The former American Thrift at 8th and Wolf | Photo: James Jennings
We were in Lower Moyamensing the other day and spotted a few interesting projects that are starting to take shape on Wolf Street. After doing a little digging through the permits, we found out that some major changes are in play for the former American Thrift storefront at 8th and Wolf, and also at a rundown (yet, super cool) former bank building in the island where West Moyamensing Avenue converges with 7th and Wolf.
Clean Clothes at the Thrift Shop
American Thrift shuttered last December, much to the dismay of nearby residents and faithful shoppers. We recently saw workers clearing out the large building at 751 Wolf Street a few weeks back. Alteration permits granted in September tell us that the property won’t be selling clothes. Instead, it will be used as a place to clean them, as in a 48-washer laundromat.
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Homes along the 2100 block of North Franklin Street | via Google Maps
As the old adage goes: there’s strength in numbers.
A non-profit called Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP) is putting that expression into use on October 16 and 17, when it will gather a few hundred skilled students, community member, corporate partners and volunteers to bring some much-needed improvements and repairs to homes on the 2000 and 2100 block of North Franklin Street in North Philadelphia.
Utilizing what RTP calls the “Block Build” approach, the group of helpers will actually be able to tackle the rehabilitation of eight homes in a single day, and 13 over the two-day period.
It’s a win-win for all parties involved, as low-income homeowners, many of whom are elderly, disabled, families with children, or veterans, receive some much-needed repairs or renovations to ensure their home is safe and comfortable. In turn, RTP provides an opportunity for students at local vo-tech schools to take what they’re learning in the classroom and apply it in real-life situations in order to benefit the greater good of their community.
Their to-do list is incredibly impressive: Read more »
The Waterside community project may have paved the way for Bensalem’s latest mixed-use project. | Waterside, courtesy of Katalinas Communications
Behold the latest riverfront conversion project to hit the Delaware River waterfront: River Renaissance in New Bensalem. (And no, that’s not it in the picture, but close! Keep reading.) As we told you in last week’s preview of the Bucks County development, River Renaissance is slated to be a 675-acre mixed-use community with several amenities that have now been shared in a little more detail by the project’s authors.
They are as follows:
- Town Center: Small local businesses at ground level with residential dwellings above; shops, restaurants and cafés; riverfront amphitheater; central park and riverfront plaza with “open market”
- Town General: Single-family homes, twins, townhomes, condos; corner stores; three- to four-stories with 4- to 12-units per acre; pocket parks and playgrounds
- Neighborhoods: Small- to medium-sized lots; two-story units with 2-6 units per acre; single-family dwellings; pocket parks and playgrounds
- Natural Areas: Preservation of wetlands and open space; parks for flood mitigation; restoration of historic drainage patterns
- Recreational Outdoor: Walking trails and bike routes; “The Loop,” a two-mile route connecting to all parts of the riverfront; connection to the East Coast Greenway
- Commuter Routes and Public Transportation: New pedestrian and bike bridge over Station Avenue connecting to new transit boulevard (Rail Blvd.); Rail Blvd. to include shops, restaurants and commuter conveniences facing boulevard and rails; primary use will be bus traffic; access ramps and pedestrian routes
In addition to these residential amenities, River Renaissance will have a Regional Technology and Manufacturing Center with small- to medium-sized enterprises and advanced manufacturing facilities. This component was developed as a way to promote economic growth and increased employment in the area.
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TREND images via Zillow.com
These increasingly cool mornings are really making us miss summer and this Radnor Township home isn’t helping matters: nestled on a little more than 2.5 acres, the Georgian brick manse has an outdoor lap pool on the second floor. According to the listing, the pool’s location allows for an easy view of the property’s formal gardens and koi pond.
Rest assured, though, a second-story swimming pool isn’t its only remarkable feature. Arriving at the home you’re met with a pebbled and brick walled courtyard that reminds us of another area home with distinct elegance; while inside, formal rooms include a library with fireplace and built-in glass paned bookcases and living room with French doors opening directly to the flagstone patio. Speaking of which, the patio runs along the back and extends the entire length of the house.
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TREND images via Redfin/Plumer & Associates Inc.
