Big Plans to Revive Bala Avenue, Starting With A Cup of Java

10 Union, the first of the three buildings to be built as part of Cross Properties’ NoBA development. | Rendering: Barton Partners via Cross Properties

Bala Avenue in Bala Cynwyd is one of those small commercial districts that make Philadelphia’s suburbs such attractive places to live. But over the past few decades, the once-lively Main Street has frayed as businesses have shut down, most notably the street’s iconic movie theater.

Philadelphia-based Cross Properties is embarking on a revival plan for the Bala Avenue district. This week, the company announced the start of a $100 million redevelopment project that aims to turn the district back into the vibrant community hub it once was by adding residents, public gathering places and new retail space. And to give area residents a taste of what’s to come, a series of pop-up stores will offer their wares to the locals, starting today. Read more »

The Bridge on Race, Ready for Its Closeup

These lounge chairs should prove very popular with couples on nice nights. They’re one of several attractive features found on the Bridge on Race’s fifth-floor community terrace. | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise noted

When last we looked in on The Bridge on Race, the bold apartment building at the northwest corner of 2nd and Race streets, most of it was still a construction zone, but we could see the shape of things to come.

So we responded eagerly when the building’s developer, Jeffrey Brown, invited us back to check out the (all but) finished product.

The apartments at the Bridge are all move-in ready, and tenants have already moved in. The common amenities on the second floor are also ready for use, as is the showstopper: the fifth-floor rooftop terrace that’s open to all residents. The only unfinished element is the 19th-floor rooftop, which will have private terraces that building occupants can rent along with one community terrace facing the Delaware. Read more »

More Residences Coming to Fishtown Fringe

Satellite photo of the area around the Exceptional Foods facility (pinned) showing major attractions and transit stops. | Google Maps image

The soon-to-be former home of Exceptional Foods in Fishtown is slated to become what may prove to be exceptional residences.

Colliers International announced on Aug. 17 that it has sold the specialty food distributor’s 15,300-square-foot headquarters and distribution facility, situated on a 17,352-square-foot lot at 201-11 E. Allen St., to a local developer for $2.25 million.
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Thos. Moser Sets the Stage for Modern Living in a Model Home

This living room, currently installed at OCF Realty’s Brown Street Court model home, features items from Thos. Moser’s Hartford Collection along with a New Gloucester Rocker, partially visible at left. | Photos: OCF Realty

Design professionals universally recommend that sellers do some staging when they put their homes on the market. Wise developers do the same when they equip a model home for touring.

Realtor-developer Ori Feibush currently has a model home open at his Brown Street Court development, a new seven-unit luxury townhouse project in Fairmount. House-hunters who tour it are in for a bit of a surprise: the staging comes courtesy of Thos. Moser, Handmade American Furniture.

Moser’s partnership with OCF Realty is a new departure locally for the Maine furniture maker, whose ties to Philadelphia stretch back 33 years. It’s an effort to showcase the contemporary side of the Moser furniture line and reach out to a new generation of potential buyers. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: The Pointe

The first four homes being built as part of the Pointe development will be sold to working families for $238,000. The two end units have already been spoken for. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Maybe other developers would prefer to work with one single parcel of land and build a passel of houses on it, but Delta Alliance CEO Walter Logan is perfectly happy to take several scattered lots around the intersection of 19th Street and Ridge Avenue in order to build 67 new housing units. The new homes — 14 market-rate townhouses, another 14 townhouses built in connection with the city’s workforce housing initiative, and a 39-unit condominium building — will be completed over the course of the next year.

The first four units, all of them workforce housing, are complete or nearly so now. They occupy the last four lots on the north side of the 1800 block of Thompson Street, just east of Sharswood and north of Francisville.
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Homes Being Planted at Julius Farm

(Left to right) PRDC Properties COO Brandon Morrison, Julius Farm homeowner-to-be Steve Cocca, PRDC CEO David Perlman and PRDC President Jon Thomas dig into the ceremonial soil next to a rendering of a Lookout model home at the Julius Farm groundbreaking. | Photos: PRDC Properties

With their nearly completed model home as a backdrop, executives of PRDC Properties formally broke ground July 24 on their latest residential project, this one in the Bucks County suburbs.

This project, Julius Farm, will consist of 11 custom farmhouses in the craftsman style. Each home will sit on at least two acres of land along a curving cul-de-sac in Chalfont. While the homes won’t have farmland attached to them, they will be surrounded by protected farmland, county parkland and forests, all of which will preserve their country character. Read more »

Feibush Regroups After Point Breeze Arson Fire

These homes destroyed in a May arson fire in Point Breeze have been cleared to their foundations and are being rebuilt. Developer Ori Feibush is building seven more like them as well – and they will cost more than they did before the fire. Photo | Sandy Smith

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) still has a $102,500 award sitting on the table for anyone who can lead them to the person or persons who torched a row of new townhouses being built by Realtor-developer Ori Feibush in Point Breeze in May.

So far, no leads have come forth, and ATF is still conducting its own investigation. But Feibush himself has cleared away the debris and is building anew. Read more »

A First Look at the New Four Seasons Hotel – And Its New Manager

The new Comcast Technology Center (to the right of the Comcast Center) will include the highest hotel in Philadelphia when the new Four Seasons opens on its top floors in 2018. | Rendering: DBOX for Foster + Partners

Come 2018, Philly visitors and staycationers will get to rise above it all like never before when the new Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia opens atop the Comcast Technology Center.

And when they visit, a seasoned Four Seasons pro who got his start here will be in charge of making sure their stay is first-class from start to end.

That pro is Ben Shank, which Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels announced today will serve as the general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center. Shank began his career in hospitality at the original Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia on Logan Square, which the company operated from 1983 to 2015. In the nearly 20 years since then, he has moved up through the company ranks, taking positions at Four Seasons hotels in New York, San Diego, Maui, Scottsdale and Orlando. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: Jack & Jill

The stairwell of 1903 E. Arizona St. at the second-floor level. | Photos: Sandy Smith

“When are you going to clean up the outside?”

That’s what some East Kensington residents asked Red Oak Development principal Anthony Giacobbe about 2401 Emerald St., the crystal-like townhouse covered in Cor-Ten steel that was featured on Property right after Memorial Day.

Well, Red Oak is at it again, and East Kensingtonians are simply going to have to get used to rust-colored homes on their blocks.

This pair of trim townhouses at 1903-05 E. Arizona St. has been dubbed “Jack & Jill” because of their joined-at-the-hip character. And even though they’re still a little ways from completion, they’re already being marketed by Solo Real Estate, which is also marketing the Emerald Street property. Read more »

Toll Now Plans 23-Story Tower for Jewelers Row

Toll Brothers has given its 29-story Jewelers Row tower proposal, shown here, a haircut and is sending it back to Licenses & Inspections for permits. | Rendering: SLCE Architects

Time has run out for Toll Brothers’ permit applications to build a 29-story condo tower with ground-floor retail in the heart of Jewelers Row. Or so says the city Department of Licenses and Inspections, according to a news report in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

So Toll Brothers is going back to the drawing board and starting the permitting game anew with a slightly shorter tower proposal.

The Inquirer reports that the company is presenting a revised submission for a lot consolidation based on a 23-story residential tower to city surveyors today. Read more »

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