New York Developer Buys Shovel-Ready Penn Treaty Park Project

The Views at Penn Treaty has been sold to a New York developer for $7 million. | Rendering: Abitare Design Studio via Shovel Ready Projects

Shovel Ready Projects LLC has sold its latest shovel-ready project, the 19-unit Views at Penn Treaty, to New York-based developer Gotham Bedrock LLC for $7 million.

The deal was announced in a press release this morning from Shovel Ready Projects spokesperson George Polgar.

The purchase price covers the 1.5-acre strip of land just south of Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware riverfront near Marlborough Street and Delaware Avenue along with the luxury townhouse plans from Abitare Design Studio and all necessary permits for construction.

The deal makes Gotham Bedrock the first New York developer to build on the Philadelphia waterfront. Read more »

1911 Walnut to Be Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Project

The Sansom Street elevation of the revised Southern Land tower proposed for 1911 Walnut. The Warwick Apartments, part of the revised development, are at the extreme left. | Renderings: Southern Land Company

Southern Land Company appeared before the City Planning Commission today with a revised version of its proposed apartment tower on the last piece of open land right on Rittenhouse Square.

Preservationists will be pleased with one of the two biggest revisions the company made to its proposal, and for those who’ve longed to live on Rittenhouse Square but simply don’t have the scratch, the second is a dream come true.

Plan Philly reports that at today’s Planning Commission meeting, the company presented a proposal that preserves both the Rittenhouse Coffee Shop and the Warwick Apartments, both of which had been slated to fall to the wrecking ball in earlier versions of the project. Both of those buildings will be rehabbed to provide affordable housing units, and the tower itself will contain at least eight more below-market-rate apartments. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: 6300 City Avenue

6300 City Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19151 | Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise indicated

I have a confession to make: even though they usually lack such amenities as balconies or gyms or community rooms, I think that apartment buildings built in the 1920s are the nicest around. They usually have large, sunny rooms and character newer units just don’t have.

But along with those large, sunny rooms come cramped kitchens and outdated bathrooms. And so it was with pleasure that I accepted an invitation from Timothy Garrity at Copper Hill Real Estate to take a tour of work nearing completion on City Avenue at 63rd Street, just across from Overbrook Regional Rail station.

6300 City Ave., also known as Wynnewood Hall, is an English Gothic Revival apartment house dating to the early 1920s. An affiliate of Dempsey Development and Brokerage called 6300 City Line DP Partners LP bought the building and the parking lot next to it from St. Joseph’s University in March of last year for $3.25 million, according to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Read more »

Funding Secured for Penn’s Landing Makeover

The new park and civic space for which funding has been secured is part of a larger overall vision for transforming the central Delaware riverfront. | Renderings: Hargreaves Associates and redsquare unless otherwise indicated, via Delaware River Waterfront CorporationThat huge new lawn intended to suture the gash separating Old City from the Delaware riverfront is a go.

At a noontime news conference at Penn’s Landing, Gov. Tom Wolf, Mayor Jim Kenney, and Janet Haas of the William Penn Foundation announced that together they have committed all but $10 million of the $225 million needed to build a new park and civic space between Chestnut and Walnut streets from Front Street to the water’s edge and a new signature pedestrian bridge across Columbus Boulevard at South Street.

The William Penn Foundation also announced at the news conference that it would help the city, the Commonwealth and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) obtain the last $10 million needed to finish the job. Read more »

The National’s Rebirth Officially Begins Friday

The new National mixed-use apartment/retail building in Old City. | Rendering: Barton Partners via The Buccini/Pollin Group

A little more than a year ago, as it was being demolished, the old National Products Company Building on North Second Street in Old City got a thorough going-over from Bradley Maule at Hidden City, who noted that whatever else happened, the bright-orange-tile Midcentury Modern facade that made the building worth saving would be preserved and restored.

