Post Bros.’ Goldtex Building Gets a “Neighborhood Tavern”

Photo: Liz Spikol

Photo: Liz Spikol

According to Zagat as reported in Foobooz, the Goldtex apartment building’s ground floor will soon be getting a restaurant. Mike Welsh, formerly of Franklin Mortgage and Lemon Hill, will open Brick & Mortar — “a neighborhood American tavern” — sometime in November in what’s currently 3,500 square feet of raw space.

One issue with Goldtex has been its location–what people call, variously, the Loft District, Eraserhood, or Chinatown-ish–Philadephians have a hard time seeing that area as warm and neighborhoody. But it sounds, from Welsh’s talk with Danya Henninger for Zagat, that the restaurant/bar’s vibe hopes to change that:

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McIlhenney Mansion’s Dome to Be Demolished

Photo by Brad Maule via Hidden City.

Photo by Brad Maule via Hidden City Daily.

An item in today’s Center City Residents Association email newsletter says demolition will start soon on the double-parcel McIlhenny Mansion at the southwest corner of Rittenhouse Square, now owned by developer Bart Blatstein. And there will be some changes:

When the dust has settled, the one story curved brick façade and dome at 1916 erected in 1957 will be gone. The planned replacement is a four story 47 foot high addition. The addition’s roofline will match that of the mansion’s other property, 1914 Rittenhouse Square, erected in 1859 with three stories capped by a one story mansard roof with dormer windows. The façade of 1914 is to remain unchanged. The mansion’s back entrance on Manning Street currently consists of a single story structure, a garage with a double width door adjacent to a servant’s entrance. The plans call for a two story structure on the western end with bedrooms atop two oversize garage entrances. On the eastern side, the addition will rise a third story above Manning Street.

Below, the plans included in CCRA’s email.

Plans via Center City Residents Association

Plans via Center City Residents Association

Morning Headlines: Building Implosion Rescheduled

queen lane apartments

The vacant public housing tower in Germantown that was going to be imploded on Sept. 14 will now be blown to bits on Sept. 13th instead. Generally, the city tries to do demolitions on Sundays, but has responded to the community’s request that it be Saturday instead, according to PlanPhilly:

At a Thursday night public meeting inside Mt. Moriah Baptist Church — located just steps away from the doomed building — Samantha Phillips, the city’s director of emergency management, said that Mayor Michael Nutter approved a request to move the building’s implosion forward by one day…

“We spent time going to risk management, the police department and other partner agencies to make sure we can do this just as safely on Saturday, and we absolutely can,” Phillips said. “There might be a few more resources out there, but we’re going to get it done.”

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Law Firm: Divine Lorraine Developer Eric Blumenfeld Owes Us Nearly $750K

divine-lorraine-940x540

A law firm alleges that Eric Blumenfeld owes $120,000 for services rendered in relation to his development of the Divine Lorraine, pictured above in a rendering commissioned by his company.

Update: 8/15/14 3:35PM: Blumenfeld called us yesterday evening to say, “That matter has been resolved.” Today a firm spokesperson told us, “Stradley Ronon Chairman Bill Sasso and Eric Blumenfeld have reached a verbal settlement on the matter that will be committed to writing in the very near future.”

The law firm of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP has filed a suit (embedded below) against Eric Blumenfeld’s EB Realty Management Corp. The complaint alleges that Blumenfeld hired the firm in March 2012 to advise him in various real estate matters, including the Abbotts Square condo complex; the Stutz Building, where Stephen Starr’s catering empire resides; and the following development projects:

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Changes In Artisan Lofts Project in East Passyunk

Photo credit: Google Street View.

Photo credit: Google Street View.

Artistan Lofts, a planned apartment complex for the corner of 12th and Jackson by Rufo Properties, has had its proposed 172 units scaled down to 151. The developer presented this revised proposal to the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association last night, according to the Passyunk Post.

In any case, anything is better than what’s there now: the property, which was once a brush factory, currently stands as a blighted eyesore just a stone’s throw away from South Philadelphia High School. If and when the project reaches completion, the complex will have 1-and-2-bedroom units ranging from $800 to $1,800/month.

Developer lowers number of apartments in proposed Artisan Lofts at 12th and Jackson [Passyunk Post]

Temporary SubReddit Forum Seeks to Find The Best of Every Philly Neighborhood

reddit r/phillyhoods screenshot

Here’s your chance to sing praises (or not?) to your neighborhood if you feel it’s been overlooked for other sections of the city.

A temporary subreddit called r/phillyhoods is open to everyone from locals to tourists to contribute their own knowledge of Philadelphia neighborhoods (activities, livability, safety, etc). The goal is to gather enough info to “improve [their] wiki without crowding the main page of r/philadelphia” and attract visitors to areas other than Center City.

So go! Threads on Logan Square, Old City, and others are sorely lacking in responses as of publishing time!

Morning Headlines: Rittenhouse Shopping Corridor Is Changing For the Better

Rittenhouse_Square

New stores and relocations can do a lot for an area, none more evident than in the ever evolving Rittenhouse shopping district. Taking note of its changes, the Inquirer’s Elizabeth Wellington shines a light on the neighborhood’s growing status as an “epicenter of style:”

Although they are merely relocating, the moves of Duke & Winston, Joan Shepp, and Knit Wit to Chestnut are significant because, with Boyds Philadelphia, they help maintain a boutiquey vibe on the street.

And why is this “boutiquey vibe” important?

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Morning Headlines: The Never-Ending Fight Over the S. S. United States

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Lydia O’Neill and Jeff Gammage have a mega report at The Inquirer this morning about the ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) dispute over the S.S. United States’ future. In a nutshell: the official conservancy that owns the boat says its best bet for survival is redevelopment in New York (after a lengthy and costly set of repairs here) and local developer Joe Henwood wants to turn it into a floating hotel near Harrah’s in Chester.

The Conservancy says Henwood’s idea is dead on arrival and Joe says he’ll just wait until the Conservancy runs out of money to buy the boat himself. Hill International’s Irvin Richter agrees that the Conservancy had its time to make progress on the ship (it’s been 18 years) but the Conservancy says without the work it’s done already, the ship would have been scuttled ages ago.

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