Ikea is Hosting “College Life Your Way” Event this Weekend

Young woman shopping for furniture in a furniture store, using her tablet computer to compare prices/check for dimensions | Image via iStock by Getty Images

Attention all nervous parents and future freshmen: stop panicking! We know getting ready for college can be stressful–and expensive. New bedding. New furniture. New school. New roommates.

Ikea has made it easy and convenient to check the big ticket items off your list with their weekend event, “College Life Your Way.” Known for offering affordable furnishings with sustainable designs, Ikea is all about starting the semester off with savings.

The special, which runs from Friday, July 14th to Sunday, July 16th, invites Ikea Family loyalty program members and friends to get pumped about the impending school season and push the anxiety aside. With activities, workshops, exclusive deals and giveaways, you might just be able to call the Ikea near you a one-stop-shop for college dorm preparedness.

Below is an overview of the weekend’s activities: Read more »

Independence Mall Rises from the Dead

Independence Mall in 2011. The mall’s redesign brought people back to it and has stimulated a wave of redevelopment that has given new life to the buildings that surround it. | Photo: Courtesy National Park Service

Even as the Center City District (CCD) and its parent, the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC), sound warnings every now and then that Center City’s current good fortune remains vulnerable to economic shifts, the organizations still find plenty of cause for celebration, or at least tub-thumping, in the space between the rivers from Vine to Pine.

At the most recent CPDC meeting at the Union League on June 27th, the tub-thumping concerned the subject of reattaching Independence Mall to the city that surrounds it.

Center City District Executive Director Paul Levy opened the meeting by describing the wound opened by the mall. “The mall was the creation of the urban renewal movement of the 1950s,” he said. At the time, the area around the mall was the center of the city’s garment industry: “Today we call it the maker community, but back then we called it sweatshops,” he added. Many of the 500 buildings that were razed to create the mall housed garment-industry firms, some of which were moved to the Callowhill Street area by the brand-new Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation starting in 1958.

What took their place, Levy continued, was a space that was “symmetrical but not well used.” Part of the reason for the lack of use was the mall itself, but another main contributor was the government, corporate and institutional offices that rose on its edges. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Comfortable Abode in Berwyn for $650K

1130 Sheffield Dr., Berwyn, Pa. 19312 | TREND images via RE/MAX Action Associates

If you are searching for a spacious home with an appealing backyard in the Main Line, check out this residence. Today’s featured home is priced 4.4 percent less per square foot than the average home in Berwyn. This space is warm, inviting and nicely appointed for entertaining.

Located on a cul-de-sac in a family-friendly neighborhood, the home is ideal for raising a family. Not only is this property minutes away from the restaurants and shops, but it is also within walking distance of Tredyffrin-Easttown Middle School and Conestoga High School. A nice playground is situated in the fenced-in backyard. The safe outdoor space is perfect for young kids to play with friends. Read more »

A Room of One’s Own

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Open-plan main floors have been so popular for so long with both builders and buyers that anything else is hard to find — at least, in new or newly renovated homes. “I think open plans have been desirable for buyers here because homes are so narrow. They allow for the best entertaining,” offers Kelly Straka, owner of interior design firm Lux-Living and builder-broker Custom Philly Homes. And if the slew of house-flipping, home-improvement and house-hunting shows on HGTV is any guide, it’s not just Philly: All the world loves (and wants) an open floor plan.

Or … does it? Read more »

Rustic Corner Loft in Callowhill for $389.9K

428-440 N. 13th St. #3H, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

After nearly a decade of fundraising and advocacy, The Rail Park project is forging ahead. Work is under way on the initial segment of a multi-phase project that will transform a former Reading Railroad right-of-way into a lush linear park through a neighborhood that needs one. Philadelphians are all over the blossoming hot spot, and real estate agents are definitely in on the game as well, touting apartments and condos in the Callowhill Loft District for their proximity to the coming amenity.

Located in the Hat Factory Condominiums, this unit on North 13th Street is one of those that’s being presented as a great investment. The entrance to Phase One of the Rail Park is situated next to the entrance of the building, which means that you will be on the ground floor of the buzz surrounding the greenway. 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 »

What $500K Will Buy You in West Chester

10 Reservoir Rd., West Chester, Pa. 19380 | TREND image via Keller Williams Realty

Home to West Chester University and QVC, the Chester County seat of West Chester has a thriving local economy. College students and year-round residents alike flood the overwhelmingly walkable streets in town, lined with uniquely local shops and small businesses. You can relax at restaurants, browse through antique shops or stop by the West Chester Growers’ Market; there is something for just about everyone. The charming character, stellar school system and easy accessibility to the center of town makes this suburb a great destination for people of all ages — especially those looking to settle down and start a family.

With a median home value of $380,900 and the median listing price falling at $449,000, a $500K budget will get you everything you need. Take a peek at our three picks for a taste of Chester County charm. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: A Palatial Retreat in Villanova for $15.9M

733 N. Spring Mill Rd., Villanova, Pa. 19085 | TREND images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

Situated on 4.5 acres on the Main Line’s “Golden Mile”, this expansive home will make you feel like you’ve gone on a permanent vacation. In addition to its own considerable amenities, this recently built (2002) estate home is within easy striking distance of a golf course, horse stables and riding facilities, tennis courts, jogging and biking paths, lakes and streams for fishing and boating, and a casino. Assuming, that is, that you’d want to leave this sumptuous home to take advantage of them, for it’s outfitted with many snazzy amenities of its own. Read more »

First-Time Find: Luxury on a Budget in Rittenhouse for $295K

1500 Chestnut St. #19G, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

Whether you’re single or simply searching for a spot to settle down with your beau, this contemporary high-rise in Rittenhouse could suit your needs.

Situated in the Ellington building, the apartment is located in the lively hub of the city. In the Rittenhouse and Avenue of the Arts area, the digs offer easy access to a thriving nightlife scene, shops and restaurants.  Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: 1213 Walnut

The café-style community great room at 1213 Walnut. | Photos: Sandy Smith; renderings: Design Collective via Goldenberg Group

Philadelphia’s newest hotel is in its home stretch, sprinting towards an August opening.

Wait, did I say “hotel”? Forgive me, for I had a momentary lapse of memory in recalling what I was touring at 1213 Walnut St.

The building that local wags had dubbed the “Fergie Tower” is being referred to by that moniker much less often now that it’s a reality. The three companies in charge of making it happen — the Goldenberg Group, Houston-based Hines and Washington-based ASB Real Estate Investments — have always called it by its Midtown Village street address in Washington Square West, and its tenants will most likely do the same; after all, if they don’t, the Postal Service might not deliver their mail. Read more »

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