AGA Developers Announce South Kensington Complex

Rendering for the new development on Berks Street. | AGA Developers

Rendering for the new development on Berks Street. | Harman Deutsch Architecture via AGA Developers

AGA Developers have announced plans for a new residential development in South Kensington. It will be a 19-unit complex to be called South Square, on Berks Street near the Market-Frankford El.

According to a press release from the developer, the new complex will have roof decks and private vehicle access. 17 of the units will be townhomes and the other two will be triplexes. The townhomes will have three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and will each have a rooftop deck, according to Curbed Philly. They will go on sale fort about $450,000.

The “boutique builder,” as AGA describes itself, has also developed Trenton Stables and Frankford Square in Fishtown and several properties in Point Breeze and Graduate Hospital.

Curbed Philly has renderings of the development here.

Plans Announced for Redesigned “Gateway to West Philly”

Designs for the new 40th Street Trolley Portal were released Tuesday.

Designs for the new 40th Street Trolley Portal were released Tuesday.

The University City District revealed plans for renovations to the 40th Street Trolley Portal on Tuesday at a meeting of the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee. The plans include a redesigned public space with seating, bike racks, extensive landscaping and a 125-seat, two-story restaurant.

According to UCD director of planning and design, Nate Hommel, and vice president of planning and economic development, Andrew Stober, the goal of the portal renovation is to make what they believe has never been a particularly inviting area into a more “pedestrian-oriented” public space. Read more »

Next Steps for 30th Street Area Revealed

A rendering of what the 30th Street Station area should look like by 2050 from the draft district plan

A rendering of what the 30th Street Station area should look like by 2050 from the draft district plan

On the heels of Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust announcing their joint plan to redevelop the area just west of 30th Street Station comes a draft plan for the larger area surrounding the station.

The 30th Street Station District Plan is the product of a coalition that includes not only Drexel and Brandywine but also Amtrak, PennDOT and SEPTA. Like Schuylkill Yards, the larger plan envisions a totally new urban core district emerging around Amtrak’s third-busiest intercity railroad station over the next 35 years. Read more »

Details Emerge for “Lincoln Square” at Broad and Washington

Lincoln Square renderings | BLT Architects

Lincoln Square renderings | BLT Architects

We told you in June about signs that a major development was coming to the northwest corner of Broad and Washington. Now the plans and players are beginning to emerge.

Curbed Philly reports the project — called “Lincoln Square” — will develop a vacant lot on the site into an eight-story apartment building with 356 units, along with 74,000 square feet of retail. A 360-space parking garage is also proposed for the site. The project cost is estimated at $100 million. Read more »

From Playgrounds to Play Spaces

Co-Play at Haverford Bright Futures

One possible future for the Haverford Bright Futures Center playground is this proposal, “Co-Play at Haverford Bright Futures,” one of three finalists for the Mill Creek site. Photos | Courtesy Community Design Collaborative

The last time the Community Design Collaborative ran its Infill Philadelphia design competition, they asked the entrants to get wet. This time, they want them to go out and play.

“Play is a really important component the city of Philadelphia should have in its public spaces for people who raise children,” said Alexa Bosse, program associate at the Collaborative and manager of its Play Space program. “It’s also a way to activate public spaces so people develop community ties.”

The mother of 3-year-old twins knows whereof she speaks. “Even though I lived in my community for a decade before I had kids, the connections I made at the playground were valuable.” Read more »

Unfinished Business: The View from The Top of 1919 Market

The as-of-now unfinished clubhouse seating area at 1919 Market. Photos | Sandy Smith

The as-of-now unfinished clubhouse seating area at 1919 Market. Photos | Sandy Smith

The frame and most of the shell of 1919 Market, the new luxury apartment building being built by Brandywine Realty Trust and LCOR, are complete, and through the windows one can see apartments taking shape. The building looks to be on pace for a previously announced spring completion date.

But not everything looks ship-shape for opening yet, as we learned on a hard hat tour of the clubhouse and pool area on the building’s top floor this past Saturday. The other thing we learned, though, is that residents will enjoy some great views as they lounge beside the pool or use the clubhouse facilities, which look like they too will be spiffy.
Read more »

Drexel, Brandywine Take Wraps Off Schuylkill Yards

One Drexel Plaza and Drexel Square

The first phase of the Schuylkill Yards project will include a public square and a redesigned One Drexel Plaza. Image | SHoP Architects and West8

The next big step in the evolution of University City into Philadelphia’s “second downtown” began this afternoon inside a tent next to One Drexel Plaza, where Drexel University President John Fry and Brandywine Realty Trust CEO Gerard Sweeney unveiled the master plan for the new mixed-use “innovation neighborhood” they will create together. They also announced its name: Schuylkill Yards. Read more »

Drexel Picks Brandywine to Develop “Innovation Neighborhood”

Image | Drexel University

Image | Drexel University Innovation Neighborhood website

Drexel University is formally announcing the development partner for its “Innovation Neighborhood” at a ceremony taking place right now in University City. According to invitations released yesterday afternoon, that development partner is Brandywine Realty Trust.

Brandywine will serve as the master developer for the 10-acre plot of land Drexel owns next to its campus in University City. The district, intended as a live/work/play environment designed to encourage commercial development of Drexel research, will have up to 5 million square feet of space when built out. Read more »

Coming to West Powelton: A Dorm for Foodies

What the demonstration kitchen at Good Food Flats will look like. Image | Cross Properties

What the demonstration kitchen at Good Food Flats will look like. Image | Cross Properties

Dorms with kitchens? Big whoop. A dorm with a commercial-quality demonstration kitchen? Now that’s something.

The kitchen in question is part of the learning space in a new living/learning community being developed by Cross Properties at 4030 Baring St. in West Powelton. Dubbed Good Food Flats, the modular facility is being developed in conjunction with Drexel University’s Hospitality and Sports Management program to meet the needs of its students.
Read more »

Hawthorne Residents Blast Blatstein Proposal Again

West elevation

The west elevation of the revised Blatstein mixed-use project. Rendering | Cope Linder Architects

When the revised plans for Bart Blatstein’s mixed-use residential/retail development at the northeast corner of Broad and Washington were made public in a Civic Design Review submission, we predicted that the residents of Hawthorne would be no happier with one 32-story tower than they were with two.

We called that accurately: at the February 25 Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition zoning meeting, just about every near and not-so-near neighbor beat up on Blatstein for insisting on a tall apartment tower still. But that wasn’t the only thing they didn’t like about the project. In fact, just about every aspect of the proposal came in for criticism, and the criticism also revealed areas in which the residents, many of whom have lived in the neighborhood for years, share the concerns of newer urban advocates regarding this site and areas where they part company.

Read more »

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