Wawa Coming to East Market

Architect’s rendering of Ludlow tower with Wawa on ground floor: BLT Architects via National Real Estate Development

Remember when Wawa stores were thick on the ground all over Center City and adjacent neighborhoods?

Looks like they will be once again, for this morning, in a news conference fueled by plenty of free Wawa coffee, officials at National Real Estate Development (National Development) announced their latest tenant signing for the retail portion of the East Market project: a Wawa store to go on the 12th and Market corner.

“We are delighted that Wawa, one of the most beloved brands in our region, will be our next partner in reshaping the East Market neighborhood,” Daniel Killinger, National Development’s managing director, said in a news release. “Together, with all of our tenants, we are creating a dynamic urban neighborhood, transforming Market Street with active ground floor retail tenants. Wawa is a perfect anchor for East Market on Market Street.” Read more »

The Gershman Y Wins Historic Protection

The Gershman Y at Broad and Pine streets. | Photo: Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

A prominent South Broad Street landmark that now serves two purposes has been added to Philadelphia’s historic register over the objections of its owner.

Liz Spikol, writing in the Jewish Exponent, reports that at its May 12 meeting, the Philadelphia Historical Commission voted to add the Gershman Y at Broad and Pine streets to the city register of historic places.

The building’s owner, the University of the Arts, had objected to the original nomination, saying the structure did not rise to the historic significance the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia claimed for it in the nominating petition it filed last July. After meetings and continuances sought by UArts produced no common ground with the Alliance, the commission took action on the petition at its most recent meeting. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: A Quiet Retreat in Northern Liberties for $315K

1011 N. Orkney St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19123 | Images via Luminous Realty

We’re suckers for bargains. “That looks fabulous on you!” “You paid how much for that?”

You’ll probably get comments like these from your friends after moving into this super-stylish modern trinity on a super-quiet lane in Northern Liberties.

Yes, we said “modern trinity.” On the outside, it presents the classic 19th-century trinity face, but on the inside, it’s totally up to date with a bunch of nice style touches and extras. Read more »

Philadelphia Sues Wells Fargo Over Discriminatory Lending Practices

Image via Flickr.

On Monday, Philadelphia filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo asserting that the bank has engaged in discriminatory lending practices against black and Latino home loan borrowers.

The lawsuit alleges that since 2004, Wells Fargo has operated in violation of the Fair Housing Act by pushing black and Latino borrowers towards high-cost or high-risk loans even when those borrowers were eligible for more favorable options.

The complaint further claims that Wells Fargo incentivized employees who steered minority borrowers to the risky and high-cost loans and specifically calls out Wells Fargo’s “lender credit” loan. The credit allows the bank to pay a borrower’s closing costs upfront but the borrower would have to accept a loan with a higher interest rate.

The city investigated Wells Fargo’s lending practices through an analysis of available loan data, which found that the practices disproportionately impacted minorities. About 23 percent of loans from Wells Fargo to minority customers in Philadelphia were high-cost or high-risk, while only eight percent of loans made to white customers were high-cost or high-risk.

“The City of Philadelphia’s investigation revealed that both the resources of the City and the lives of Philadelphia’s citizens have been negatively affected by Wells Fargo’s discriminatory lending practices,” said City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante. “The Law Department must take action in light of this evidence and halt these discriminatory practices on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia.” Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: Cinnaminson Hill

The first six homes in the Cinnaminson Hill development. Eighteen more are slated to follow. The open house took place in the second home from the right; the Hard Hat Tour, in the homes on either side of it. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Some of you may have seen me refer to Northeast Philadephia at one time or another as “our vast in-city suburb.”

With all due respect to the denizens of the Northeast, I must now state here that I got this wrong. If what you’re looking for is the look and feel of outer suburbia and an address with a ZIP code that begins with 191, the place you should be looking is Upper Roxborough.

I came to this realization as I hiked down Cinnaminson Street past the point where its sidewalks disappeared to reach an open house PRDC Properties was holding last week for its latest work in progress, Cinnaminson Hill.

The first six homes in this 24-unit development are in various stages of completion, and one of the six was complete enough for PRDC CEO David Perlman and his crew to invite everyone in. Read more »

Main Line Monday: “Dallas” in Bryn Mawr for $650K

684 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

What do 1950s ranch homes want to be when they grow up?

We strongly suspect something like this one.

Somewhere between its birth and now, it ran across owners who, it appears, had visions of Southfork dancing in their heads. The result of this cross-pollination is a home with a Main Line address but a Texas feel.

The transport begins when you drive through the gate of this handsomely updated home and scope out the meticulously manicured front lawn. Then, as you drive up the driveway, park your car in front and walk through the front door, you may hear the theme from “Dallas” playing faintly in the back of your head.  Read more »

43 New Townhouses Coming to Northern Liberties

Rendering of Liberty Square townhouse project by Atrium Design Studio via PRDC Properties

This landed in the Property inbox a few days ago: an announcement from PRDC Properties that it would soon begin work on a 43-unit townhouse development at the southern edge of Northern Liberties.

Designed by Atrium Design Studio, the project hits all the usual high notes: sleek modern design with brick, steel and glass outside, and roomy (3,100- to 3,800-square-foot) three- and four-bedroom units with such features as 10-foot-high ceilings, quartz countertops in the kitchens, Porcelanosa bathrooms, enchanting roof decks and community green space. And, of course, garage parking for one or two cars per unit: even though PRDC CEO David Perlman said in a news release that “the project was designed with walkability in mind,” this is Northern Liberties, after all, and no residential project that would put more resident cars on the street would pass muster with the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association.

The name of the project: Liberty Square.

Which is also the name of a much larger development now under construction a little bit to the north, on the South Kensington side of Girard Avenue. Read more »

Modern Tradition in Graduate Hospital for $739K

2409 Christian St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | Photo: Jackie “JD” Dembrowski. All photos via Space & Company; staging for all photos: Kendall Quigley, QA Designs

Its mansard roof may be missing, but on the outside, this newly rebuilt Graduate Hospital townhome harmonizes nicely with its Second Empire neighbors both with its height and its first-floor bay window.

On the inside, though, this home’s a totally contemporary looker that at the same time gives a few nods to its past.

One of those nods is in the living room, which has been opened up to the rest of the main floor. A gas fireplace with a gray stone surround provides a dramatic focal point. Read more »

Room of the Week: A Gorgeous Attic You’d Actually Want to Live In

Photographs by Courtney Apple

I don’t know about your house, but the attic in mine is, in a word, disgusting. I guess it could have potential as usable, livable space, if someone like Ardmore-based interior designer Naomi Stein got her hands on it. Naomi’s the designer who transformed our latest Room of the Week from a cramped attic storage space into the light-soaked sanctuary you see above. So, um, Naomi if you’re looking for your next project, you know where to find me.

Read on to see how this gorgeous space came together. And just wait until you hear the story of where all that rustic wood came from …  Read more »

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