South Philly’s Bok School Will Become a Hub for Creative People

The new project's homepage invokes the building's educational roots with a photo by Katrina Ohstrom.

The new project’s homepage invokes the building’s educational roots with a photo by Katrina Ohstrom.

If the former Edward W. Bok School actually is transformed the way developer Lindsey Scannapieco plans, it’ll be the city’s “largest creative community space,” according to the nonprofit urbanism org Next City, which presciently made Scannapieco a 2014 Next City Vanguard member. Scannapieco’s company, Scout Ltd., was picked by the Philadelphia School District and School Reform Commission (SRC) after an open auction process moderated by PIDC. Now Scout is tasked with refashioning the hulking block-long building—we’re talking 340,000 square feet—into a dynamic multi-use space that’ll cater to artists, entrepreneurs, and “Philadelphia creatives.”

From the project website:

Offering an unprecedented concentration of space for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) innovators, artists and entrepreneurs, our proposed new use will channel the maker and craftsman roots of Bok’s history into a new showcasing space for Philadelphia’s leading creative talent. Featuring on-site parking, high volume spaces, hardwood floors, heavy floor loading capacities and a critical mass of creatives, this building will be unlike anything else within the region.

There will be:

    - “affordable” rental apartments
    - 5 roof terraces for public use, i.e., rooftop cinema, outdoor beer terraces
    - variety of work spaces
    - ground floor with “active, engaged and innovative uses that will build on the energy and new businesses of the East Passyunk Crossing neighborhood.”

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Hot Yoga Coming to Whole Foods Squared

Priya Hot Yoga, currently undergoing construction.

I’ve decided to call the area around Callowhill between 18th and 22nd Whole Foods Squared, since there will be two Whole Foods within mere blocks of each other, one of which will be on Rodin Square. It’s one of those invented sub-neighborhood names that will surely take off. At least on this blog.

At any rate, the newest addition to the WFS ’hood will be a hot yoga studio at 1828 Callowhill, around the corner from WF#1, where yoga mats and refillable bottles are on sale.

And with 293 luxury apartments opening just blocks away, I’d say Priya Hot Yoga‘s owners have the right idea.

“There’s a lot of great energy in that neighborhood,” co-owner Katie Sandy told Be Well Philly. “I think it’s just a very positive neighborhood, and we thought it could use something like this.”

Sandy and has two business partners in the venture, whose 2,200-square-foot space will also include a sit-down cafe. Smart, smart, smart.

For more, check out our sister site’s coverage over here.

Morning Headlines: 40th Street Trolley Station Redesign Plan Gets More Funding

Photo credit: University City District website.

Rendering of the planned renovation.
Photo credit: University City District website.

According to the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Sophia White, the University City District, which has been fundraising for the 40th Street trolley station redesign project since 2012, has “raised $1.4 million of its $2 million goal.” Added to this sum is a recent $6,500 award to the project, courtesy of PECO and Natural Lands Trust.

White reports that Lori Brennan, UCD’s spokesperson, sees the renovation as ideal given its location as a “crossroads of economy-shaping institutions and job-creating commercial corridors” and “key access point that allows residents of the region to efficiently commute to Philadelphia’s central business district.” UCD hopes to see the station’s potential through. From DP:

UCD wants the space to better reflect the dynamic neighborhood that the station introduces. Traveling from Center City into West Philadelphia, SEPTA trolley riders currently emerge from a dark tunnel to face a bleak acre of underused space. But after the renovations, this unattractive first impression will become a “vibrant and social space, featuring trees, movable tables and chairs, native horticulture, artful lighting and boulders for creative play,” Brennan said.

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Morning Headlines: The Divine Lorraine Now Has A Website (And More Photos!)

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

In anticipation of the Divine Lorraine renovation, EB Realty Management Corp. unveiled a website for the historic North Broad structure a few days ago.

For some reason this makes the mixed-use project feel more official, not least for the reason that it includes a “waiting list” sign up form for those of us interested in getting up-to-the-minute updates on its progress. Other goodies: de facto list of those involved, street and building history, neighborhood impact summary, and historic and current photographs of the property.

• Digital Development: New Divine Lorraine Website Plus Pics [Curbed Philly]

In other news…

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Morning Headlines: Free Library To Get $25 Million Grant For Branch Renovations

Photo credit: Kansas Sebastian via Flickr.

Photo credit: Kansas Sebastian via Flickr.

In news that is sure to quell left over fears from rumored library closings a fews years ago, the William Penn Foundation has promised to grant FLP $25 million over the course of three years. The donation will fund the redesign of outdated storage stacks at Central Library on Vine Street, a proposed community center addition to Lovett Memorial Library in Mount Airy, and renovations for branches on Broad Street and West Lehigh, Wagner, and Torresdale Avenues.

