Cycle Brewerytown Hosting Classes to Aid Hurricane Irma Relief

Philly fitness community, we’re calling on you again to sweat it out for hurricane relief efforts, this time for the victims of Hurricane Irma. Cycle Brewerytown is holding two morning spin sessions on Sunday, October 1st to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Irma. So, gather your friends — cyclists or not — and put the pedal to the metal for a good cause.

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Who’s Building Philly: Sean Schellenger

Schellenger on the roof deck of one of his recently completed homes in Point Breeze. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Developing property in Philadelphia resembles running an obstacle course. There are numerous permits a builder must receive in order to start even a project that can be built by right. And if a zoning variance is required, the builder needs to jump through several more hoops involving community groups and a zoning review board.

When Sean Schellenger decided to go into the development business, he knew that the key to his success would be to create a system where he could build a large number of homes in a short period of time. So he sought to streamline the whole process from initial land purchase to turning over the keys. The business he formed to do all this is called — what else? — Streamline Solutions. Read more »

The Inquirer and Daily News Don’t Know How to Talk About Racism

iStockphoto | ymgerman

As a black man in Philadelphia, telling me that racists exist in the city is like reminding me that oxygen is in the atmosphere. I don’t need disturbing graphic images to trigger me — I observe it when noticing a white woman clutch her purse as I walk by her in Rittenhouse Square, complying with an embarrassing stop-and-frisk near a SEPTA station, or being asked by security guards for a receipt upon leaving Liberty Place plaza downtown. Read more »

First-Time Find: Traditionally Modern in Brewerytown for $300K

1422 N. 30th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19121 | TREND images via RE/MAX Platinum

1422 N. 30th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19121 | TREND images via RE/MAX Platinum

Modern, modern, modern – there’s no better word we could use to describe this week’s first-time find. Don’t let its traditional exterior and detailing fool you: This Brewerytown townhome has been completely revamped, and it’s obvious from the moment you step inside.

Like most townhomes, the main level layout flows from front to back: enter into the living and dining space, followed by the kitchen, followed by a mudroom that gives access to the backyard. Unlike some townhomes, though, this one comes decorated with all the bells and whistles. The main level alone boasts an exposed brick wall, gray brushed oak plank hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and dark stained cabinetry. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Vince Viney

There's a touch of the Levitt approach in V2 Properties' strategy: standardize to keep costs low. It enables the company to offer more in its homes than others similarly priced. You should be able to spot the V2 homes on the 700 (left) and 600 (right) blocks of Mercy Street in Dickinson Narrows. | Photos: Sandy Smith

There’s a touch of the Levitt approach in V2 Properties’ strategy: standardize to keep costs low. It enables the company to offer more in its homes than others similarly priced. You should be able to spot the V2 homes on the 700 (left) and 600 (right) blocks of Mercy Street in Dickinson Narrows. | Photos: Sandy Smith

To understand why Vince Viney builds, all you really need to know is two basic principles:

Inexpensive new homes don’t have to be cheap.

And buying them shouldn’t be a nightmare.

Put another way, Viney doesn’t want home buyers to have the experience he did when he bought his first home.

“As a homebuyer, I was tired of seeing the inferior quality and lack of craftsmanship that I saw, and the poor service, especially after delivery,” he said. “It was the acceptable standard, but it was an acceptably bad standard.”

Viney, 45, grew up in Kensington’s Harrowgate section, a largely blue-collar neighborhood. When he was coming of age, success meant a house in the suburbs, and he followed that path to a new construction home in Collegeville, which he purchased in 1995. Read more »

More Community-Building in Brewerytown, Starting at $425K

Brewers Mill Townhomes | Renderings: Cadre Design via Agent PHL

Brewers Mill Townhomes | Renderings: Cadre Design via Agent PHL

Last week, we showcased the one-home-at-a-time approach to transforming a rundown block with our Hard Hat Tour of 1423 N. Myrtlewood St. in Brewerytown.

This week, we have an example of the package-deal approach: the Brewers Mill Townhomes project on the 1400 block of North 28th Street, a block and a half to the east.

This development from Argo Property Group is also an infill project, consisting at the outset of nine brand-new townhomes designed by Cadre Design of Manayunk. The homes are scattered throughout a block of a street that, like Myrtlewood, currently consists of some occupied homes, some vacant ones and some empty lots. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: 1423 N. Myrtlewood Street

The three-story house under construction on the right is the shape of things to come on North Myrtlewood Street. | Photos: Sandy Smith

The three-story house under construction on the right is the shape of things to come on North Myrtlewood Street. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Most of the news you read on real estate and development sites like this one focuses on multi-unit projects that often take up the entire side of a block, or even a whole block.

That’s one way to effect the transformation of a community. But there’s another: One house here, another there, then another over there. Before you know it, builders working in this fashion can reshape an entire neighborhood, especially when their own projects encourage others to invest in the neighborhood as well by either building new or fixing up the homes they already own.

And so it was that we paid a visit to a single solitary brand-new house under construction on the 1400 block of North Myrtlewood Street in Brewerytown. Read more »

Sound Space Philly Opens Bigger and Better Brewerytown Studio Today

Does anything make you want to dance more than the chirping birds and bright sunlight of early spring? Maybe it’s just me, but when spring hits I start to have the urge to run through fields dancing and singing like I’m Maria in the freaking Sound of Music. If you have similar (but maybe less dramatic) feelings, good news: Sound Space, Philly’s only dedicated percussive dance studio, is moving from Brewerytown’s North Bailey Street and opening in its new (bigger!) Brewerytown studio space on Girard Avenue today, March 3rd. Looks like you’ve found the perfect place to get your (early) spring groove on. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Rahil Raza

A completed Raza Properties home at 2824 W. Master St. in Brewerytown, currently on the market. | TREND image via Raza Properties

A completed Raza Properties home at 2824 W. Master St. in Brewerytown, currently on the market. | TREND image via Raza Properties

“Workforce housing” is one of the buzzwords du jour in the local development lexicon. Elected officials and builders alike see it as key to shoring up lower-income neighborhoods and ensuring that socioeconomic diversity survives in gentrifying ones.

Rahil Raza, founder and CEO of Raza Properties, grew up in a working-class family and sees his mission as meeting the need for good, affordable housing for Philly’s working class. To date, he has built 47 homes in three neighborhoods with sizable working-class (and lower) populations, Point Breeze, Sharswood and Brewerytown, and he has plans to build even more homes in the latter two neighborhoods. Read more »

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