Today was the grand opening of 2116 Chestnut (left), a 34-story residential building that already has more than 100 people moved in. Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger, who was intimately involved in making 2116 Chestnut happen, said in a statement that the city “is fast becoming a place of choice for exciting new projects which bring with them investment, new public spaces, and jobs.”
In fact, 2116 Chestnut provided 800 jobs. It was developed by the John Buck Company of Chicago along with the INDURE Fund, whose CEO, Jeff Kanne, trumpeted another indication of the fund’s faith in the city: “the complete revitalization of the Girard Trust Property on Market Street, with a targeted construction date of 2014.”
We assume Kanne is talking about Girard Square (formerly owned by the city-run Girard Trust) between 11th and 12th, for which INDURE has been trying to secure city or state funding for more than a year. (At the groundbreaking for 2116 Chestnut last year, in fact, Kanne told the Inquirer’s Joseph N. DiStefano that any plan he has for Girard Square “depends on getting money.”)
HughE Dillon over at PhillyChitChat says that the Bloomie’s folks have been here four times to look at the Burlington Coat Factory space, and the last time they brought lawyers and a design team.
Gallery owner PREIT did not return an official call for comment, though one person there said he didn’t know anything about it but that he wasn’t approved to comment. Dillon has a really reliable source, though, and the last tip he got from said source panned out exactly as predicted.
Screenshot from PREIT's Gallery Mall webpage.
As of yesterday, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) officially owns the Kmart at Ninth and Market–the one it paid $60 million for even though many area residents wouldn’t shop there regularly if you paid them $60 million to do so. (They’d be missing out on some serious bargains, however.)
Rendering of Market8
The Design Advocacy Group is a collaborative of very smart people: urban planners, architects, designers and likeminded guardians of the aesthetic who advocate for quality in the built environment. In other words, if a developer is planning something horrendously ugly or damaging to public life in Philadelphia, they’ll hear about it from the DAG.
There are six proposals for Philadelphia’s next casino, and you know wherever things ends up, people will complain. So let’s forestall the inevitable moaning and participate in the civic process, shall we? Take an online survey and clarify your position. But before that, you’ll have to understand the options, right?