One Liberty Place to Get Observation Deck

Philadelphians and visitors wanting a bird’s-eye view of the city will get their chance: Mayor Nutter on Tuesday announced plans for an observation deck at One Liberty Place. Uwishunu reports:

Today, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that Montparnasse 56 Group is bringing a brand new observation deck experience to Philadelphia in Summer 2015.

Montparnasse 56 (or M56) — a Parisian-based company that operates observation decks in the John Hancock Tower in Chicago and the Montparnasse 56 Tower in Paris — will be building the observation deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia.

There are currently only a few spots around the city that offer sky-high views of Philadelphia, including the City Hall Tower Observation Deck, R2L and Nineteen.

More details, including the deck’s official name, remain to be revealed.

Update: Philly Parking Kiosks Taking Cards Again

UPDATE: The PPA announced credit cards are working in parking kiosks again. “We want to apologize for any inconvenience caused by the failure of our kiosks to accept credit card payments,” PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said in a statement. “We worked throughout the weekend to successfully correct this technical problem and things are now back to normal.”

EARLIER: People constantly complain about the PPA’s parking kiosks in Center City, but things have been even worse the past few days. On Saturday night, the PPA announced kiosk spots would be free on Sunday due to problems with processing credit card payments. Old-style standalone meters were still enforced.

Today, the PPA is enforcing parking regulations at kiosks in Center City, but no credit card payments will be accepted.

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Morning Headlines: Millennials Drove East Market and the Gallery Renovation

east market rendering detail

Detail from one of the East Market renderings. Courtesy National Real Estate Development.

As per a report by the Center City District and the Central Philadelphia Development Corp., the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni writes that the retail scene in Center City has been gaining momentum thanks to youthful newcomers: “Millennials, young families, office workers and tourists visiting the city.”

Ever since these groups have made their way into Philadelphia, retailers have followed. Sayeth Kostelni:

The demand and buying power of this combined group has translated into attracting a diverse mix of retailers – 250 apparel stores, 133 food and drink establishments, and 444 full-service restaurants. It has also grabbed the attention from national chains including Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack, Uniglo, Michael Kors, Timberland among others that have opened up stores this year in Center City. Even though these national players have gotten a foothold in the city, 77 percent of retailers downtown continue to be boutiques, independents and regional firms, the report said.

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New Listing: Center City Residence with Attached Rental Unit

921 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

921 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

The inside of this early 20th century Center City home (it was built in 1915) looks like nothing from the era and that’s because the interior has been totally revamped.

A peek in the kitchen reveals a modern room with stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry and backsplash terrazzo countertops. Meanwhile, the office boasts an electric fireplace and private deck for when you need to clear your head. Wood floors are throughout.

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Fire Extinguished at Wanamaker Building

[Update 12:04 a.m.] NBC 10 reports the fire was extinguished quickly, with no injuries:

The fire occurred in a ninth floor office and was under control a short while later, according to fire dispatchers.

There were no reports of injuries but with people out on the sidewalk and fire equipment on the scene, traffic around City Hall came to a halt for nearly an hour. By 10:45 a.m., traffic began moving again.

[Original 11:06 a.m.] We don’t know much yet, but:

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Center City Applebee’s Is a Hot Commercial Property

Photo via LoopNet

Photo via LoopNet

The most popular office space on the commercial listings site LoopNet is technically 1417 Locust Street, an address attached to the beautiful old building that housed Bookbinder’s for years and now has “Bourbon Street Chicken & Shrimp” as a new menu item at Applebee’s. I tell you, when Bookbinder’s closed and Applebee’s opened, I almost lost my mind. I spent half my youth with clarified butter dribbling down my chin onto a paper bib at that joint, eating lunch with my Dad back in the days when journalism paid well and expense accounts paid better. Nine years old, eating lobster tail, browsing the dozens of photos of luminaries who’d visited the restaurant…I didn’t know how good I had it. Now a night out at Applebee’s — $20 for that new entree — is actually a bit steep.

Anyway.

The month of October saw 658 people checking the listing out for the 20,000-square-foot property, which has frontage on Locust and 15th and commands much of that little alleyway. Speaking of the past, that alleyway used to be home to The Office, the notorious strip club where well-heeled men went to ogle down-at-heels women. A colleague threw me a 30th birthday party there. It was odd but not as odd as you’d think.

Anyway.

The building’s listing reads thusly:

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Little Pete’s to Meet the Wrecking Ball?

Photo | Maps.Google.com

Photo | Maps.Google.com

Little Pete’s, the Center City diner whose old-fashioned ways made it a beloved gathering place for downtown workers, late-night hipsters, and visiting politicians, is expected to meet the wrecking ball soon in order to make way for a 300-room hotel.
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This Center City Condo Is Going For $70,000

1324 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

1324 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

A mere block from the Avenue of the Arts, you’d think this studio condo on Locust Street would be asking for a bit more. After all, the unit is in the Arts Condominium building, which offers its tenants bicycle parking, fitness center, community room, and on-site laundry facilities.

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DiStefano: New Center City Office High-Rises Unlikely

This morning’s PhillyDeals column is titled “Are more towers on the horizon?” The answer is, “Probably not.” (I guess “More towers probably not on the horizon” is a dull headline, though.)

On the one hand, there’s phenomenal, eds-and-meds-spurred growth in University City, marked not only by Comcast’s second tower, but—as PhillyDeals’ Joe DiStefano points out—by 2.0 University Place:

Last week, the owners of 2.0 University Place, a year-old green-roofed building west of the Drexel campus, put it up for sale at $46 million, or $469 a square foot.

That’s not quite as much as the Comcast tower – but roughly three times what the city’s dominant landlord, Brandywine Realty Trust, was paying for central Philadelphia office towers just a few years back.

On the other, there’s that phrase in bold (emphasis ours), the stomach-punch of the “was” and “just a few years back.”

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