Category: New Projects
New York architect Peter Gluck could not have imagined what he was getting himself into when he conceived a design for 205 Race Street, a 16-story mixed use building proposed for a vacant lot. Last summer Gluck came in from New York for the day to talk to the Old City Civic Association (OCCA) about the high-rise, which would have ground-floor retail and 128 rental apartments.
Thirstoberfest at Memphis Taproom. Photo: M. Kennedy for GPTMC.
Leigh Maida and husband/business partner Brendan Hartranft–along with other parnters and investors–own and operate four neighborhood bistros that emphasize quality brews and delicious pub fare. Each outpost shapes the neighborhood it’s in and is shaped by the neighborhood as well. Their newest project? Strangelove’s in Center City, which is much anticipated.
We asked Maida how the couple decides where to open next. Her answer? “I can totally reveal our master real estate plan for you: there isn’t one. (Ta-da!)” Still, she gamely answered a few questions via email–better than phone when you have a baby on your arm.
Sixth and South, looking west, in 1930. Philadelphia Dept. of Records, via phillyhistory.org
As the countdown continues to the opening of Serpico–the much-hyped Stephen Starr restaurant that has foodies in a lather–real estate watchers are hopeful but puzzled. The new restaurant will be at 604 South Street, right in the middle of, well, Sixth and South. Can Starr work his magic there?
This week wasn’t the first time developer Wally Smerconish tried to get permission to turn the former First Baptist Church of Ardmore, built in 1928, into condos. He petitioned the Lower Merion zoning board last summer, and despite the fact that the community was in favor of Smerconish’s proposal for adaptive reuse–this was no great preservation battle–the board was compelled to say no due to the way zoning laws were written.
At the renaming announcement for 1818 Market Street this afternoon, there were few big shocks. The bank’s CEO Gerry Cuddy happily and enthusiastically thanked half the known universe; Mayor Nutter proclaimed the city’s bounty–”people are investing in the city,” etc.–and a man no one in the audience recognized but who has something to do with a treasury department, may have said important things while people talked over him.
Rendering of Oxford Mills
It’s going to be an educational paradise, with a headquarters for Teach for America, discounted apartments for teachers, a cafe where intellectual ideas are discussed, offices for educational nonprofits and a fitness center, among other things. The project, headed up by D3 Real Estate Development, will be called the Center for Educational Excellence, and open next spring.
Dear Atlantic City:
You know we love you. We come to you for gambling, for bachelor and bachelorette parties, for rides on your charming jitneys, for strolls on your boardwalk, for indulgence in the nostalgia for your bygone days, for air shows, for golf tournaments, for conventions and gymnastics competitions, for prize fights, for shopping at outlets, for rides that make children vomit.
One of the Design Advocacy Group‘s recent complaints about Wynn Philadelphia was the scarcity of information accompanying the pitch: “Wynn Philadelphia has so far provided only two distant perspectives of their proposed hotel tower and a poor-quality site plan…” In a display of superb timing, Steve Wynn sent the Inquirer’s Jennifer Lin a new rendering and spoke with her about details.
Image: Screen shot of the new GPTMC website, with some of the neighborhood crests.
There are 14 neighborhoods surrounding Center City that don’t feature a Liberty Bell or an Independence Hall. Starting today, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) is turning its considerable marketing machine toward encouraging tourists and residents alike to start exploring them.