New Senior Tower Owner to Residents: “Get Out (More)!”

The John Fox Tower at 22nd and Market streets | Photo courtesy Vitus Group

The John Fox Tower at 22nd and Market streets | Photo courtesy Vitus Group

The building that opened 50 years ago as the Sidney Hillman Apartments at 22nd and Ludlow streets has a new name, a new owner and a new mission: To maximize the happiness of its older residents.

The new name is the John Fox Tower, a name chosen to reduce confusion with other monuments to legendary garment workers’ union leader Sidney Hillman’s legacy while continuing to recognize the role its builder, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, played in creating this facility. The new owner of the building is the Vitus Group, a developer of affordable “communities of opportunity” in 21 states from coast to coast. And one of the ways Vitus aims to fulfill its mission is by getting the complex’s residents out more often. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: The Parish House

Made by hand, not beforehand: A Red Oak construction crew member works on the hinge of a custom door made from wood salvaged from the demolition of the parish house's interior. The door will lead from this home's finished basement rec room to the mechanical room. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Craft-brewed building: A Red Oak construction crew member works on the hinge of a custom door made from wood salvaged from the demolition of the parish house’s interior. The door will lead from this home’s finished basement rec room to the mechanical room. | Photos: Sandy Smith

“God is in the details.” —Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

God, then, continues to make his presence felt throughout the building that began life in 1912 as the parish house for the Episcopal Church of Emmanuel and the Good Shepherd in East Kensington, for Red Oak Development, which is converting the building into five three-story townhouses with finished basements, is loading these new homes with fine architectural details — most of them salvaged from the building itself. Read more »

Developers Duel for Right to Build on Chinatown Block

Site plans for the two proposals: Pennrose's on the left, Parkway's on the right. | Renderings: WRT (left) / Cecil Baker & Partners (right) via Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Site plans for the two proposals: Pennrose’s on the left, Parkway’s on the right. | Renderings: WRT (left) / Cecil Baker & Partners (right) via Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Two of Philly’s local development heavyweights, Pennrose Properties and Parkway Corporation, are duking it out for the right to develop a parcel of land the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority owns on Chinatown’s eastern edge.

This past Monday evening, the developers made their cases for their projects at an informational meeting in Chinatown.

The site in question takes up three-quarters of the block bounded by 8th, 9th, Race and Vine streets. Ridge Avenue once split this block in two diagonally, and the Chinatown station on the Broad-Ridge Spur lies beneath it as a result. This, along with the Commuter Tunnel running north-south under the station, placed some constraints on what the developers could build on the site.

The two projects are similar in several respects, but there are some key differences. Read more »

Another Townhouse Project “Shovel Ready” on the Waterfront

The shovel-ready townhouse development being offered next to Penn Treaty Park. | Renderings and sketches: Abitare Design Studio via Shovel Ready Projects

The shovel-ready townhouse development being offered next to Penn Treaty Park. | Renderings and sketches: Abitare Design Studio via Shovel Ready Projects

Shovel Ready Projects is living up to its name once again with another turnkey project it’s offering on the Delaware waterfront.

This one’s a 19-unit townhouse development from Abitare Design Studio, located on a narrow sliver of land just south of Penn Treaty Park.

The project is aptly named: the homes Abitare designed for “Penn Treaty Views” put their best faces towards the park, with large expanses of windows facing north. All 19 homes have full-floor roof decks with pilot houses near their centers that split the decks into north- and south-facing sides (east- and west-facing in the case of the 19th unit on the east end). Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: Lokal

A model suite at Lokal. | Photos: Sandy Smith

A model suite at Lokal. | Photos: Sandy Smith

The PHLCVB, of course, wants you to Visit Philadelphia®.

The owners of Lokal, a new boutique hotel opening next month on North 3rd Street in Old City, wants you to see it like a native.

To help you do that, they’ve made themselves scarce and outfitted the suites so that you can settle in like a resident.

The six-unit hotel with a salon on the street floor is in the final stages of construction. Two model suites — a family-friendly two-bedroom and a one-bedroom — have been outfitted by the Jersey Ice Cream Company, the firm co-owners Chad and Courtney Ludeman hired to design the facility. (Yes, it’s an interior design firm. They don’t make ice cream at all.) Read more »

Southwark on Reed Sales Pass Halfway Mark

The open floor plan kitchen is completely modern.

The open floor plan kitchen is completely modern. | Images courtesy of Wainger Group

It’s been almost a year and a half since we reported on the demolition of the former site of Mount Sinai Hospital, to make way for a 95-unit townhouse development.

Since then, the number of homes to be built on the site was cut by four, but the 91 homes that are being built are selling at a rapid clip.

The developers of the Southwark on Reed project announced Friday that they had passed the halfway mark in sales, making the development the fastest-selling luxury townhouse project in the city. Read more »

An Instant House for $10K: Just Print It and Go

This 400-square-foot home took just over a day to complete and equip. | Photo: Designboom

This 400-square-foot home took just over a day to complete and equip. | Photo: Designboom

From Moscow comes a novel solution to the affordable-housing problem:

A tiny home that took just 24 hours to build from start to finish and cost just slightly more than $10,000 to build.

Whoops, did we say “build”? We meant “print.” Read more »

Second East Market Apartment Tower Echoes a Grande Dame

Partial view of the second apartment tower at East Market. | Rendering: Morris Adjami via National Real Estate Development LLC

Partial view of the second apartment tower at East Market. | Rendering: Morris Adjmi Architects and BLT Architects via National Real Estate Development LLC

National Real Estate Development, LLC (NRED), the union-affiliated development firm that’s behind the East Market mixed-use development, yesterday announced that it had closed on a $57 million loan from Wells Fargo that will allow work to commence on the project’s second apartment tower.

Designed by architect Morris Adjmi in collaboration with project architect BLTa, the new tower is dramatically different in style from the first tower now under way at 11th and Market streets.

Yet it should strike a familiar chord with everyone who sees it. Read more »

New Apartments Coming to Francisville

Rendering of Twenty on Poplar, the site for which is now being cleared. | Renderings: JKRP Architects; photos via KREIT

Rendering of Twenty on Poplar, the site for which is now being cleared. | Renderings: JKRP Architects; photos via KREIT

Demolition of a row of 19th-century houses in the 1600 block of Poplar Street in Francisville is currently under way to make way for a new, 20-unit apartment development.

KREIT is building a row of five four-unit apartment dwellings designed by JKRP Architects. The development will consist of 12 two-bedroom apartments and eight one-bedroom units. The rear units on the first floor will have access to private yards and the top-floor units will come with roof decks. Read more »

Residential Tower Proposed for U-City Site

The proposed apartment tower at 4125 Chestnut St. | Rendering: KCA Design Associates

The proposed apartment tower at 4125 Chestnut St. | Rendering: KCA Design Associates

Philly.com reports that a developer is proposing to build a 17-story residential tower with retail space on the site of the Wash ‘n’ Lube car wash at 4125 Chestnut St. in West Philadelphia.

KCA Design Associates has submitted plans to Civic Design Review for the tower, which will contain 240 apartments, 4,158 square feet of retail space on the ground and second floors, and an 82-space underground parking garage.

According to the report, the developer of the project is CRP Builders. Read more »

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