Headlines: Could We Soon Live in The Navy Yard?

Rendering of the Navy Yard Master Plan. By PIDC via Technically Philly.

Rendering of the Navy Yard Master Plan. By PIDC via Technically Philly.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) has confirmed that they have been in talks with the Navy about renegotiating deed restrictions that would allow for residential development to occur within the ever-booming Navy Yard. The Inquirer reports that it could be up to 1.5 million square-feet, or 1,000 to 1,500 units, in the initial phase. It’s still early in the process, but it looks like the plans include renovating the historic buildings on the site into mixed-use apartment complexes catering towards the younger, hipper set that works are GlaxoSmithKline and URBN. Much like with Liberty Property Trust’s business park development, future residential opportunities would go through a request for proposal process.

PlanPhilly’s Jon Geeting reports that much of the continued growth at the Yard could hinge on two things, residential development and expanded transportation: “With 11,500 daily workers, and projections of 1,000 more per year, less space-intensive transportation options are needed if the military base-turned-office park is to keep growing at the current rate.” So, it’s either pony up the dough for more buses or extend the Broad Street Line (not likely anytime soon), or you could always let people live near their workplace–a major advantage in Center City and University City.

PIDC “hopes” to start the RFP process sometime in the summer.

More Headlines, Including Wacky-waving, Inflatable Arm-flailing Tube Person!

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Renderings: Plans For Lot Across From Pat’s King of Steaks

Canno Architecture + Design | Renderings courtesy of Paul Mirabello

Canno Architecture + Design | Renderings courtesy of Paul Mirabello

“We won’t proceed without neighborhood support,” said developer Paul Mirabello last time his plans for 827-29 Wharton Street made headlines. Indeed, even if we might have wished to take that back in light of Tuesday’s heated neighborhood meeting, Paul and his team are happy area residents care enough to be involved in the project. “We’re always willing to work with immediate neighbors on any other changes,” Brett Feldman, Mirabello’s attorney, tells us.

And changes there have been, among them the fact that earlier plans had called for twenty-one residential units, a number now down to eighteen. Three floors would be along Wharton, while the 9th Street side would have four floors, matching up in height with the commercial property next door. As for the ground level retail in Mirabello’s proposed mixed-use building, the 6,700-square-foot space would have entrances along 9th and allow for up to five tenants.

Click here to see the renderings!

Headlines: The Gallery Moves Another Step Forward, It’s Now Up to Council

Is that The Gallery? No. It's the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia | Image courtesy of PREIT

Is that The Gallery? No. It’s the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia | Images courtesy of PREIT

In case you haven’t heard the news, there’s a $575 million renovation and rebranding project planned for The Gallery. In order to transform it into the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia, developers PREIT and Macerich first needed the approval of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (the landlord of the mall) and the School Reform Commission. Both entities met separately on Thursday to discuss the matter with the development team and each unanimously approved their part of the deal, clearing the way for City Council to consider it next week.

Jeff Gammage of The Inquirer reports that PRA agreed to a 69-year lease of the mall to PREIT and Macerich, which now makes things a whole helluva lot simpler in the complicated who controls what department: “The measure approved Thursday would consolidate the multiple interests that govern the Gallery’s operation under the control of the project developer.” Gammage also reports that PREIT “agreed to hire 25 percent to 40 percent women and minorities, depending on the job, as the mall is built.”

As for the SRC, PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the board voted to create a special tax-increment financing (TIF) district for the property “that would save the mall’s owners $55 million in property taxes over a period of 20 years.” Basically, the developers are on the hook for only $1.6 million in taxes through 2036. Taxes jump to “around $11.4 million” per year after that.

Groundbreaking Philly Housing Complex Wins Top National Honors:

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First Look at Renderings of New Flagship Center City Wawa

Wawa - Broad and Walnut rendering

A rendering of the new Wawa and Broad and Walnut.

Mayor Michael Nutter unveiled the first renderings of the new Wawa location at Broad and Walnut today. The new location, according to Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens, will have “a look that is unlike any store that we have.” The spot will have indoor seating, unique among Wawa locations currently. Read more »

Headlines: Independence Blue Cross Slowly Taking Over Market Street West

Independence Blue Cross will lease office space. | Photo: James Jennings

Independence Blue Cross will lease office space. | Photo: James Jennings

Yesterday’s news was all about the resurgence of Market East, thanks in large part to the massive redevelopment project at The Gallery. Henceforth, it will be known as the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. Let’s not forget about all the activity on the west side of Market Street.

Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Independence Blue Cross will be taking over a sizable chunk of office space at 1900 Market Street, also known as the Stock Exchange building. Brandywine Realty Trust is renovating building, possibly with Read more »

Tweet: Is Waterfront AAA Project in Pennsport Back On?

Remember that controversial AAA service and sales center planned near the Delaware River waterfront on Columbus Boulevard? After months of little to no movement on its status due to ongoing legal battles, an eagle-eyed tweeter put us on to some news: It looks like construction has started on the site. Signs hung facing the street read “AAA Opening Soon Auto Repair You Can Trust” and there is a bunch of equipment in the lot.

Permits pulled in mid-March confirm that this thing is happening:

NEW CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITY FOR THE SERVICE AND LIGHT REPAIR OF AUTOMOBILES, RETAIL SALES OF TRAVEL SERVICES AND INSURANCE AND BUSINESS OFFICES.

The background of the project can be described as confusing at best. AAA filed for the permits to construct the auto-oriented project under a temporary Central Delaware Waterfront zoning overlay, which required a Plan of Development (POD) to be presented for the project. Literally the next day, the permanent overlay came into effect in which auto-oriented development isn’t permitted. The POD then happened well out of sequence, permits were granted by L&I, then taken away, then appealed and later denied – in short, it’s been a big damn mess. Read more »

Furness-Designed Church In Philadelphia Closer to Preschool Conversion?

Former parish house (left) and former Saint Peter's Church of Christ (right) at 47th and Kingsessing | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Developer Guy Laren and his band of neighborhood supporters are a zoning change away from moving forward on a project that would see the former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 47th and Kingsessing converted into two preschools. Plans will be heard at a community zoning meeting today at 2pm, according to West Philly Local.

If granted approval, tots would be closer to having a superbly special place to spend their days, wouldn’t they? For not only does the property, Read more »

The Secret Plans for The Gallery Have Finally Been Revealed

Is that The Gallery? No. It's the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia | Image courtesy of PREIT

Is that The Gallery? No. It’s the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia | Images courtesy of PREIT

Welp, the genie is now officially out of the bottle. PREIT and Macerich have finally come forward with their vision for The Gallery and it’s full of windows, digital signage, stark white floors, glassy escalators and 125 new restaurants and higher end shops, albeit it probably their discount lines. Hell, it won’t even be called The Gallery anymore. No, it turns out that Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia rebranding bit was true after all. It really is the end of The Gallery as we know itRead more »

Headlines: Fishtown Neighbors Give the Thumbs Down to Apartments Projects

Image by Pennsporter via Instagram

Image by Pennsporter via Instagram

The plans for the 12-story apartment building near Penn Treaty Park met the Fishtown Neighbors Association last night, and let’s just say it didn’t go too well. Jared Brey of PlanPhilly reports FNA voted to oppose two of apartment complexes proposed by Core Realty–1100 North Delaware Avenue (picture above) and 1212 North Delaware Avenue.

1100 North Delaware Avenue is the former Edward Corner Building and plans called to scrap the former maritime shop in favor of a 12-story apartment complex with ground floor retail. It would also include two-bedroom townhomes on the Allen Street side of the building with a pedestrian pass through to Delaware Avenue. Here’s the crux of the situation from Brey:

In order to get the two buildings approved, Samschick will need a number of fairly minor variances for lot coverage, open area, the number of loading docks, floor area ratio, and setbacks on the roof deck at 1100 N. Delaware. That building is the bigger of the two; it would house 180 apartment units, office space and a rooftop pool.

Residents said the request for variances does not mesh with the Central Delaware zoning overlay, a plan that took years to develop and set the guidelines for development in the area. Brey reports that nearly two-thirds of those in attendance raised their hands in opposition to both projects.

Fishtown group rejects two development proposals on Delaware Ave. [PlanPhilly]

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New Look East Passyunk Avenue Gateway Set To Break Ground

An updated East Passyunk Gateway | Courtesy PARC

An updated East Passyunk Gateway | Courtesy PARC

It’s been over a year in the making, but East Passyunk Avenue will finally get its gateway. Sam Sherman, director of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation, said that a groundbreaking for the project at East Passyunk Avenue and Broad and McKean Streets will take place on Wednesday, April 15 at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a reception at Palladino’s, a relatively new (and well-reviewed) steakhouse just down The Avenue from the gateway.

The design, led by Studio Bryan Hanes, has changed quite a bit since the announcement in January 2014. Gone is the water fountain/feature and also the Indego Bike Share location with it. Sherman said that the fountain “just didn’t work” and it was putting a cramp on the budget for the space. The longterm maintenance of the fountain, coupled with questions as to whether people would actually use it, caused them to scrap it from the designs. Read more »

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