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:

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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):

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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 »

Party Hopping: Scenes From Philly’s Big Election Night Bashes

party-marquee-940x540

Last night, Philadelphia magazine dispatched reporters to most of the Democratic mayoral candidates’ Election Day parties (sorry, Milton Street) to document the agony and the ecstasy as election results rolled in. For good measure, we embedded our real estate editor at the party for Allan Domb as the “Condo King” waited to see if his bid to become an at-large City Council representative was successful. (It was.) Below, a diary of five reporters’ adventures on Election Night: Malcolm Burnley (covering the Doug Oliver bash), Jim Jennings (Domb), Holly Otterbein (Jim Kenney), Jared Shelly (Nelson Diaz and Lynne Abraham), and Liz Spikol (Anthony Williams). Read more »

The Challengers: Allan Domb Thinks He Can Wipe Out Tax Delinquency

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey

All week, Citified is featuring Q&As with leading at-large City Council Democratic challengers on topics of their choosing. The prompt was simple: if elected, what’s a problem you would you prioritize, and how would you address it? To keep the conversation substantive and on-point, we asked the candidates to focus on a relatively narrow question (i.e., not “schools,” or “crime.”)

Allan Domb — real estate magnate, developer, part owner of Starr Restaurants — seems an unlikely candidate for City Council. But he’s running, and he’s running to win: Domb has already spent $560,000 of his own money on the campaign. Domb’s business experience is unmatched by any of the council candidates, incumbents included. But he’s never served in government or worked in the non-profit sector. Nonetheless, Domb considers himself a policy wonk, and when asked what he wanted to talk about with Citified, he picked a subject as wonky as they get — property tax delinquency.

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Allan Domb Throws Big Bucks Into Council Campaign

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey

When developer and real estate mogul Alan Domb got into the race for an at-large seat on City Council, there were two pressing questions. Question 1Why? Why, why, why, why, why? Question 2: How much money would he spend on the race?

We have a partial answer to question two. Domb has contributed at least $250,000 to his campaign, according to a release from the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. That’s a big enough check to double the contribution limits for all at-large City Council candidates. That means individuals can donate up to $5,800 to any at-large City Council campaign, and PACs can contribute up to $23,000.

Who does this help, apart from Domb? City Council incumbents. Incumbents are far more likely to get PAC cash than are challengers. And coming so close to election day, the doubling of the limits really only helps those candidates that are supported by PACs.

We don’t know exactly how much Domb has sunk into his campaign. It could be millions, or it could be $250,001. Either way, Domb has given a big assist to council incumbents, which is likely to revive speculation that his candidacy is a stalking horse bid orchestrated by City Council President Darrell Clarke. Domb has said repeatedly he’s in the race to win.

Of course, it’s possible for a campaign to serve more than one purpose.

The Brief: Democrats to Endorse Openly Gay Council Candidate for First Time Ever

Sherrie Cohen | Photo via Cohen's Facebook

Sherrie Cohen | Photo via Cohen’s Facebook

Bob Brady, chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee, says City Council At-Large candidate Sherrie Cohen is expected to win the party’s endorsement.

Cohen tells us the policy arm of the city committee recommended her for an endorsement Saturday. She expects the full party to ratify the decision next month.

That could be a deciding factor in the City Council At-Large race (which, in all seriousness, is more interesting than the mayor’s race some days).

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