Last time we checked in on 1737 Chestnut, it was at the lovely 11th floor unit that offered you a chance to get in on the Rittenhouse views without necessarily breaking the million-dollar mark. Today is decidedly different, as unit 1200 has been revamped by Philly’s own Cecil Baker and Chris Beardsley Architects to provide a heightened experience at 18th and Chestnut.
Sure, it’s one floor higher than 1100, but at 2,974-square-feet, it’s also much bigger than the unit below and, at $1,690,000, it’s a lot more expensive as well. To literally put the cherry on top, there’s a massive deck with skyline and Rittenhouse Square views.
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And then there were cars (again). -Insert sad trombone sound here-
Not to hate on the easy convenience automobiles afford us, but the Papal weekend unveiled a whole new paradise to some of those Philadelphians who had yet to see the light (and gave hope to those who knew of its existence all along): open streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else not inside a hunk of metal to enjoy. It was literally an urbanist utopia, as Citified’s Holly Otterbein observed that wonderful weekend.
Or, as Liz Spikol put it, Philadelphia as a better version of itself. Naturally, we couldn’t pass up evoking those two days in our Photo of the Week!
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TREND images via Space & Company/Zillow
We don’t know if it’s the hangover from Popeadelphia or the driving rain Philly has experienced towards the end of this week, but this pastoral home in Pottstown is making us long for a good old-fashioned frolic through the sun-kissed fields of Chester County. Don’t you agree?
The historic farm estate dates back to the 1780’s, and has managed to really pull off that romantic old world aesthetic that you’re really looking for in a country home. One one hand, there is the gorgeous stone facade, manicured gardens, a fresh-water pond, multiple pastures and beautiful horse barn. On the other, you have new amenities like the master bedroom, which has a wood burning fireplace and Jacuzzi tub, and an expansive eat-in kitchen with custom walnut cabinets.
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In case you missed it, a representative from Chancellor Hotel Associates, the company developing the Little Pete’s Restaurant site, announced to City Council this week that plans to convert the 17th and Chancellor site into a Hudson Hotel have been scrapped.
Instead, a Hyatt Centric is the new flag slated to replace the long-standing diner with a three-story parking garage. Although an email request to Clemens Construction Co. for details on the hotel rebranding were not immediately available, we did spot a response from Little Pete’s on Facebook. Behold:
A call for comment to Little Pete’s Restaurant owner Peter Koutroubas to elaborate on that meeting – and maybe give us a hint as to where he plans to move the diner when the time comes – was not returned as of press time.
Top left, bottom right: Pop-Up Pool Project; center: Wikimedia Commons; top right: Neighborhood Conservation Kit; bottom left: Next Stop: Democracy! The Voting Signage Project
Along with the boom in office and residential construction, Philadelphia has had civic-minded projects blossoming here and there. Just off the top of our head, there’s the Urban Arboreta, the Pop-Up Pool Project, South Philly’s Stoop project, Rail Park, and many more.
But what else do these projects have in common besides bringing neighborhoods together and promoting better quality of live within those communities? Each has received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation by having been, with the exception of the Rail Park, recipients of the Knight Cities Challenge. (See past winners here.)
Established in the last few years, the Challenge is a competition seeking to find the biggest ideas that will help Knight Communities (yes, Philadelphia is one of them) attract and keep talent, expand economic opportunity, and create a vibrant culture of civic engagement within said area. Its goal, essentially, is to see a city succeed by giving a boost to those projects and ideas looking to find innovative ways of making the aforementioned traits happen in a given community. Now, the Challenge is back in town.
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The Manayunk Bridge will soon connect both sides of the Schuylkill River | Photo: Liz Spikol
The connection of Schuylkill River Trail and Cynwyd Hertiage Trail will soon be complete, as the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia announced that the $4.12 million Manayunk Bridge Trail project will be unveiled at a ribbon cutting scheduled for 11 a.m. on October 30.
So runners, bikers and photographers, you better have your gear ready, because this one looks like it’s going to be a go-to spot for all of your routines.
The ambitious project will transform the iconic Manayunk Bridge, which owner SEPTA closed in 1986 due low ridership of the Ivy Ridge regional rail line, into what amounts to a Northwest Philly Highline-esque park, featuring dedicated running and biking lanes and a central walking/leisure area. Of course, all of these zones will get to experience sweeping views of the Schuylkill River.
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