Farmhouse Friday: Great Room in North Wales

106 White Tower Lane, North Wales, Pa. 19454 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

106 White Tower Lane, North Wales, Pa. 19454 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

“Were you raised in a barn?”

Your kids might answer this question literally if they grow up in this huge former barn in North Wales.

Built in 1841, the structure has been converted into a one-of-a-kind home that offers totally modern comfort, room for expansion and a heaping helping of vintage character. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: The View From Vue32

Architect's rendering of Vue32 in the context of its surroundings | Rendering by Erdy McHenry Architecture courtesy Cashman & Associates

Architect’s rendering of Vue32 in the context of its surroundings | Rendering by Erdy McHenry Architecture courtesy Cashman & Associates

Ground was ceremonially broken one week ago for Vue32, the new apartment tower Radnor Property Group (RPG) is building and will manage for Drexel University at 32nd and Race streets. But a recent hard-hat tour of the site reveals that work on the foundation and substructure is well under way.

RPG President David Yeager led us on a hard-hat tour of the construction site and explained why the slender 16-story tower looks the way it does and how all the pieces of the project, which also includes a row of townhouses, fell into place.

Yeager worked with Drexel President John Fry on a series of redevelopment projects on and around the Franklin & Marshall College campus in Lancaster, and now that he’s back in Philly, Fry has turned to Yeager and his company again to help him carry out Drexel’s master campus plan. The Vue32 project advances two key elements of it: reducing the pressure on off-campus housing in Powelton Village by providing more apartments for members of the Drexel community and promoting homeownership by Drexel faculty and staff in the neighborhood as well. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Logged In in Bucks

163 Marienstein Rd., Upper Black Eddy, Pa. 18972| Images via Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty

163 Marienstein Rd., Upper Black Eddy, Pa. 18972| Images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

Usually, log lodgings come in two basic varieties: the rustic, rough-hewn, back-t0-the-land log cabin and the luxurious Gilded Age hunting lodge.

Cross both with the Main Line Colonial aesthetic, and the result would probably look like this solidly built and splendidly outfitted log home in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County.

Actually, for all it evokes Gilded Age splendor, this home, built entirely of cedar logs shipped from Maine, is almost totally modern. Read more »

Parklet Season Gets Off to Early Start During AIA Convention

Parklets have caused many to rethink how we use the public realm. Tomorrow and Friday, a competition invites Philly architects and designers to reimagine the parklet. | Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Parklets have caused many to rethink how we use the public realm. Tomorrow and Friday, a competition invites Philly architects and designers to reimagine the parklet. | Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Vistors in town for the American Institute of Architects national convention, Reading Terminal Market patrons, tourists and plain old passers-by will have an opportunity to relax, dine al fresco, and even play architecture critic during a two-day pop-up parklet competition being held in conjunction with the AIA convention.

From noon to 7 p.m. tomorrow and Friday, May 19th and 20th, the Saint-Gobain Parklet Design Competition will put the best efforts of some two dozen local architecture and design firms to a very public test. A dozen contestants each day will erect parklets in the curbside parking spaces in the 1200 block of Arch Street, in front of the Center for Architecture and Design. Convention-goers and the general public are invited to drop in, relax, and take in the sounds and sights of the city around them from the comfort of a parking space converted to pedestrian use. Read more »

Once a Hot Disco, Now a Cool Opportunity

First floor, 2015 Sansom St

Once a hot dance club, this space is an office now, but it could become a chic boutique or happening cafe. Its owner is looking for a tenant with vision and creativity. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Spencer Zahn has had a knack for being in the right place at the right time throughout his career. He has helped boost the careers and fortunes of many notable musicians, artists and other creative types while himself remaining in the background.

And that’s still how he prefers it. But he is stepping out of the shadows for just a little bit to promote the space he has worked from for many years now. Read more »

Report: Blatstein Offered $18 Million for Vacant Lot at Broad & Washington

The vacant lot on the northeast corner of Broad and Washington. | Photo via Google Street View.

