Why Parkway’s Doubling Down on North Broad

Parkway Corporation's proposed development at Broad and Spring Garden would add offices to the residence-retail mix found in other North Broad projects currently underway. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Parkway Corporation’s proposed development at Broad and Spring Garden would add offices to the residence-retail mix found in other North Broad projects currently underway. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Along with Eric Blumenfeld, Parkway Corporation has become one of the most important developers along the North Broad Street corridor. And like Blumenfeld, Parkway sees the street as having untapped potential as an all-day live/work/play environment. (The folks at Parkway should know: the company headquarters is at Broad and Race streets.)

What’s different about Parkway’s latest development proposal is that it seeks to combine all three of those elements into a single package at a convenient location.

“It’s my dream to build significant office space there, to get some jobs into that neighborhood,” said Parkway CEO Robert Zuritsky. “The retail and residential are a slam dunk, but [North Broad] is also an important commercial district.” Read more »

Is the High-End Rental Party Over Now That It’s Gained Steam Here?

The developer of The Bridge will get the rents he needs to make his project work, but those who break ground on their projects in the year ahead may find the going tougher. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The developer of The Bridge will get the rents he needs to make his project work, but those who break ground on their projects in the year ahead may find the going tougher. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The real estate sections in local and regional media of late, most definitely including this one, have been awash with stories about new luxury rental developments (like this one, or this one, or this one). Hardly a day passes without an announcement of a new high-end project on the drawing boards or a ribbon-cutting at a newly completed one.

This boom in high-end apartment construction in Philadelphia comes as a similar one nationwide enters its eighth year. That’s about the point where market cycles come to an end as supply begins to outstrip demand, and when that happens, those developers who find themselves standing instead of sitting when the music stops usually have to resort to price cuts to fill vacant units. Those who have announced but not begun new projects end up shelving them until things pick up again (if they pick up in time for the developer to follow through). Read more »

High-End Rental Boom Moves to the Suburbs

New luxury developments such as Carl Dranoff's upcoming One Ardmore Place are reshaping suburban downtowns. They're giving older Main Streets a shot in the arm, but bringing with them some of the same worries about displacing poorer residents. | Image: Dranoff Properties

New luxury developments such as Carl Dranoff’s upcoming One Ardmore Place are reshaping suburban downtowns. They’re giving older Main Streets a shot in the arm, but bringing with them some of the same worries about displacing poorer residents. | Image: Dranoff Properties

Apartments in downtown Phoenixville for $1,300 to $3,000 a month? Who knew?

Just as they have in the city, the Millennials are touching off a construction boom that’s now busily reshaping suburban communities around the region.

The Philadephia Inquirer reported Sunday (Jan. 8) on a surge in construction of upscale apartments in suburban communities such as Phoenixville, West Chester, King of Prussia, Ardmore and Bala Cynwyd.

According to the article, nearly 7,000 new apartments are either under construction or in the pipeline in Lower and Upper Merion Townships, Phoenixville and West Chester alone. The construction boom is reviving old downtowns like Phoenixville and transforming auto-oriented environments like King of Prussia. Read more »

More Residential Towers Coming Near North Broad

Rendering of the proposed Hamilton development's Hamilton Street elevation. | Renderings: MY Architecture

Rendering of the proposed Hamilton development’s Hamilton Street elevation. | Renderings: MY Architecture

Having developed two apartment towers in University City, Radnor Property Group (RPG) is turning its sights to the North Broad Street corridor for its next in-city project.

Curbed Philly reports that the developer has submitted a proposal for a mixed-use project called The Hamilton to the Civic Design Review panel. The project consists of two towers containing a combined 600 residential units, 8,000 square feet of street-level retail, and a partly buried 150-space parking garage.

The design by MY Architecture shows two towers, one of then 197 feet high and the other 131 feet high, clad in metal and glass. RPG proposes to construct the project in two phases. Read more »

How 10 Townhomes Sold Quickly in Fairmount

The living room of 2345 Pennsylvania Ave., one of 10 large luxury townhomes HOW Properties sold within eight months of their construction. | Photos: HOW Properties

The living room of 2345 Pennsylvania Ave., one of 10 large luxury townhomes HOW Properties sold within eight months of their construction. | Photos: HOW Properties

Want some concrete evidence of the strength of the high-end housing market in Philadelphia? Then read on for a tale of a new townhouse project in Fairmount that sold out in just eight months.

The project, Green Street Estates, is a development of HOW Properties, a Conshohocken-based builder with years of experience building homes in up-and-coming Philadelphia neighborhoods. Located on the west end of the 2300 blocks of Green Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, just about around the corner from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the development consists of 10 three-story townhomes with basements and roof decks. The units range in size from 4,921 to 5,282 square feet, and they listed for anywhere from $1.7 to $2 million each.

