Does “Bullet Voting” Really Work?

Election Day in Philadelphia | Photo by AP/Matt Rourke

Election Day in Philadelphia | Photo by AP/Matt Rourke

If you want to shake up City Council, many political insiders will tell you to vote for one at-large candidate and one at-large candidate only. This tactic is known as “bullet voting,” and the idea behind it is that by voting for just one candidate, you don’t run the risk of elevating another candidate who could beat your No. 1 choice.

Until now, we didn’t know very much about the prevalence of bullet voting, or how effective it is, in Philadelphia. That changed when City Commissioner Al Schmidt on Tuesday released a study about bullet voting in the primary election. “This was a massive undertaking,” he said in a press release, “and has never been done before.”

Here are seven takeaways from his analysis: Read more »

Is Ed Rendell Trolling Philly’s Democratic Machine?

Former Gov. Ed Rendell is up to something. He’s one of the most popular Democrats in the city, and yet he keeps throwing his weight behind candidates who are not backed by Philadelphia’s Democratic Party.

One of his hand-picked hopefuls isn’t even registered as a Democrat. This week, Rendell endorsed Andrew Stober, an Independent candidate for City Council. Back during the primary campaign, Rendell supported Council candidates Allan Domb, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and Paul Steinke, none of whom were endorsed by the Democratic City Committee. And while he didn’t officially endorse Doug Oliver — a long-shot mayoral candidate in the spring who didn’t get any love from the city’s party leaders — Rendell certainly boosted his profile by saying lots and lots of nice things about him. (Rendell eventually endorsed Jim Kenney, the Democratic mayoral nominee, but not until August.)

Is Rendell trolling the local Democratic Party? Or, to put it in less clickbait-y terms, is he trying to push for change in the party? What’s going on? Read more »

Allan Domb: The Condo King

Allan Domb in his Rittenhouse Square office. Photograph by Colin Lenton

Allan Domb in his Rittenhouse Square office. Photograph by Colin Lenton

There are two distraught gentlemen in Allan Domb’s lobby, flipping out about the Pope. The date is July 29th, almost two months before Francis and a million of his admirers are to plunge the City of Philadelphia into holy sacramental chaos. Domb’s visitors are emissaries from the restaurant world, here to bang warning gongs about the culinary gridlock they foresee: marooned employees, bewildered customers, spoiled meat.

“There doesn’t seem to be a strategic plan at all. Just, ‘Hey, you guys are fucked.’” This is Greg Dodge, manager of the wine bar Zavino. Either Greg’s face is really tanned or all the blood has rushed to his head. He’s wearing one of those shirts where the collar is white but everything else is blue. “It just doesn’t make any sense.” Read more »

Raw Space Alert: Tri-Balcony Penthouse at The Rittenhouse Asks $6.25M

Here is what Penthouse 2903-04 looks like today. | Photos: Allan Domb Real Estate

Oh man, here’s a fun listing for those of you looking for some major floor plan porn (yes, that’s a thing). Nearly 6,000-square-foot of prime penthouse space at The Rittenhouse has just hit the market, and in a big way.

Listed at $6.25 million, Penthouse 2903-04 offers 5,940-square-feet of raw space and three, count ’em, three balconies with 270-degree views, including the skyline, Rittenhouse Square, Schuylkill River, Fairmount Park and University City. Remember that drone video from a few weeks back that hovered over Rittenhouse Square? Yeah, that’s the view from the master bedroom on the sample/proposed floor plan for this place.

“The floor plan on the website is one idea for the space, but the buyer can design the space to his/her specs,” a rep from Allan Domb‘s office, the listing agent on the property, told us in an email. Check it:

Read more »

The Brief: What Will Happen to the Homeless During the Pope’s Visit?

Pope Francis | giulio napolitano /

Pope Francis |

1. Organizers say they are carefully considering the needs of homeless people as they make preparations for the Pope’s visit.

The gist: On Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter got in a physical confrontation with a homeless man who said that he was worried about the city’s plans to sweep the Benjamin Franklin Parkway of the homeless during Pope Francis’ visit in September. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that organizers say that is not quite what will happen: Instead, everyone — including the homeless — will be required to leave the Parkway before the Pope arrives for security reasons, but then will be allowed back inside through gates. The World Meeting of Families has also formed a committee whose aim is “to protect the dignity and rights of people who are homeless, to make sure there is no detrimental treatment,” Project HOME’s Will O’Brien told the Inquirer.