According to the Inquirer’s Peter Dobrin, Free Library president and director Siobahn Reardon sees the renovations as the “architectural manifestation of a recent shift in mission that concentrates on job-seekers, pre-K children, entrepreneurs and small-business owners, new Americans, people with disabilities, and consumers of medical and health-care information.”  This “shift” came after Reardon attended community forums and realized different neighborhoods needed access to different programs and information, NewsWorks’ Peter Crimmins reports.

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Morning Headlines: Delco Residents Protest Strip Mall Proposal

 

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With clumps of vacant commercial properties already taking up room in parts of Brookhaven, it’s no wonder the borough’s council members are keeping mum on a proposal the Inquirer’s Laura McCrystal calls “one of the borough’s only large parcels of open space.” Currently, the space is a baseball field and wooded lot.

The plan involves developing 26 acres of the 56-acre lot on the corner of Edgmont Avenue and Coeburn Boulevard, which the Chester Water Authority owns. Developers interested in the space plan to build a Giant Supermarket (the Giant currently across from the space would relocate to the new development), LA Fitness, restaurant, and retail space. Preliminary plans from developer Robert Hill included 770 parking spaces.

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One Riverside Gets Roadshow Trolley Tour

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Our coverage of Carl Dranoff’s One Riverside reveals all the amenities the 25th and Locust condo tower is slated to have, but if you’re curious about other features and services, “Dranoff’s One Riverside Road Show” might answer further questions.

The road show will be traveling sales office inside a custom-wrapped trolley powered by the Philadelphia Trolley Works, and will be making its way through the city and suburbs for the duration of September (everywhere “from Abington to Ardmore”). Inside will be sales materials, renderings, and more images of building views.

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Gensler Will Design New Comcast Tower’s Interior (RENDERINGS)

Photo credit: Gensler

Photo credit: Gensler

A Monday press release has announced Gensler, a global architectural and design firm headquartered in San Francisco, will be working with Foster + Partners and Daroff Design Inc. to design the interior of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center.

Among Gensler’s accolades are the Architecture Firm Award, presented to them in 2000 by the AIA, and the Corporate Design Excellence Award, given to them by the IIDA in 2013, 2012, and 2011.

According to the press release, the collaboration is meant “to create a functional, aesthetic, sustainable and progressive interior environment that will effectively integrate with the architectural design of the building” at 18th and Arch. LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council is sought for the interior.

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East Market Project Gets Infusion of Funds

east market rendering detail

Detail from one of the East Market renderings. Full versions below. Courtesy National Real Estate Development.

Gov. Tom Corbett has just given the East Market project a $2.5 million shot in the arm, bringing the total state monies invested so far to $10 million. The city, according to a release that went out today, will spend $4 million to spruce up the area in question, once known as Market East (which previously had a train station known as Market East as well, but now known as Jefferson. Quiz later).

The project is that massive reinvention of, er, The Area Formerly Known As Market East. From the release, here are the latest details:

The funding will help support the first phase of development for East Market, estimated to cost $230 million. This initial phase encompasses 1100 Market Street, including new construction of a mixed‐use development consisting of 107,000 square feet of new retail with frontage on Market Street and a 322-unit apartment building above the retail space. There will also be a new parking garage for 201 cars and a centralized loading facility to service this and future phases of the East Market development, all below grade to minimize traffic impacts and support the pedestrian-centric plans. Also included in this first phase is 34 South 11th Street, former home of the Family Court. This building will be transformed into 150,000 square feet of new office space and an additional 44,000 square feet of ground floor and second floor retail space.

East Market is owned by National Real Estate Advisors, JOSS Realty Partners LLC, Young Capital LLC and SSH Real Estate and is supported on this project by IBEW, NECA and NEBF.

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Developer Needs Zoning Relief For Mixed-Use Project On 4th and Fairmount

Photo credit: Google Street View

Photo credit: Google Street View

Developer David Perlman wants to transform the site of the former Trans Atlantic Company warehouse and nearby buildings into residences, PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports. Last we heard, developer Greg Hill had his eye on the building at 4th and Fairmount and planned to adaptively reuse the property, according to Sandy Smith.

Now, Perlman has presented his plans before the Zoning Board of Adjustment and asked for zoning relief for the proposed 55-unit project that will still involve “the demolition of a few buildings and the adaptive reuse of others.” Residents brought up potential parking issues, much like last time, but it was the question of commercial space that took precedence this time around:

The major issue between the developer and the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association—and “major” is probably an overstatement—is about the amount of commercial space included in the project. The original plans called for no commercial space, but after conversations with NLNA, Perlman says he agreed to include 1,000 square feet of commercial space in one unit facing Fairmount.

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