On the outside, these units were designed to blend in with the architecture of their respective blocks. While contemporary in form, the three homes facing Pennsylvania Avenue have exteriors that match the Moderne style of most of the buildings along that street, while the Green Street homes have darker brick facades and crenellated cornices that more closely match the style of their late 19th-century neighbors. Read more »

North Broad Street Takes Stock of Itself

There's plenty of potential on North Broad Street, according to North Broad Renaissance's "State of North Broad 2016" report. | Photo by Flickr user ChristineFisher, licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0

There’s plenty of potential on North Broad Street, according to North Broad Renaissance’s “State of North Broad 2016” report. | Photo by Flickr user ChristineFisher, licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0

How is North Broad Street faring right now?

Not as badly as many think. The numbers contained in the “State of North Broad 2016” report, released last week by North Broad Renaissance (NBR), paint a picture of a corridor that, while still challenged, contains plenty of potential for growth and revitalization. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Alexis Miles

This architect's rendering shows one of the developments The Partnership Project is now working on, a planned 12-unit condominium on North 16th Street in Tioga. | Rendering and photo courtesy Alexis Miles

This architect’s rendering shows one of the developments The Partnership Project is now working on, a planned 12-unit condominium on North 16th Street in Tioga. | Rendering and photo courtesy Alexis Miles

This is the first in a series of profiles that will introduce you each month to the people who are actively changing the face of Philadelphia.

NAME: Alexis Miles

TITLE: Founder and owner, The Partnership Project

AGE: 25

LOCATION: Center City Philadelphia

WHAT SHE’S DOING: Miles’ goal with her companies is twofold: She would like to revitalize struggling underdeveloped city neighborhoods with new construction while avoiding the negative effects that often accompany such redevelopment. To achieve the latter goal, she seeks to educate neighborhood residents on how they can cut their tax bills and remain in their homes while also encouraging them to become small-scale real estate investors themselves by participating in her projects, thus building wealth. Read more »

AKA University City, (Almost) Ready For Its Closeup

One of the furnished suites tour guests got to inspect. This unit was furnished and equipped like those on the penthouse floors, with even higher-end European appliances and furnishings, including a concealed refrigerator in the kitchen. |Photos: AKA

One of the furnished suites tour guests got to inspect. This unit was furnished and equipped like those on the penthouse floors, with even higher-end European appliances and furnishings, including a concealed Liebherr refrigerator in the kitchen. | Photos: AKA

The last time we toured AKA University City at Cira Centre South, the residence/hotel was largely piles of drywall and warrens of metal studs.

That wasn’t the case on Dec. 7, when AKA President and Korman Communities co-CEO Larry Korman and Brandywine Realty Trust CEO Jerry Sweeney took the wraps off the completed residence and hotel suites in a panel discussion and tour.

The discussion, which took place at Cira Green next door and included panelists from the architects and designers whose work went into the tower and hotel — Mark Shoemaker of Cira Centre supervising architect Pelli Clarke Pelli, Eric Rahe of project architect BLTa, Nicoletta Canesi of Lissoni Associati and Edward Asfour of Asfour Guzy Associates — focused on the evolution and development of what’s being billed as “Philadelphia’s first vertical neighborhood,” a key component of which is AKA University City. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: The Bridge

A finished model unit at The Bridge, outfitted with furniture from Millésimé | Ligne Roset. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise noted

A finished model unit at The Bridge, outfitted with furniture from Millésimé | Ligne Roset. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise noted

Some of 205 Race Street’s Old City neighbors wanted a building at Second and Race streets that respected the neighborhood’s cornice line.

They got one, only with a tower plunked on top of it.

Others worried about the view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. A hole in that tower preserves it.

And both the neighbors and the developer of the building wish the billboard right next to it would just go away.

Well, you can’t get everything you want. But this imaginative green apartment tower gives a lot to both its future residents and its neighbors, as this tour of work in progress should show. Read more »

A Pool With A View Proposed for Fishtown Mixed-Use Project

Rendering of the projecting pool proposed for 1220 Frankford Ave. by Morris Adjmi Architects

Rendering of the projecting pool proposed for 1220 Frankford Ave. by Morris Adjmi Architects

Developer Roland Kassis has tweaked and refined the design for his proposed boutique hotel at 1224 Frankford Ave., a project Fishtown residents enthusiastically supported when he brought the first set of renderings before the Fishtown Neighbors Association in February of last year.

The basic structure and elements of the project remain: a new industrial-loft-style building to the north of the existing building at 1220, whose Shepard Fairey mural will become part of the hotel’s interior. A co-working facility with a lounge in its partially sunken cellar in the 1220 building and a jazz club/cafe on the street floor of the new building. A new boutique hotel on the upper floors of the new building, and a members-only pool club on the roof of 1220. Read more »

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