Bob Fernandez reports the Four Seasons Hotel, set to move to the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center when it’s completed in 2018, will shut its doors at One Logan Square this June. Following an extensive renovation, its former site will reopen under a yet to be named luxury hotel (although whispers of a Marriott have been circulating.)

Sage Hospitality, Fernandez adds, will be in charge of the transition and intends to keep as many Four Seasons employees as possible:

Walter Isenberg, chief executive officer and president of Sage Hospitality, said that the Four Seasons in Philadelphia “has earned a spot as one of the city’s most important hospitality assets. While honoring the property’s past, we will make it relevant to today’s traveler as a modern luxury hotel. We are excited to be joining the Philadelphia community and look forward to introducing a new restaurant concept from our Sage Restaurant Group.”

Sage intends to retain as many Four Seasons employees as possible, Isenberg said.

Four Seasons to close for renovations in June [Inquirer]

In other news…

Read more »

Pergolas to Be Installed at the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

Our sister blog, Be Well Philly, broke the news a few minutes ago that the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk will be temporarily closed in coming days because of upcoming pergola deliveries.

According to the SBB’s website, pergolas will be ” installed between next week and the end of the year,” but the materials are set to arrive tomorrow and Wednesday, which means the Boardwalk must me closed during delivery time “and possibly for several more days while erection of the steel framing is underway.”

More info here.

H/T: Attention Runners: Expect Closures at the Schuylkill Boardwalk This Week [Be Well Philly]

Morning Headlines: Historical Designation For Legendary Blue Horizon Put on Hold

Photo via Google Street View

Photo via Google Street View

There were a few long-standing Philadelphia buildings that were victorious in their efforts to earn a historical designation from the city last Friday, but the Blue Horizon was not one of them. Instead, Hidden City’s Michael Bixler reports, the legendary boxing venue must wait out the decision for another three months:

At the request of current owners Mosaic Development Partners and Orens Brothers, a continuance was approved for the legendary North Philadelphia landmark, and the decision has been remanded back to the designation committee, set to reconvene in 90 days.

According to Bixler, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia had petitioned “dual Philadelphia Historic Register nominations for the Blue Horizon” with the intention of protecting and preserving the building’s facade and interior.

• Continuance Granted For The Blue Horizon [Hidden City]

In other news…

Read more »

Brewerytown Revitalization to Continue as Developer Set to Invest $60 Million

Photo credit: Brewerytown Living.

Photo credit: Brewerytown Living.

MM Partners, a developer who has invested close to $45 million in Brewerytown within the last decade, according to Natalie Kostelni at the Philadelphia Business Journal, plans to keep the neighborhood booming with approximately $60 million in future investments.

Kostelni reports MM Partners, which has “more than 50 residential, retail and mixed-use properties” in Brewerytown, has mainly kept its eye on a five-block stretch of the neighborhood. Below are Kostelni’s roundup of some of the developer’s in-progress projects:
Read more »

Brand New Queen Lane Apartments Will Have Wednesday Groundbreaking

The demolished Queen Lane Apartments building via Google Street View.

The demolished Queen Lane Apartments building via Google Street View.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has announced that it will break ground on the new Queen Lane Apartments development in Germantown on December 17th.

Expected to reach completion before this time next year, the project will consist of 55 apartment units with “a mix of low-rise flats, walkups, and townhouses.”

Read more »

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