Either/Or: Two Charmers In Bella Vista

Left to right: Living rooms of 750 and 763 South 9th St.

Left to right: Living rooms of 750 and 763 South 9th St.

Unlike the South Third row houses from weeks ago, these two aren’t neighbors. But they are on the same block: South Ninth Street between Fitzwater and Catharine. Both offer garage parking, bi-level roof decks, and a minute-walk to the Italian Market. Here are the deets:

750, which consists of two separately deeded properties sold together, includes a main house with wide-plank cypress wood floors (the interior is French farmhouse-inspired), second-floor family room with built-in office and bedroom suite, and roof decks with built-in seating (1st level) and garden and drip irrigation system (2nd level). Outside the kitchen, a brick patio and walkway lead to the rear property made up of garage and guest house.

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Morning Headlines: Montco Has Built More Apartments Than Single-Family Dwellings In Last Year

It seems Wynnewood and Conshohocken aren’t the only areas in Montgomery County aiming to reel in those looking for smaller housing. According to recent data by the Norristown Planning commission, Montgomery County housing units went up by 42 percent last year compared to 2012– the largest chunk of that increase being multifamily housing.

Philly.com’s Jessica Sparks reports the amount of single-family homes grew by 19 percent, while single-family attached homes (i.e. duplexes or row houses) rose by 12 percent. The biggest increase was seen in apartment and condo constructions, which tripled in 2013.

Sparks says the Planning Commission’s report, which displayed constructions mainly occurring in Towamencin, Upper Providence, and Montgomery Township among others, found the housing units “added $252 million in taxable property value to the county.”

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Design Out Loud Happens Wednesday

Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo

Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo

What can you do with a piece of Caesarstone? You can certainly made kitchen countertops with it, or bathroom vanities, or floors or walls or paneling. But what can you do that’s unexpected? That’s…art? This was the question asked of 13 design teams tasked with creating functional floor pieces and wall art, all of it made from Caesarstone quartz. The teams included the following heavy-hitter participants:

Renewal
HDR
Ewing Cole
Meyer Design
Kling Stubbins
R Squared Design
Stimmel Consulting
Petersen Kitchen and Design
Cranbury Design Center
Kitchen Technology
Holods Kitchen and Bath
LPST Interior Design
Sycamore Kitchens
Devon Tile
Abruzzi
TilMar Desgins
BFC
Bristol Millwork

The results — which include a dress fashioned with pieces of Caesarstone — will be on display on Wednesday, Sept. 17th at a private evening event. Property readers can attend by sending an RSVP to shh@caesarstoneus.com and mentioning this post.

Main Line Monday: $4M Manse With “Chocolate Room”

maxwellton

As befits its name and august address, Maxwellton — actually asking a hair under $4 million — has many hallmarks of luxury, perhaps first and foremost a La Cornue Château 165 range, the newest La Cornue model, which according the company was “born of a deep love of succulent roasted meats and poultries.” The kitchen has other top-of-the-line appliances, such as a built-in Sub Zero model 632, a Wolf built-in convection and microwave oven and a professional Miele built-in coffee making system.

There’s a “dish room” with 80 running feet of cabinetry and a smaller kitchen off of the main kitchen.

Perhaps most enticingly, however, is the presence of a “chocolate room” that has been “designed for optimal humidity and temperature control for the production of chocolate dishes” and “includes a walk-in refrigerator and Wolf cook-top stove.”

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Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful Renderings

A detail of one of OLIN's renderings for the New Presidio Parklands Project.

A detail from a screenshot of one of OLIN’s renderings for the New Presidio Parklands Project.

Philadelphia/L.A.-based landscape design firm OLIN not only opened Dilworth Park last week but also unveiled its proposed plans for San Francisco’s New Presidio Parklands project. OLIN is on the shortlist for that project, but here’s hoping these renderings — featured in an A/N blog pictorial — seal the deal.

They’re luminous and beautiful and, well, we simply want to live inside of them. And look at the maps — don’t they have a native Pacific design echo? Brilliant. We had to grab a few screen shots to show you (gallery below), but to see all the renderings for the project, from OLIN as well as the other shortlisted firms, go to the A/N blog for the full pictorial.

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Morning Headlines: Redevelopment Plans for the Royal Theater

Royal-Theater-mural

It took about a year, but developer Carl Dranoff and JDavis Architects unveiled plans for the vacant Royal Theater at a South of South Neighborhood Association meeting last week. PlanPhilly has the details this morning.

Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies purchased the historic building in 2000 but it has been mightily neglected since then. Dranoff partnered with Universal last year when the group announced plans for a mixed-use building to replace the theater. Details on the proposed building were fuzzy until last week’s meeting. Thanks to PlanPhilly, we now know the proposal includes the following provisions.