The only difference between Maule’s description of how that would happen then and what will happen starting Friday, June 9th, is that the people in charge of the reconstruction project have changed. Replacing Glenside-based Dale Corporation is the Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), a Wilmington-based developer of multifamily housing, office buildings and mixed-use projects, including Talen Energy Stadium (nee PPL Park), the home of the Philadelphia Union soccer team on the Chester waterfront. Read more »

Just Listed: A Standout Home in East Kensington for $585K

2401 Emerald St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | Photos: Sandy Smith

Red Oak Development, the people who built the Parish House not far from this place in East Kensington, pride themselves on being a notch or two — or several — above the run-of-the-mill builders throwing up new homes around the city.

They seek to give each home they build personality through the use of local craftsmen, reclaimed materials and original design.

This brand-new townhouse that went on the market today oozes personality out of every pore of its being.

Especially on the outside. “We had neighbors asking when we were going to clean up the outside,” said Red Oak principal Anthony Giacobbe. Read more »

Now’s Your Chance to Get In on the Ground Floor of the Beury Building

Rendering of a floor of the Beury Building configured for an office client. | Renderings: Kitchen & Associates via Shift Capital

“The transit-oriented development we wasted” is about to be wasted no more.

And the people who are bringing what may be the most prominent abandoned shell in North Philadelphia back from the undead are now looking for offices and shops to fill its commercial floors.

Work on restoring the 1926 Beury Building — known to many urban-decay aficionados as the “Boner 4Ever” building thanks to the tags two local graffitists splashed prominently on its north and south facades — won’t start until year’s end, but owner Shift Capital has already put out a call for expressions of interest from businesses interested in taking space on its first, second and 11th floors. Read more »

What’s Developing in Your Neighborhood? This New Form Lets You Find Out

Even smaller projects like this residential rehab in Nicetown can have big impacts on their neighborhoods. While a project of this type would not have to complete it, a new Project Information Form aims to get accurate information about the impact of new construction into residents’ hands. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The whole point of the 2012 zoning code overhaul was to make it easier for builders and developers to build and develop in Philadelphia by making more projects by right. But there was a secondary goal as well: to make sure that if a project needed to go through review, everyone with a stake in the outcome — not only the builder and developer but also the neighbors and the larger community — got to provide knowledgeable feedback on the merits and demerits.

As it’s turned out, that’s worked out about as well as could be expected at the Civic Design Review level, which all large projects must go through. But there’s also the neighborhood review level, required before any project that requires a variance goes before the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

And here, some neighborhoods had more and better knowledge than others. A new law introduced by Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (D-9th District) and passed by City Council May 19 aims to correct that imbalance. Read more »

Single-Family Workforce Housing Comes to East Poplar

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Greg Heller (fifth from left), City Council President Darrell Clarke (to the right of Heller), representatives of BMK Properties and its parent The Riverwards Group and representatives of the East Poplar RCO and Meridian Bank pose after the formal ribbon-cutting May 24. | Photo: The Riverwards Group

Late on Wednesday morning (May 24th) in East Poplar, City Council President Darrell Clarke, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Greg Heller, and representatives of BMK Properties, a subsidiary of The Riverwards Group, cut the ribbon on the first 13 townhomes to be built under a city-sponsored program intended to stimulate the production of workforce housing.

These three-story townhomes, work on which began last November, have three bedrooms and two bathrooms each. They are equipped with dual-zone climate control systems and water heaters that are at least 92 percent energy efficient.

They sell for $229,900. To qualify for one, a prospective buyer cannot earn more than 120 percent of the area median income, a figure that ranges from about $67,000 annually for a single individual to $105,000 for a family of five. Read more »

Laura Blau Rebuilds Her Dream House

When all is said and done, Laura Blau’s Pine Street residence (with the boarded-up window in this photo) will be the healthiest, most energy-efficient house on its block. She, her husband Paul Thompson and her three tenants will be much better off for the effort. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Architect Laura Blau’s firm, BluPath, specializes in coming up with sustainable solutions to all sorts of design and construction problems. She was an early adopter in this region of the ultra-energy-efficient set of practices and standards that go by the name “passive house,” which in English carries a connotation that’s more restrictive than in the original German.

All the same, many of Blau’s projects have been residential in nature. She’s currently embarked on one of the more comprehensive such projects, namely, rebuilding her own 1850s townhome on Pine Street in Rittenhouse to meet passive house standards. Read more »

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