Drexel Frat Suspended for Five Years

Drexel’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house via Google Maps

A Drexel University fraternity has been suspended for five years.

Tau Kappa Epsilon, located at 3421 Powelton Ave., was already temporarily suspended earlier this month amidst a sexual assault investigation. Drexel officials say the five-year suspension is unrelated to the sexual abuse allegations and is instead a result of the fraternity’s disregard of the school’s alcohol policy. Read more »

Report: Drexel Police Investigating Second Frat for Sexual Assault

drexel frat

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house via Google Maps

A little more than a week since Drexel University suspended a fraternity amidst a sexual assault investigation, a second frat is allegedly being probed for a reported rape.

Campus police told 6ABC that the alleged incident at Pi Kappa Alpha, located at 210 N. 34th Street, was reported this past weekend. No other details have been offered.  Read more »

Love Rosé? This Tasting Will Make You an Expert

Springtime (and warm weather, we presume?) is here, which means that it’s almost time for everyone’s favorite pink-hued alcoholic beverage to dominate.

Thanks to the Philly Chef Conference, you can learn all about rosé before you pop bottles this summer. In a continuation of conference programming, sommelier Victoria James will present a lecture and tasting of rosés at Drexel University’s Academic Bistro. And she’s bringing along some special guests to discuss the ways rosé pairs so well with artisan cheeses and pasture-raised meats.

Read more »

Drexel Suspends Frat Amid Sexual Assault Investigation

Drexel’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house via Google Maps

This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

Drexel University has suspended a fraternity under investigation amid two sexual assault allegations.

The university has suspended the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house (known as TKE), located at 3421 Powelton Ave. Officials say the incidents are alleged to have occurred between April 28th and May 4th.  Read more »

Tax Abatement Huge Shot in Arm for City, Study Finds

The 10-year tax abatement program has led to an explosion of new housing in the city, much of it at the lower end of the market, a BIA study finds. And when the abatements expire, the city's balance sheet will be better off for it.

The 10-year tax abatement program has led to an explosion of new housing in the city, much of it at the lower end of the market, a BIA study finds. And when the abatements expire, the city’s balance sheet will be better off for it.

Consider the 10-year property tax abatements on new construction and rehabilitation a down payment on a future gusher in revenue for the city thanks to the huge jump in construction activity it has triggered, argues a study released in late March by the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia.

The abatement, which freezes property taxes on improvements to commercial and residential property in the city for 10 years from completion, has completely reversed the trendlines for new construction activity in the city compared to its suburbs, states the BIA report, “Philadelphia’s 10-Year Property Tax Abatement” (PDF). Since its implementation in 2000, new home building in the city has increased by 376 percent, while in the suburbs, it has fallen 11.25 percent on average across the four collar counties.

That means a future flood of revenues into city coffers. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: Vue32, the Building

Vue32 offers many amenities, but this is the one management's counting on to wow the tenants. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Vue32 offers many amenities, but this is the one management’s counting on to wow the tenants. | Photos: Sandy Smith

When we checked out the Vue32 project ten months ago, it was only barely rising from a hole in the ground.

It’s progressed quite nicely since then, and its developer, Radnor Property Group (RPG), expects to open the first element of the mixed-use tower — a day care facility and preschool on its first two floors — sometime around the end of next month.

And so it was that construction crews from general contractor TN Ward Company were all over the site when we visited yesterday, sprinting to finish the various pieces of this complex.

Actually, several of the apartment floors were closer to completion than the day care center was, probably so Vue32 property manager Bozzuto Management Group could show prospective tenants the actual spaces they could call home starting Real Soon Now. Read more »

U-City Named Hottest Tech Submarket in Nation

One Drexel Plaza and Drexel Square

Strong demand and rising rents should make it easy for projects in the University City development pipeline, like the Schuylkill Yards joint venture between Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust, to find tech-sector tenants to fill them, if the latest CBRE “Tech-Thirty” report is any guide. | Image: SHoP Architects and West8

Those shiny new buildings rising in University City are not only turning it into Philadelphia’s second downtown — they’re making it the nation’s hottest submarket for high-tech office space, according to CBRE’s annual “Tech-Thirty” survey.

The survey, which examines job growth and technology office space rent growth in the nation’s 30 largest technology employment centers, put the area surrounding Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania at the top of the list for office rent growth — the average rent of $41.40 per square foot is up 37.8 percent over the two-year period from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2016 — and in growth of net absorption (the amount of space on the market that gets occupied), it ranked second only to Tempe, outside Phoenix, with a growth rate of 23.3 percent over that same period. Read more »

Drexel Student Earns a Spot on Shake Shack’s Menu

City of Butter-ly Love made with Vanilla frozen custard, Butter Cake, Caramel and Brown Butter Bits

City of Butter-ly Love made with Vanilla frozen custard, Butter Cake, Caramel and Brown Butter Bits

Shake Shack paired up with Drexel University’s Food Lab to bring a new limited-time item to the menu. Starting today, July 1st, the new City of Butter-ly Love concrete will be served at the University City location. The concrete is vanilla custard with butter cake, caramel and brown butter bits.

The partnership began as a competition for students in the culinary arts program to create new item menus. Eleven ideas were submitted, seven were chosen as semi-finalists, and now the winner is available.

Read more »

Our Odds on the 30th Street Station Area Development Plan

30th Street Station development plan, aerial view

The 30th Street Station area master plan laid out a fantastic vision of a second downtown for Philadelphia in University City. Only money stands in the way of realizing it, with the public sector as the weakest link. | Rendering by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, courtesy Amtrak

$6.5 billion.

The figure was tossed out rather casually in the course of yesterday’s formal unveiling of the two-years-in-the-making master development plan for the area surrounding 30th Street Station in University City, but it represents the largest single bet yet placed on the future of Philadelphia.

The parties involved — Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT, SEPTA, and a slew of elected officials and community groups — have put their chips down on a project that has many moving parts and will play out over the course of decades.

As we’ve seen plans almost as ambitious as this one go up in smoke (anyone here remember River City?), it’s only logical that we should ask what its chances for completion are. Herewith are my own odds for the plan’s key components and the overall chances that the plan will be fully realized sometime in our or our children’s lifetimes. Read more »

Korman Center Renewal Gets Under Way at Drexel

A Korman (and Drexel) family portrait. | Photo: Sandy Smith

A Korman (and Drexel) family portrait post-groundbreaking. | Photo: Sandy Smith

When Drexel University moved its library across 33rd Street from the heart of campus in 1977, the family of Maximilian Korman (Class of 1929) and Samuel Korman (Class of 1934) made a d0nation intended to turn the building into a campus social and study center.

Over the years, the couches were replaced by computers as the university became an early adopter of networked microcomputer technology. Today, in a ceremonial groundbreaking, the Korman family joined Drexel University President John Fry in launching a reconstruction project that will return the 58-year-old Korman Center to the role the family envisioned for it, namely, the beating heart of the campus’ academic quadrant.

“This project has been wanting to happen for so long,” Fry told the audience at the ceremony before once again thanking the Kormans for giving it the push it needed. Read more »

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