Morning Headlines: Velodrome Developers Meet Opponents During Wednesday Presentation

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Developers behind the proposed $100 million velodrome project at FDR Park had their first presentation before the Parks and Recreation Commission yesterday, reports Inga Saffron. According to her, the meeting was packed with over 150 attendees, some of who were not there to voice their support:

Although the velodrome developers have promised to make significant park improvements to mitigate the arena’s impact, several neighborhood residents expressed skepticism about the benefits of another large facility in South Philadelphia. The velodrome would be located across from the sports complex and a few blocks from the site of a newly approved casino on Packer Avenue.

“This is the elephant in the room. We are already impacted so severely,” argued Anna Maria Vona, who uses the park for morning walks. “I’m tired of outsiders coming into our community.”

One project backer responded by saying…

Coming to the Marketplace Design Center: The “Family Apartment”

An interior shot of the Marketplace Design Center by MikeWebkist via Flickr.

An interior shot of the Marketplace Design Center by MikeWebkist via Flickr.

Apartments in Philadelphia generally come in three sizes: small (studio), medium (one bedroom), and large (two-bedroom), with small and medium dominating.

A new development that will transform a Schuylkill riverside landmark is about to rewrite that formula in response to changing demographics and trends. Instead of small, medium and large, the apartments in this new project will come in medium, large and extra large.

Next year, PMC Property Group will begin work on a project that will turn the Marketplace Design Center at 2401 Market St. into a mixed-use building that will include office space, street-level retail, a hotel and apartments in addition to a reconfigured showcase for interior designers. Read more »

Northeast Philly’s Center for Autism Awarded $1 Million Grant For Expansion

The Center for Autism in Philadelphia has two facilities, one of which has just received a $1 million grant courtesy of the state’s Economic Initiative Grant Program. John George at the Business Journal reports the money will go to expanding the center’s satellite facility in Northeast Philadelphia:

Awarded through the state’s Economic Initiative Grant Program, the money will be used to renovate space at center’s Grant Avenue location, which will allow the facility to provide 350 more evaluations each year and serve 270 more individuals and families through its various treatment programs.

But wait, there’s more…

Morning Headlines: Game-Changing Tower Planned For Walnut Street

Photo via Google Street View.

The long-planned “Fergie Tower” project by U3 Ventures has officially passed over to the Goldenberg Group who bought the site of the proposed mixed-use development for $8.2 million, according to Natalie Kostelni at the Philadelphia Business Journal. A 26-story tower with 300 apartments and ground-level retail space is anticipated for the property at 1213-19 Walnut Street.

Kostelni adds that the $100 million project “has the potential to be a game changer for that part of Walnut Street and an anchor east of Broad Street.” Here are early renderings of the planned structure when U3 Ventures and Goldenberg teamed up in April.

Parking lot where ‘Fergie Tower’ was proposed sold to Goldenberg Group [Business Journal]

Meanwhile, in other news…

Morning Headlines: New Luxury Hotel to Replace Four Seasons After Renovation

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

The Inquirer’s Bob Fernandez reports the Four Seasons Hotel, set to move to the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center when it’s completed in 2018, will shut its doors at One Logan Square this June. Following an extensive renovation, its former site will reopen under a yet to be named luxury hotel (although whispers of a Marriott have been circulating.)

Sage Hospitality, Fernandez adds, will be in charge of the transition and intends to keep as many Four Seasons employees as possible:

Walter Isenberg, chief executive officer and president of Sage Hospitality, said that the Four Seasons in Philadelphia “has earned a spot as one of the city’s most important hospitality assets. While honoring the property’s past, we will make it relevant to today’s traveler as a modern luxury hotel. We are excited to be joining the Philadelphia community and look forward to introducing a new restaurant concept from our Sage Restaurant Group.”

Sage intends to retain as many Four Seasons employees as possible, Isenberg said.

Four Seasons to close for renovations in June [Inquirer]

In other news…

Read more »

PHOTOS: The Foundation Mat Concrete Pour for the New Comcast Tower

The largest concrete pour in Philadelphia history thus far (although some would beg to differ, see comment in the linked post) took place Friday night and continued on until Saturday morning. It was riveting stuff and apparently people gathered for the momentous occasion to immortalize it in social media heaven.

Below, some photos from the event:

Read more »

Brewerytown Revitalization to Continue as Developer Set to Invest $60 Million

Photo credit: Brewerytown Living.

Photo credit: Brewerytown Living.

MM Partners, a developer who has invested close to $45 million in Brewerytown within the last decade, according to Natalie Kostelni at the Philadelphia Business Journal, plans to keep the neighborhood booming with approximately $60 million in future investments.

Kostelni reports MM Partners, which has “more than 50 residential, retail and mixed-use properties” in Brewerytown, has mainly kept its eye on a five-block stretch of the neighborhood. Below are Kostelni’s roundup of some of the developer’s in-progress projects:
Read more »

Morning Headlines: New Comcast Tower Requires the Largest Concrete Pour In Philly’s History

Rendering of Comcast Technology and Innovation Center via NBC10.

Rendering of Comcast Technology and Innovation Center via NBC10.

The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will hold two titles when it’s completed: Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper and largest concrete pour. According to the Inquirer’s Bob Fernandez, contractors are set to pour “400 truckloads of concrete” for the skyscraper’s foundation mat, “one of the largest concrete pours in city history” per city officials.

Fernandez reports the 1800 block of Arch will be closed during the pour, which will start at midnight tonight and end Saturday at 5:00pm. The foundation mat will be attached to city bedrock and weight up to 15 million pounds.

Rain or shine,’ concrete will pour in Center City [Inquirer]

Meanwhile, in other news…

Read more »

Brand New Queen Lane Apartments Will Have Wednesday Groundbreaking

The demolished Queen Lane Apartments building via Google Street View.

The demolished Queen Lane Apartments building via Google Street View.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has announced that it will break ground on the new Queen Lane Apartments development in Germantown on December 17th.

Expected to reach completion before this time next year, the project will consist of 55 apartment units with “a mix of low-rise flats, walkups, and townhouses.”

Read more »

Morning Headlines: 4601 Market Closer to Being New Police Headquarters

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

The Planning Commission approved a zoning change for 4601 Market earlier this week, which means the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building is closer to becoming the Philadelphia Public Safety Services campus.

PlanPhilly’s Matt Golas reports that breathing new life into the structure, which will eventually be the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department, medical examiner’s office and city morgue, has “long been supported by the local preservation community” and that adaptively reusing the project is part of the city’s larger plan to revitalize neighborhoods:

Fulfilling the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s 2035 Plan goals, the campus will also employ stormwater management practices, enhance public space, and have easy access to SEPTA’s Market-Frankford EL 46th Street Station.

Read more »

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