“Soar Through the Air With the Greatest of Ease on Kensington’s Flying Trapeze!” That’s what the poster would say if P.T. Barnum were advertising the Fly School Circus Arts’ move to 1620 North Fifth Street. From suburban Bucks County to gritty Fifth and Cecil B. Moore — that’s quite a change.
This condo unit in the Steel Factory Lofts in Kensington is pretty special: The combination of the wood ceiling, the exposed brick walls and the hardwood floors in the central open space is every loft-owner’s dream. It also has a vast bathroom with a marble bathtub, a private balcony, deeded parking and five years left on a tax abatement.
The views of the skyline and the bridge are terrific; for those who don’t agree, there’s a skyline on the wall as well.
Photo of Manayunk's upcoming co-working space via Transfer Station's Facebook page.
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Photo by Anjan Chatterjee via Flickr.
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Here’s what we want to say to startup Kwelia: If loving you is wrong, we don’t wanna be right. The self-professed data geeks help real estate professionals by collecting and analyzing information about the rental market: what’s hot, what’s trending, what competitive pricing would look like.
That doesn’t necessarily sound like it would be to a consumer’s benefit. But Kwelia also provides info about Philadelphia rentals and free tools to regular folk. Take, for instance, the company’s interactive heat map of rental prices in Philadelphia for the month of May: It’s a really helpful look at what’s going on in the city in terms of affordability–as long as you understand the reasons behind the prices.
Property’s Morning Obsession: Slice-of-Life Video of Kensington in 1982, Starring Philadelphia Accents
Screen shot from the YouTube video "Old Kennsington, Philadelphia 1982" by RockosPoorSportVideo
This is a really depressing video (and good morning to you!) that’s nonetheless mesmerizing. A California filmmaker follows around a bunch of teenagers in Kensington in 1982. Some kids are profoundly stupid, racist and misogynistic; others almost have some charm, and you wonder if they ever got out. The area was severely disadvantaged at the time, more so than it is now. At one point, the filmmaker drives through a part of Kensington that is so lost and abandoned, I can’t believe it’s Philly. And that’s saying something.
At one point, there’s a cop car spotted, which one teen assumes means someone is getting a ticket. Not so. “Double-parked having coffee,” says another kid. “Philadelphia Police.” Then: “Philly’s finest. Rizzo’s Raiders.” As a slice of life from that time period, it’s completely fascinating. But if you plan to watch at work, wear headphones: There’s profanity–and skin-searing Philadelphia accents.
Free People’s Doub Hanshaw Sells Amazing, Incredible Loft Within the Fully Expected 3-Second Timeline
A few weeks back, we presented a gallery listing of the spectacular Kensington loft owned by Doub Hanshaw, creative director of Free People. It was actually a onetime auto mechanics’ garage, but it’s got that loftlike feel. Having been featured everywhere from Apartment Therapy to Philly Mag, the space’s listing is gone from the original broker’s page, with a sale pending.
Photo: Laura Kicey
Sometime in 2014 (the developers are shooting for late summer), 150 or more Philadelphia area teachers will start making their homes in what was a 170,000-square-foot, late-19th-century eyesore at Front and Oxford.
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.
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.