Developer to Present Plans for Little Pete’s Successor Tomorrow Night

Rendering of the Hudson Hotel planned for 17th and Chancellor.

Rendering of the Hudson Hotel planned for 17th and Chancellor.

It’s been a little while since we’ve heard anything about the proposed Hudson Hotel project at 17th and Chancellor Street – you know, the one that will replace Little Pete’s (and the 4-story parking garage above it).

The Center City Residents Association (CCRA) will hold a community meeting at 10th Presbyterian Church (17th and Delancey Street) on January 29th at 7 p.m. where developer Clemens Construction will present its plans then take questions and comments. Steve Huntington of CCRA called it a “public forum regarding the project.” He also mentioned that it’s a chance for the developer and CCRA to get feedback on the project as well as a chance for neighbors to hear each other’s take on the proposal.

In December, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson held the bill that would see the property re-zoned in order to accommodate the construction of the $125 million hotel project.

Here’s more from the newsletter:

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Morning Headlines: Building That Houses Spruce Food Market Has Been Sold

There's a parking garage just above that beautiful sign. | Photo: James Jennings

There’s a parking garage just above that beautiful sign. | Photo: James Jennings

Want to know the going rate for a 175-vehicle parking garage that also houses one of the most recognizable signs in Center City? Apparently, it’s “roughly $7.2M,” according to a report in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

An affiliate of Post Bros. purchased the building from CLL Towne Inc. and will be used to supplement the adaptive reuse project at 260 S. Broad St. That project will see the Atlantic Building transformed into a high-end residential building with ground floor retail and, let’s not forget, beautiful designs from starchitecture firm Rafael Viñoly Architects.

As for the sale of Spruce Food Market space and above garage, there’s a interesting note at the bottom of the article:

The structure does have air rights that would allow it to be expanded by about 50,000 square feet but that’s “just an added bonus,” [developer Matt Pestronk of Post Bros.] said and not the long-term play.

Center City parking garage where Spruce Foods is located sells for $7.2M [Philadelphia Business Journal]

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Late February Demolition Anticipated for University City High School Building

After reaching out to a Drexel University’s Director of Media Relations, we’ve received word that the former University City High School building is facing a possible late February demolition.

The news comes after the above photo, which is that of the former Charles Drew Elementary School, surfaced on Instagram. Charles Drew, along with the now demolished Walnut Center, is on the 14-acre property comprising the UCHS site, which Drexel and Wexford Science & Technology purchased last year.

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Morning Headlines: Stalled Apartment Project Near Clark Park Will Meet the Neighbors, Again

Rendering of 4224 Baltimore Avenue. Photo credit: U3 Ventures.

Rendering of 4224 Baltimore Avenue.
Photo credit: U3 Ventures.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Developers of an apartment project at 4224 Baltimore Ave. will meet with the community to discuss their plans for a 132-unit mixed-use complex. Well, that will be the case again tonight as the Zoning Committee Spruce Hill Community Association will officially hear what more developers U3 Advisors have to say about the stalled project at 43rd and Baltimore Ave. near Clark Park, reports West Philly Local.

The project evolved from a series of neighborhood meetings and was discussed at an open meeting of Spruce Hill zoning last spring. Now that a formal application has been made, the project development team, U3 Advisors, are required to have public meetings with neighbors through community associations.

You may recall that the developers had been meeting with and seeking input from neighbors before having a design for the project, something that even the venerable Inga Saffron marveled at in one of her features of the project.

Saffron’s other feature explains why this project hasn’t seen any movement since April: councilmanic prerogative. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell had refused to sign off on zoning changes to the site in order for the above design (with retail and upscale, non-student oriented apartments) by Cecil Baker + Partners to be built.  Instead, as Saffron points out, the project could only be made profitable under current zoning with a “blocky, three-story apartment house that would be crammed with dormlike units.”

In other words, stay tuned.

A meeting Monday for community input on the big 4224 Baltimore Ave. project [West Philly Local]

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The Crane Is Going Up at 1919 Market Right NOW

Watch out for 1919 Market

Watch out for 1919 Market

Name one thing that gets a development nerd (ourselves wholeheartedly included in that category) more excited than a towering crane being installed at a construction site in the city? While renderings may be a close second, the short answer is probably nothing. It means progress and that something soon will rise from that whole in the ground.

Enter 1919 Market, the looooong vacant lot that will see 321 luxury apartments, a ground floor CVS and, let’s not forget, a golf simulator grace the street at the center of the current development boom we’re seeing from the Delaware River all the way into West Philly.

Here’s what we know and also more crane shots with renderings!

