Abandoned Railroad in Fox Chase Could Soon Be a Park Trail

Photo credit: Google Street View.

Photo credit: Google Street View.

If you’ve ever walked by the Fox Chase Regional Rail Station in Northeast Philly, you may have noticed a long-abandoned railroad bed taking up precious space across from it. That site, we are now happy to report, might in due time breathe new life as a park trail.

The tracks, which were once a continuation of the Fox Chase-Newtown Line, stopped being used by SEPTA in the early ’80s. William Kenney at the Northeast Times now reports the Planning Commission has succeeded in acquiring grant funds to “study the conversion of SEPTA’s abandoned Fox Chase-Newtown Line into a park trail,” a part of which has already been repurposed as Lorimer Trail on the Montgomery County side.

The news, which included the Commission getting a second grant for another study that would look into putting sidewalks on the Rockwell-Hasbrook section of Oxford Avenue, was announced by local resident Chuck Tucker earlier this month during a Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch meeting,

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Morning Headlines: Mixed-Use Development Planned Near King of Prussia Mall

King of Prussia rendering

King of Prussia Malls’s planned addition isn’t the only thing coming to the area: the Inquirer’s Jason Laughlin reports that the former Valley Forge Golf Course, a 135-acre parcel of land near the mall, is set to get apartments, a hospital, and further shopping.

Laughlin says that the on-site Wegmans, which has been there for two years, will eventually be in the company of a “Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia facility, 249,985 additional square feet of retail, […] 365 residential units” and, one day, an extension of the Norristown High Speed Line. If you’re wondering why this development would warrant an elevated line extension, that’s because the community is expected to grow in coming years.
From the Inquirer: Read more »

ThinkFest Recap: Why the New Comcast Skyscraper Will Be Great for Philly

Missed Thinkfest? Not to worry, we have a social media roundup of the highlights. Here’s one of Comcast Senior Vice President Karen Buchholz telling us why the upcoming Comcast Innovation and Technolgy Center will be great for the city:

Karen Buchholz, senior vp, Comcast, makes a case for the new Comcast building in 15 seconds. #ThinkFest

A video posted by Philadelphia Magazine (@phillymag) on

Morning Headlines: Neighbors Say Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place Is Too Tall


Dranoff Properties’ One Ardmore Place was off to a rocky start and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. According to Cheryl Allison at the Main Line Times, residents recently banded together at a meeting to express their disapproval for the redevelopment project’s height.

During a forum with the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners this past Wednesday, neighbors wore t-shirts with the words “Save Cricket Lot 4 Ardmore” and argued that the sections of the planned mixed-use building that rise up eight stories do not adhere to the neighborhood’s character. They then reiterated past complaints, as well. From the Main Line Times: Read more »

$1.1 Million State Grant to Aid Northwest Philly’s Wayfinding Project

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill and other neighborhoods in Northwest Philadelphia are about to see a massive makeover thanks to Mt. Airy USA, a community development group heavily involved, PlanPhilly’s Daniel Pasquarello says, in neighborhood revitalization projects.

In this instance, the group is spearheading the Connecting & Building Philadelphia’s Safest Corridors project, which involves creating a “much-needed regional wayfinding system of signs” and “the installation of 10 shelters along some of the area’s busiest bus routes.”

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Hotel Slated for Little Pete’s Site Moves Forward


The hotel planned for the site currently occupied by a parking garage and Little Pete’s diner advanced earlier this week. Philadelphia’s planning commission voted unanimously to recommend a bill that would amend zoning regulations to allow the Hudson Hotel to be built at the site.

The bill would allow the hotel to proceed without going to the zoning board. The planning commission said it considered this corrective rather than spot zoning, as it seems like 17th and Chancellor should already be zoned to allow hotel construction. City Council’s rules committee will vote on the bill rezoning the site on December 2nd.

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KOP Becomes the Montreal of Malls


When a co-worker first heard that the King of Prussia Mall would be expanding, she wrote, via chat, “WHY IS KING OF PRUSSIA EXPANDING??? IT’S ALREADY LIKE 55 MILES WORTH OF SHOPPING. I can’t.” This was a legitimate response, especially for those of us with credit card debt.

But the expansion isn’t just about shopping. It’s also about warmth, since one must now go outside to walk between the two malls, The Court and The Plaza. The expansion will make the entire site fully enclosed. For renderings and details, go here.

Bart Blatstein Plans Mixed-Use Complex in South Philly

The vacant lot at Broad and Washington that Blatstein wants to develop. Photo via Google Street View.

The vacant lot at Broad and Washington that Blatstein wants to develop. Photo via Google Street View.

With casino fever taking over yesterday, it was easy to overlook another project Bart Blatstein, one of the applicants who lost out on Philadelphia’s second gaming license, has in mind for the city.

If you will recall, rumors of a Wegmans coming to South Philadelphia sprung up earlier this year after he expressed interest in developing a vacant lot at the corner of Broad and Washington. Those rumors were squashed pretty quickly and, a few months later, Blatstein presented a clearer picture of what he wanted to do: a verticle Piazza-like community with “every amenity known to mankind.”

Yesterday, that idea was scratched.

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Forum to Discuss LOVE Park Redesign

PennPraxis is hosting a public forum at the Free Library to discuss the upcoming redesign of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park. The overhaul of this very important public space merits as much community input as possible, so register now.

More info here.

Morning Headlines: 500 Walnut Gets Design Approval Recommendation

500Walnut-Rendering-new copy The proposed 500 Walnut tower that would overlook Independence Hall may have already received zoning approval, but its developer and architect still had one more group to convince for its design last week. This past Friday, they got just that as the Philadelphia Historical Commission gave the newly tweaked building an approval recommendation.

PlanPhilly’s Matt Golas reports Cecil Baker, the architect chosen for the Scannapieco Development project, presented his alterations before the commission, the commission’s Architectural Committe and the Philadelphia Art Commission. Changes included a proposal for the use of “greenish glass and metal curtain walls, with areas of stone classing to the base” and “a mix of metal-frame windows and multi-story window walls” for the upper floors.

Baker’s adjustments to 500 Walnut comes from input he received from commission members, local residents and the National Park Service. Here’s more from PlanPhilly: Read more »

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