The vacant lot on the northeast corner of Broad and Washington. | Photo via Google Street View.

Developer Bart Blatstein agreed to pay $18 million for a vacant lot at the corner of Broad & Washington under a contract with the property’s owner that’s now in question, according to a report in the Inquirer this morning.

Blatstein and representatives of N/H Philadelphia Properties, a New York-based real estate investment firm that owns the lot, met in court on Tuesday. The owner is seeking to send Blatstein on his way empty-handed, claiming that the agreement of sale expired on May 15. Blatstein, who got approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to build a 32-story apartment tower and rooftop retail village on the site Tuesday, still believes he’ll be able to build his project.

$18 million for a vacant lot, y’all. Though the property is assessed at $5.2 million, the owners say they’ve already received offers that exceed $18 million from other parties. Blatstein’s lawyers said that the owners are trying to cut off Blatstein while exploiting the process he went through to get additional zoning approvals on the property, according to the Inquirer.

That House Out There: Tinkering with History in Westtown

1534 Woodland Rd., West Chester, Pa. 19382 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1534 Woodland Rd., West Chester, Pa. 19382 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

You know how there are those who just can’t resist tinkering with things — assembling them, disassembling them, rearranging them, adding and subtracting from them?

The Westtown farmhouse you see here has an owner who was into that sort of thing, and the house was the object of all the tinkering.

Now the widow of that owner is ready to downsize her life, and your reward is a house that you can retool into the home of your own dreams. Read more »

Why Bikeability Is a Real Estate Story

Indego bike stations like this one in front of the Cecil B. Moore branch of the Free Library in Sharswood form a link in an emerging alternative transportation network that many house-hunters find increasingly appealing. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Indego bike stations like this one in front of the Cecil B. Moore branch of the Free Library in Sharswood form a link in an emerging alternative transportation network that many house-hunters find increasingly appealing. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Earlier today, we reported on the latest rankings from Walk Score, which listed the most bikeable downtowns in the United States based on their Bike Score rankings.

One might think at first glance that this is a transportation story. But there’s a reason the news came from one of the nation’s largest online brokerages aside from the fact that the brokerage, Redfin, owns Walk Score.

If you’ve been following reports in this section over the last few months (like this one, for instance), you should have picked up on a growing preference among home buyers for homes in locations where they can choose how they will get from home to where they want to go. Read more »

Center City West Named America’s Most Bikeable Downtown

Bicycle transportation advocates would love for this to be a typical evening commute from Philly to South Jersey. Still, they have plenty to be proud of with Bike Score's ranking of Center City West as the nation's most walkable downtown.| Photo via Facebook

Bicycle transportation advocates would love for this to be a typical evening commute from Philly to South Jersey. Still, they have plenty to be proud of with Bike Score’s ranking of Center City West as the nation’s most walkable downtown.| Photo via Facebook

This is Bike to Work Week, and while I left my three-speed at home in Germantown and took SEPTA to work today,* I generally consider bicycling as practical transportation a great idea: you stay healthy and fit while performing a task you need to do every day.

The people at Walk Score, a Redfin subsidiary based in Seattle, say that there’s no place better for biking to work than the part of Center City that includes Philadelphia’s offices. According to the Bike Score rankings, Center City West — the area from Broad Street to the Schuylkill and Pine to Vine streets — is the nation’s most bikeable downtown, with a Bike Score of 96.4 out of a possible 100. Read more »

Board Finally Approves Blatstein’s Broad & Washington Project, Litigation Still Pending

West elevation

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

The Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 5-0 to approve developer Bart Blatstein’s proposed apartment tower and rooftop retail village at Broad & Washington in South Philly on Tuesday morning, according to Ron Patterson, Blatstein’s attorney.

The board had previously voted to grant exceptions for the project, then vacated its vote. On Monday, a lawyer for the property’s current owner, N/H Philadelphia Properties, asked the board to delay its vote again, saying Blatstein didn’t have the right to pursue zoning approvals for the property because an agreement of sale had expired. Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »