Morning Headlines: Renovation Project at 4601 Market Breaks Ground

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

The Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 46th and Market has seen a small number of tenants come and go, but for the most part it’s remained relatively vacant. Now, since making official requests earlier this year, the property is under city ownership and plans for its renovation have started.

West Philly Local reports the 87-year-old structure, which will be rehabbed so that it can house new occupants, had its groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. During this, Mayor Nutter announced the building would be referred to as “the Philadelphia Public Safety Services campus.” The site will house the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Department of Health public laboratories.

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Morning Headlines: Navy Yard Nabs Another HQ

The Navy Yard master plan. Photo credit: NavyYard.org

The Navy Yard master plan. Photo credit: NavyYard.org

Add another notch in the belt for the Navy Yard: Bala Cynwyd-based NXTsports, which is an organization that offers sports education, events and facilities management, will relocate to the corporate campus that’s home to Urban Outfitters, Glaxo SmithKline and many others. From the Philadelphia Business Journal:

NXTsports currently leases space at 555 City Ave. and considered remaining in the building when it launched its search. It also looked at other office properties in Bala Cynwyd, Conshohocken, Pa., and at the Navy Yard.
“We love the vibe down there,” said Joel Zuercher, chief operating officer and general counsel at the company. “We are a young, energetic company and it seems like that is the place to be for a growing business such as ours.”

NXTsports has gone from three employees to 20 in the last three years and it expects to continue growing. The new space will give its some extra room to accommodate that growth.

NXTsports picks Navy Yard for new headquarters

More headlines, this way…

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22nd and Market Memorial Park Names Artist

building collapse

Photo of woman at demolition site paying honor to one of the collapse victims. Photo: Laura Kicey.

The most recent Center City Residents Association Newsletter has an update on the memorial park proposed for 22nd and Market, the site of the June 2013 building collapse responsible for the death of seven people: artist Barbara Fox has been selected to design the memorial sculpture. From the newsletter:

As for her winning concept, Fox says she wanted the families to be able to personalize the memorial for themselves. “My idea was to have windows in a house-shaped piece, and each victim’s family could customize how the window would look so that it would mean something to them, like the color of the glass or the texture of the glass. The name of each of the six victims would be etched into the granite over each window. Then, there would be a seventh window for individuals who were injured in the collapse. Above that window it would say ‘for those we remember’. “

All due respect to Fox, who was obviously speaking very preliminarily, let’s memorialize the death of seven people, rather than six, so that Ronald Waggenhoffer is not forgotten. (In case you have forgotten him, read this piece about his suicide.) He was a victim too, and deserves his own window.

Property’s Weekend Agenda: Relive the Glory Days of Hohendel House

Have a cold brew at a house party that celebrates the newly renovated Hohenadel House in East Falls! This Saturday, the party will include recreated Hohenadel brews by local homebrewer Tom Coughlin, live music, and a pop-up museum with “period-appropriate furniture” and other artifacts. Further event details below.

Back in the mid-nineties, Hohenadel Brewery in East Falls was an endangered landmark that went on to be demolished in 1997. The home of the defunct brewery’s owner seemed to be heading in the same direction.

According to Philly.com, the historic mansion that once housed the Hohenadel family was in such a state of disrepair that graffiti artists, squatters, and a whole other slew of blight connoisseurs had taken over. One day, someone stepped in: Read more »

Gallery: This Is What A Shuttered Philadelphia School Looks Like

Photo credit: Conrad Benner

Photo credit: Conrad Benner

If you’ve been following coverage of the school closings that swept the city, news of how the former Edward H. Bok Technical High School would be living its second life may not come as a surprise.

Last month, we reported how developer Lindsey Scannapieco plans to transform the building into what Next City calls “the city’s largest creative community space.” Indeed, Scannapieco envisions a mixed-use building with rental units, terraces, co-working spaces (a feature which, while growing in the city, is sorely lacking in East Passyunk), and a rooftop cinema. Until then, however, Bok is being used as a storage center.

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Morning Headlines: Historic William Penn Inn Turns 300 Years Old

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo credit: Google Street View

A slew of celebrations (including a $10,000 wedding reception giveaway) have marked this week’s special birthday: the William Penn Inn in Montgomery County celebrates its 300th anniversary.

According to its website, William Penn would often go to Gwynedd to see Quaker friends who lived in the area. In honor of those visits, a public house offering food and lodging was established at the site in 1714. In 1827, the property, then called the William Penn Hotel, was granted a tavern license. More from the Times Herald’s Eric Devlin:

“It’s a big deal,” [Peter R.] Friedrich said about the anniversary. “We are the oldest continuously operating inn in the country and Pennsylvania. I bought this place about 33 years ago in 1981 and I had all the intentions of becoming a successful restaurateur. What I did not realize was that in the process, I became the caretaker of a piece of Americana. There are not too many buildings around here that date back 300 years.”

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Philadelphia Named One of the Best Cities for Trick-or-Treating

Photo credit: Chad M. via Flickr

Photo credit: Chad M. via Flickr

Being that it’s two weeks away, we thought you’d be happy to know that Zillow has named Philadelphia the 4th best town for collecting candy on Halloween. And while you might have guessed more upscale areas surrounding the city as obvious choices, think again! From the mouth of the real estate site:

While wealthier neighborhoods are often known for their frightfully sweet harvest on Halloween night, we calculate the Trick-or-Treat Index using a holistic approach with four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score® and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on these variables, the index represents cities that will provide the most candy, in the least amount of time, with the fewest safety risks.

Below are the top 5 cities for trick-or-treating and their best neighborhoods.

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Shorenstein to Buy 1818 Market Street For $203 Million

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Three years after buying Two Liberty Place (Philadelphia’s third tallest skyscraper), San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties sold it and vanished from Philadelphia’s real estate scene. Now, the Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni says the company is gearing up for its return to the city:

Shorenstein is trying to strike a deal to buy 1818 Market, a 37-story, 940,000-square-foot building, for an estimated $203 million, according to people with knowledge in the matter. The company is expected to put the building under contract this week, according to sources. If all goes as planned, Shorenstein could close on the transaction in the next 60 days.

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Dilworth Park’s Rothman Ice Rink Opens November 14th!

Renderings are beginning to meet reality.

Renderings are beginning to meet reality.

Didn’t we tell you it would open before Thanksgiving?

The Center City District announced today that the Rothman Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park will be open to the public between November 14 and February 21. In keeping with the winter amenity’s spirit, the CCD had staffers go to today’s press conference wearing winter coats. (Side note: It’s 74 degrees out right now.)

According to the District’s website, the rink will be operated by Rink Management Services Corporation, a Virginia rink company that operates 33 ice rinks in 17 states and Washington D.C. The CCD and RMSC will add to Dilworth Park’s roster of events by planning further programming at the rink.

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Morning Headlines: Could the Land Bank Plan Be Better?

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr

We’ve been waiting for it since the beginning of the year, but now that the city’s new Land Bank is expected to launch in 2015, some worry the blueprints for the plan need improvement.

The Daily News’ Valerie Russ reports that advocates of affordable housing are less than impressed with the Philadelphia Land Bank’s draft strategic plan and see it as being “too general.” Said Nora Lichtash of the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities:

“We want to make sure that when they transfer land to get rid of blight, that they’re doing it in a way to ensure that not only market-rate development takes place, but there’s also affordable development that comes back out of the land bank.”

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