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Change.org Petition: “LOVE PARK SUCKS!” Trade It for an Applebee’s

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

So there’s a bizarre Change.org petition that will ruffle some feathers. At the very least, it should cause you to tilt your head and say, what the …? A man named Ryan Wilson of Philadelphia has started a movement that’s kind of difficult to explain. Here are the details, if that’s what they’re called:

LOVE PARK SUCKS! Love park should be rezoned as part of the city of Camden in exchange for Applebee’s in New Jersey to be relocated to Philadelphia

I think he’s calling Camden to take LOVE Park in exchange for Applebee’s in a straight swap of a public landmark park for a chain eatery. Eight people have signed this thing — eight – including one (assumed) parody account named Mayor Michael Nutter, who is in love with the plan. So, why is Wilson on this crusade? Uh, the reasons are interesting:

Like a lot of people im sick of the patriarchy and its time we take control and rid ourselves of the perversion that is “love park” and adopt the more appropriate ideals of applebee’s. i mean just look at the hideous image that plagues our city:ugh. see you tomorrow!

What’s actually interesting, from a real news side of things, is that LOVE Park is very much in the process of, for lack of a better term and in the spirit of the argument, not sucking.

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Projects Bubbling Up in Brewerytown in 2015

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Photo credit: Julia Rowe via Flickr.

Looks like Tacony isn’t the only neighborhood fixing for a revival. The Brewerytown boosters at MM Partners recently sent out a report of the projects they have in store for the growing ‘hood. The list, which you can read in full here, includes everything from the upcoming Turnkey Startups co-working space to plans to deck out the area with public art.

But as this is a real estate blog, after all, below you’ll find the developments we’re most looking forward to in the area:

Before & After: The Main Line Conversion You Have to See

Photo credit: Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography LLC

Photo credit: Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography LLC

Around this time last year we informed you of a special project taking shape in Narberth. If it’s not ringing bell, here’s the jist of it: Main Line reBUILD developers had the idea of turning the former United Methodist Church of Narberth and its parsonage into condos. A new townhouse construction was also in their plans.

The name of this proposed residential site? Narberth Place, which now lays claim to a pristine building called the Barrie House (i.e., the former parsonage) at its site. It’s the before and after photos of the one the Barrie House units that we have here now, and goodness gracious are they worth a look: by golly are they worth a look:

Morning Headlines: Bart Blatstein Has New Plans for North Broad’s “Tower of Truth”

Months after losing out on his bid for Philadelphia’s second gaming license to another contender, developer Bart Blatstein has moved on to to greener pastures, arguably most verdant of which is 400 North Broad: the iconic 18-story white building that was once the headquarters of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

CBS Philly’s Mike Dunn reports Blatstein dropped his appeal of the gaming board’s decision after realizing how time-consuming the process would be:

“The appeal period itself would last, even if successful, at least a year.  Then the license would have to be put out again, which is probably another year, and then another appeal period, which would be another year.  So it would be approximately three years before every legal challenge is exhausted.   And that’s just too long to leave such an important property like that vacant,” he explained.

Instead, the developer instead refocused his efforts on refashioning the former “Tower of Truth” into something else, although he has yet to say what:

“We’re working through each of them now, and it’s going to be something great.  It’s just that I didn’t want to leave such an iconic property fallow like that.”

The developer says he hopes to be able to talk publicly about this plans “within a few months.”

Blatstein Drops Casino Appeal, Says He’ll Move Ahead With Other Plans for Inquirer HQ [CBS Philly]

Meanwhile, in other news…

The Wall Street Journal Profiles Unnamed “205-Unit” Project by Eric Blumenfeld

Marine Club | Image: EB Realty Management

Marine Club | Image: EB Realty Management

Here’s one that might have flown under your radar. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal about commercial mortgages and backed securities making a comeback mentions (and quotes) a familiar name, Eric Blumenfeld, and an interesting undefined project. Check it:

As more companies have been jousting to lend, borrowers have been benefiting. Developer Eric Blumenfeld last month secured a $25 million loan for a 205-unit Philadelphia apartment building from an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald LP, which then sold it off in a package of commercial mortgage-backed securities. Mr. Blumenfeld said there was more competition among lenders for the loan than he expected and there “was a little bit of a bidding war” before he ultimately went with Cantor, which he had used before.

So, what is this mysterious “205-unit Philadelphia apartment building” that’s mentioned? It turns out that it’s the Marine Club at the southwest corner of Broad and Washington. Wait, isn’t that South Philly? Yes, it is and EB Realty Management says they’re looking to bring amenity-rich, urban luxury to one of the city’s rapidly developing gateway districts.

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