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The Lovely Bones: East Kensington Fixer-Upper

A 2009 Google Street View image shows skater hooligans perpetrating their monkeyshines at the corner of Trenton Avenue and Cumberland. These days they're probably building kinetic sculptures.

A 2009 Google Street View image shows skater hooligans perpetrating their monkeyshines at the corner of Trenton Avenue and Cumberland. These days they’re probably building kinetic sculptures.

If there can be said to be a ground zero for Kensington redevelopment and renaissance, it might be cobblestone Trenton Avenue, which anchors the East Kensington neighborhood and whose Trenton Ave Arts Festival gave rise to the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, that most beloved of creativity competitions.

This home is basically at Cumberland and Trenton, and as such, is in a pretty nice spot to appreciate. It also appears to have rather good bones, as well as a large backyard and a “clean” basement. Sold as-is, of course (hence the price), but if you’re looking for a blank canvas and a project, this might be a good place to start.

Gallery of poor-quality photos below.

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Road Trip: Cat-Oriented Estate Sale in Northern NJ

The man himself, in a painting by Roy Anderson. Also for sale.

The man himself, in a painting by Roy Anderson. Also for sale.

The internationally know former president of the Cat Fanciers Association Richard Gebhardt has, according to the listing on EstateSales.net, “decided to part with many of his lifelong treasures.” Seems a shame, but I suppose there comes a time in every life, feline-focused or no, when our possessions get the better of us. In Gebhardt’s case, given that he’s spent much of his years devoted to breeding, judging and advocating on behalf of cats and dogs (he is also a fan of the Japanese Chin, seems like), many of those treasures are animal themed: For instance:

- Hand-painted screen presented by the Japanese Cat Society
- Original photographs by world-renowned animal photographer Creszentia Allen
- Pair of Kutani Siamese cats
- Contents of Richard’s pet grooming parlor
- Chick Bragg “Cat Family” lithograph
- A CAT CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT GIVEN TO RICHARD BY BETTY WHITE

Gebhardt also has celebrity autographs from Paul Lynde and Muhammed Ali, a bronze medallion/medal/currency proof set made for Benito Mussolini, and perhaps the oldest working juicer I’ve ever seen. And that’s just for starters. I mean, do you not want to drive to Denville, NJ tomorrow to check this out? I know I do. Gallery below, and 135 more photos at the sale’s website.

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Must-See Open House: 1021 Meetinghouse Road

The property's original well is under glass now, behind the sofa. TREND photo via Realtor.com.

The property’s original well is under glass now, behind the sofa. TREND photo via Realtor.com.

This rather unique 4 bedroom has fireplaces in every room, hardwood floors and an addition with stone walls and exposed beams built around the property’s original well, which is featured like a great archeological remnant.

In the backyard, which is more than an acre and a half, there are black walnut and Kentucky coffee trees, which are apparently quite rare. The listing also notes that the kitchen has an Aga stove worth $10,000, which likely contributes to the stated $1,000,000 of upgrades. Plenty of other perks, too, in this highly livable home for a family looking for a place in the close-in Philly suburbs. Giant bulldog tapestry not included.

Gallery below.

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Morning Headlines: City Council Proposes Bills on Housing Affordability and Rezoning

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

City Council was back in session yesterday, and Jared Brey at PlanPhilly has the details on bills introduced by Kenyatta Johnson, Mark Squilla and Darrell Clarke.

Johnson’s bill is designed to extend the city’s Longtime Owner Occupants Program (LOOP) in order to provide access to owners who live in government-subsidized housing. As it stands now, LOOP only includes residents who have owned their homes for at least 10 years and whose income doesn’t exceed 150 percent of the Area Median Income.

LOOP prevents qualified residents’ tax bills from increasing by more than 300 percent (300 percent!) in a year. Residents who already benefit from a tax abatement are excluded from the program, meaning that under the current rules, homeowners in subsidized housing can’t qualify. Johnson explained the plan to amend LOOP to Brey:

“Right now, individuals who live in affordable housing—obviously, they don’t have a certain amount of income, their taxes may have tripled, and currently they don’t qualify for the tax relief under LOOP because they have had some type of abatement in the past. But also, they’re in some type of a catch 22, because they can’t sell their homes because of a deed restriction, so the legislation that we introduced today will allow them to have the opportunity to participate in LOOP.”

Squilla and Clarke introduced bills related to rezoning efforts, neither of which were entirely surprising. Squilla wants to rezone a tiny part of Society Hill to allow commercial mixed-use and Clarke’s bill rezones neighborhoods west of Temple in exactly the way the Planning Commission predicted months ago.

All of which might explain why Claudia Vargas called Council’s agenda “tepid” in yesterday’s Inquirer.

New bills focus on housing affordability, zoning remapping [PlanPhilly]
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