Photo: Bradley Maule
In Next City, Patrick Kerkstra makes Philly negative exceptionalists feel better by pointing out that while Philadelphia demolition regulations are, indeed, lax, it’s far from alone. His lede is priceless:
“In Philadelphia, a city with a rich history of municipal incompetence, there’s a natural impulse to assume the worst about city government when tragedy strikes…”
But that wouldn’t be fair, he says. In fact, Kerkstra analyzed 12 cities and found that Philadelphia’s inadequate supervision of demolition is typical of many large cities. So much so that this could, Kerkstra points out, happen anywhere.
Photo: Virginia C. McGuire
Plant lovers in West Philly have probably noticed this house at 47th and Baltimore because it has one of the most exuberant rooftop gardens I’ve ever seen. Gardener Fred Wolfe has been building his plant collection on this corner for more than 40 years. He started gardening at 4703 and 4705 Baltimore Avenue, but in 1983 he moved to his current home at 4701 Baltimore.
Wolfe’s garden is spread over several different areas. What he calls his sidewalk garden is a combination of perennials and annuals planted in containers. This garden has cannas, red-twig dogwood, hardy hibiscus, magnolias and black-eyed susans.
Dock Street Brewery faced major NIMBY opposition. Photo by Jeff Fusco for GPTMC
Dunkin Donuts is prepping a space in University City, and some neighbors aren’t happy about a chain restaurant moving into the space. Though this particular franchise opening seems to be a fait accompli at this point, the debate over a chain’s suitability in a neighborhood of independent businesses will surface again and again. (The last conflict of this kind arose over a Subway sandwich shop on Baltimore Avenue.)
Urban & Bye’s associate broker Melani Lamond, a prominent figure in the University City real estate community and owner of the Gold Standard Cafe’s building, among others, gets frustrated by the notion that a commercial property should be limited to a certain type. On a neighborhood listserv where residents can share their frustration or support for such projects, Lamond offered a “landlord’s perspective,” in which she further expanded on this point of view. She allowed us to reproduce the piece she wrote, which raises some very interesting points. (She begins by responding to specific charges made by others, including worries about traffic and urban location, which is why it seems to start in media res.)
Call it whatever you like–a fixer-upper, a diamond in the rough, a house needing TLC–this one could be a rather good deal. The intersection of 49th and Osage is prime property in University City, right between pretty Pine Street and lovely Larchwood and within walking distance of Clark Park, Baltimore Avenue, Cedar Park and trolley access to Center City. It’s an area well known to Eds & Meds students and professionals, whose presence brings increasing new businesses.
A smaller home–also an investor’s special–at 49th and Larchwood sold a couple months ago for $340,000, and that wasn’t the only fixer-upper in the area that had a higher asking price than this one. This is an especially low price, even for a complete mess.
Apartments at Penn generally buys properties, rehabs them and rents them to students. But now that the Zoning Board and the Spruce Hill community have approved a mixed-use complex–31 apartments and 1,400 square feet of ground-floor retail–at 43rd and Sansom, it’s jumping into full-fledged development, and one that intentionally melds with the Wine & Spirits store slated for 43rd and Chestnut.
Photo: Annamarya Scaccia for West Philly Local
It’s been more than a year since Oren Brothers Real Estate announced their plans to transform the old Croydon Building–aka the squatters’ Paradise City–into an apartment building with more than 100 rental units. Now West Philly Local’s Annamarya Scaccia confirms that construction is under way.
Actually, we can’t really tell what the boxer shorts are covering. The first thought was a lamp, but then, there’s a lamp right next to them. So what else would a young male want to hide quickly when a landlord pops in to take some photos? The other possibility is that the young man believes this is appropriate boxer storage, and looking around at his room, that doesn’t seem far-fetched.
Deliciously kitschy estate sale: Sat., March 16, 9am-2pm; and Sun., March 17, 9am-2pm. 600 E. Fifth St. Florence, NJ 08518 Spring Garden Indoor Antique & Vintage Flea Market: Sat., March 16, 8am-4pm. Ninth and Spring Garden streets. Philadelphia, PA 19123 West Philly Tool Library Fifth Annual Tool Sale & Drive: Sat., March 16, 9am-12pm. 1314 [...]
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, one of Drexel's new architectural jewels.
Drexel professor Kathleen Volk-Miller, who heads up the Painted Bride Quarterly literary magazine and brought the international Literary Death Match to Philadelphia (the only city where attendees whooped and a fully costumed Mummer served as a judge), has a bone to pick with her employer’s development success.