Read more »

First Pics: Inside the Revamped Alison Building on Rittenhouse Square

The Alison Building

The furnished model unit at the Alison Building (nice view, huh?) | Photos: Allan Domb Real Estate by Jay Ratchford

For those of you seeking brand new luxury rental options on Rittenhouse Square, today is essentially your day. By that we mean, 19 units at the revamped Alison Building at 1805 Walnut Street (above the Barnes and Noble) are ready to go and we’ve got the first pics of the model unit (7A), which overlooks Rittenhouse Square.

A rep from Allan Domb real Estate tells us that 1/3 of the units have already been rented, including the incredible penthouse apartment that was being marketing at $20,000 per month. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the view from the terrace of said off-the-market penthouse overlooking the Square. Here’s what that looks like:

Read more »

Selfies with Philly’s Most Prominent Business People

Selfies - Business

Like it or not, selfies are a huge part of pop culture — and nobody’s too cool to take one, even Philly’s most prominent business people. For the July issue of Philadelphia magazine, we asked some of the most well-known Philadelphians to submit a selfie, and plenty of business folks obliged.

There’s master developer Carl Dranoff posing with a model of one of his buildings; Philadelphia Zoo president and CEO Vik Dewan with an eight-year-old male giraffe; La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael with Pat Croce at his Fishtown flagship coffee house; and Kelly Boyd of KB Consultants with her cute dog.

Check out selfies from the business and tech world below, and make sure to see all 75 selfies here. Read more »

Allan Domb to Debut Boutique Rental Units at the Alison Building in July

The Alison Building | Photo: Allan Domb Real Estate

The Alison Building | Photo: Allan Domb Real Estate

Hot off his successful bid for City Council At-Large, Allan Domb is set to unveil the first round of super high-end rental units inside the Alison Building at 1805 Walnut Street, with some overlooking Rittenhouse Square. Set betwixt 10 Rittenhouse and 1801 Walnut Street (the corner building the that houses Anthropologie), the Alison Building is anchored by a three-story Barnes and Noble. The residences above will feature a 24-hour doorman and command rents between $2,650 and $7,950 per month.

Work began on the upper floors of the building in the fall, and a rep from Allan Domb Real Estate says the first round of what will be 19 luxury units will be delivered July 1. Floor plans range from 515-square-feet all the way up to 5,900-square-feet for the penthouse (more on that in a bit).

Here is the breakout, minus the penthouse (more on that in a bit, we promise):

Read more »

Progressives Won the Philly Election? You Sure About That?

The victorious Jim Kenney on Election Day| Photo by Jeff Fusco

The victorious Jim Kenney on Election Day| Photo by Jeff Fusco

Philadelphia is suddenly a progressive utopia.

At least, that’s what you might believe after reading articles about the city’s primary election in the national media.

Jim Kenney, a former Philadelphia city councilman who has cast himself as a progressive in the mold of Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, handily defeated five other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday,” reads the first sentence of The New York Times article about the race.

The Atlantic went a step further, writing that “progressives scored a victory” because the mayoral race “pitted a crusading left-winger against a charter-school advocate backed by suburban hedge-fund magnates” and “this time, the left-winger … actually won.” Even Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News declared that it was a new day after Kenney, “who ran on the most progressive platform of a major Philadelphia mayoral candidate in our lifetimes,” won in a landslide, at the same time that education activist Helen Gym succeeded in her campaign for City Council.

Not so fast. Read more »

Why Voter Turnout Sucked in Philly’s Mayoral Race

APTOPIX America Votes

Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

1. Voter turnout in Philadelphia wasn’t always so pitiful.

The gist: Only 27 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Philadelphia’s mayoral primary last week. It wasn’t always like this. In 1991, 49 percent of Philly voters came to the polls. In 1987, 67 percent did; in 1971, a stunning 77 percent did. Other big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have also seen voter turnout plummet in municipal elections over the past few decades. CityLab’s Daniel Denvir has a theory about why that may be: Read more »

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