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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Morning Headlines: There’s a Construction Boom in University City

4101 Sansom, in development by Campus Apartments. Photo: Laura Kicey

4101 Sansom, in development by Campus Apartments. Photo: Laura Kicey

No doubt new projects sprouting around the city are contributing to Philadelphia’s growth spurt, but University City in particular has been seeing a substantial rise in developments that had last been present decades ago. According to Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal, the neighborhood is getting over $1 billion in funds for new constructions.

Other positives alongside the building boom include:

Jobs and employment have risen, population grown, housing stock increased, the number of restaurants and retailers crept up and the amount of office inventory has expanded and maintains an enviable 96 occupancy rate, according to University City’s latest annual report. An abundance of development activity is underway and billions of dollars more will eventually be set in motion.

Among the projects planned to help revitalize the West Philly neighborhood even further are the 40th St. trolley station renovation, which is a collaboration between the University City District, SEPTA, and various city agencies.

University City on the rise [Business Journal]

More news this way…

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Morning Headlines: Museum of the American Revolution Breaks Ground

It’s expected to open sometime in late 2016, but construction of the Museum of the American Revolution will soon be underway. In fact, the Inquirer’s Stephan Salisbury reports that a symbolic groundbreaking took place yesterday for the $119 million building designed Robert A.M. Stern.

You may recall the museum was previously under a lot of scrutiny when renderings first came out, leaving a number of people unimpressed. “Could [it] be constructed in a way to make its Georgian details feel plausibly like real architecture?” asked Inga Saffron in 2012. Even after its redesign, the building’s appearance was still deemed uninspired.

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Morning Headlines: Home Buyer Tries to Burn Down House Before Finalizing Deal

Photo credit: Newtown Township Police Department's Facebook page.

Police officers (maybe even this guy?) found the man hiding out in his car near the home.
Photo credit: Newtown Township Police Department’s Facebook page.

In news that sounds like something out of a movie (starring Jim Carrey perhaps?), an Allentown man in the final stages of buying a home in Newtown Township tried to set the property on fire hours before finalizing the deal, among other things.

According to Jo Ciavaglia of the Courier Times, police found John Pfeiffer Jr. hiding out in his car after the sellers (who were spending one last night in their home) overheard him trying to break in: Read more »

Retail Roundup: The City’s Newest Stores


Shoppist is always abuzz with news of store openings, so here’s a roundup of the latest in Philly.

Center City
We told you months ago that Uniqlo at 1608 Chestnut would be opening this fall, but Shoppist had the first peek inside before the store launched this past Friday. If you haven’t been there yet, expect to see three fully-stocked floors (basement too) and a mezzanine with the largest mismatched color floor in the country!

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Morning Headlines: Pantzer Properties Buys the Sansom For $42 Million

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo credit: Google Street View

A new rental community seems to be in the works for the corner of 16th and Samson. The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni reports that New York-based Pantzer Properties has acquired an eight-story building at 1605 Samson Street, its second purchase on the block this year.

Pantzer previously bought the Oakwood Philadelphia at 1601 Samson for $28.87 million. That property, which has 80 residential units and 11,192 square feet of retail space, is slated to become a market rate rental community called the Point at Rittenhouse Row.

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Venice Island Is Reborn!

venice island

The performing arts center, when it was still under construction in June. Photo: Liz Spikol

Tomorrow Mayor Nutter will once again stand at a podium in Philadelphia and talk about the city’s green-friendly, river-related growth as he unveils the new performing arts and recreation center on long forgotten Venice Island, the Guam of Philadelphia. The spit of land in the Schuylkill across from the Manayunk Towpath has served official functions throughout the years, and had a crumbly rec center, but it hasn’t had much of a sense of identity or connection to the mainland. Those who used the rec center didn’t seem to communicate much with the outside world about the island, leaving many in the dark.

That’s all set to change after the hitherto-unknown-to-be-creative folks at the Philadelphia Water Department and Parks and Rec came together for a Kumbaya-style “if they build it, they will come” project spurred by necessity but inspired by, like, Portland.

Here’s how it happened:

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Morning Headlines: Trump Actually Takes His Name Off Something

Trump_PlazaWhile Donald Trump may have a rather strong sense of self-esteem, he’s also a savvy businessman who’s well aware of which properties he owns and doesn’t own. In the case of AC’s Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal, he hasn’t owned either one, notes the Philadelphia Business Journal, in five years. Rather, they’re owned by Trump Entertainment, which is in bankruptcy. He’s been trying to get his name off of them since August.

He’ll get his wish today, daughter Ivanka says. There’s more from the Business Journal, which aggregated a story from the AP, which was featured on So this is, what, a fourth-hand aggregation? At some point in my journalism career, there would be a Philly reporter in the car at 5 a.m., swigging coffee, on the way to AC having gotten a tip from a construction worker who was putting up scaffolding.

Anyway. For the source where I saw this news, go here.

More headlines, this way.

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