Fattah Estate Goes on the Market in East Falls for $995K

3941-45 W. Netherfield Rd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND images via Elfant Wissahickon Realtors

The latest property being unloaded in the Disgraced Pol Hit Parade went on the market last Tuesday.

It’s the former home of Congressman Chaka Fattah and his wife Renee Chenault-Fattah, a 2.6-acre estate tucked away on a quiet lane in East Falls. The couple has already cleared out of the place for their new digs — Chaka at a minimum-security Federal prison camp in western Pennsylvania for the next 10 years, Renee at an undisclosed location — but they left it in mint condition and move-in ready.

Though the house dates only to 1930, there’s some history behind this plot: the estate was once part of a much larger 10-acre one dating to the 1700s that stretched from School House Lane all the way to Coulter Street. Two older structures with a link to that past also sit on these grounds: a carriage house thought to date to the 1800s and a one-room cottage with sleeping loft believed to be the oldest structure on the property. According to local lore, this cottage once served as a way station for hunters. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Outdoor Oasis in Villanova for $849K

1214 Valley Rd., Villanova, Pa. 19085 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

This home may look like one of those traditional, gracious Main Line Colonials that are a dime a dozen in Villanova. But looks can be deceiving, and few Main Line Colonials pull off the magic tricks this one does so beautifully.

Perhaps the first sign that you’re in for a completely different experience is upon entering the forecourt through the estate fence that surrounds the 1.69-acre grounds. Sure, there’s a beautifully manicured courtyard with a fountain, but if you look to your left and right, you’ll notice that the usual back yard amenities are right up front: a brick patio with pergola that makes a great outdoor living room on the left and a swimming pool on the right. Read more »

Tenants Continue to Press Case Against New Penn Wynn Manor Owner

Protesters at today’s rally in support of Penn Wynn residents’ demands. | Photo: Sandy Smith

About 40 Penn Wynn Manor residents and their supporters in the Philadelphia Tenants Union staged a protest in front of the Centre Square office complex today at noontime to protest the actions of the building’s new owner, Cross Properties. The remaining residents of the Wynnefield apartment tower, who the union is representing in their dispute with Cross, say the owners are both giving them too little time to find new living quarters and making it difficult for them to rent suitable new apartments.

Residents received notices slipped under their doors Jan. 17 notifying them that the new owner would not renew their leases. A sizable number of the building’s 239 apartments were occupied by disabled veterans, housing voucher recipients, and other tenants with special housing needs. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Roxborough

309 Dupont St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

Searching for suburbia in the city limits? Roxborough has you covered.

Known for its safe streets and low poverty rates, the neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia is a thriving and close-knit community. Although conveniently situated just up the hill from Manayunk and close to the Wissahickon Valley, Roxborough has a unique residential charm. But with easy accessibility to the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line and several bus routes, you can easily venture into Center City, eat at top restaurants and locate great shopping. (Shops that cater to your everyday needs abound on “the Ridge” — Ridge Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag.)  Since the median home value in Roxborough stands at $216,200, $500K gets you the latest and greatest in new and recently built homes with plenty of space (especially the third option!).If you’re a city lover seeking to settle down, read on— your future home may be below. Read more »

8 Projects Win Willard Rouse Awards

Swarthmore Town Center West | Photo from Swarthmore College via ULI Philadelphia

Judging from the major elements contained in this year’s honorees at the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia’s fourth annual Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence, the city’s architectural and development communities have not only become masters at multitasking, they’ve managed to successfully complete their context sensitivity training.

Whether the design paid homage to traditional informal style, like Cope Linder’s master design for Swarthmore Town Center West, or made bold modern statements like KSS/Hollwich Kushner’s Pennovation Center and BLTa/Pelli Clarke Pelli’s FMC Tower at Cira Centre South did, in every case it fit in with its setting and enhanced its intended functions. Read more »

Historic Preservation Gets A Big Helping Hand From the National Trust

The designation of Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods as a National Treasure covers not just the well-known historic precincts of Center City — it extends to neighborhoods all over the city, from the factory town of Tacony to colonial Germantown to the 19th-century streetcar suburbs of West Philadelphia, shown here. | Photo: Neal Santos for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The designation of Philadelphia as the first and so far only World Heritage City in the United Statea two years ago brought with it bragging rights but not much in the way of resources to preserve its historic character.

Today’s official announcement that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has added Philadelphia’s historic neighborhoods to its list of National Treasures will do something to help preserve that character.

At a midday ceremony in the studio of the KieranTimberlake architectural firm, Mayor Jim Kenney, National Trust for Historic Preservation President and CEO Stephanie Meeks and Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia Executive Director Paul Steinke explained how the designation would both help the city bolster its historic preservation efforts and use its historic structures as engines of economic renewal, especially in the city’s more disadvantaged districts. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: A Real Showcase Home in Society Hill for $2.5M

138 S. Front St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

Ever wanted to live in a real designer showcase home?

If you have, we’ve got one for you this week.

This home on Front Street in Society Hill, the end unit in U.S. Construction’s Adagio development, was Philadelphia magazine’s Design Home 2016, and it’s now on the market.

The photo above and those in the gallery below show what some of the region’s best designers did with this spectacular space. This time, however, you get to be the designer. 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 »

Neighborly in Narberth for $659K

5 Langdon Ln., Narberth, Pa. 19072 | Photos: John Badalamenti via Julie O’Malley, BHHS Fox & Roach

If there’s one word that could be said to describe Narberth better than any other, it’s “neighborly.” Residents adore its small-town feel and down-home charm.

And in a town that’s full of down-home charm, there are few homes that get down more than this handsome stone Colonial on a cul-de-sac in the borough’s northern reaches.

If you go to tour the place in person, chances are you may not even make it past the front porch, as you’ll be sorely tempted to just have the agent go pour you a tall glass of iced tea or make your favorite cocktail and then just sit there with you in the coolness of your outdoor front room. Read more »

First-Time Find: Contemporary Glam in Fairmount for $282.5K

2601 Pennsylvania Ave. #626, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

You want it all — and we totally understand. You want to entertain and live a life of luxury, but as a first-time buyer, breaking the bank isn’t in the cards. A budget can make for boring prospects. But fear not. Check out this sensible, stylish and smart space situated in the Art Museum area.

A contemporary unit in the newly renovated 2601 Parkway Condominiums, this pet-friendly pad is loaded with amenities. The building provides 24-hour concierge service, on-site management, a fully stocked gym, complimentary garage parking, secure entry, bike storage, a spacious community room with a large screen TV (and free Wi-Fi!) and a shuttle service to Center City. If you’re searching for easy upkeep and suburban convenience with a city address, this building seems like a suitable solution. Read more »

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