Naval Square Is in Southwest Philly? Coulda Fooled Me

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A reader just sent us a link to a late-January article by Inquirer real estate writer Al Heavens about a unit at Naval Square, the gated Toll Bros. community on Grays Ferry Avenue across from Fitzwater Street and off of 24th Street. It’s headlined “Not just any house for sale in S.W. Phila.” In my past Adventures in Journalism, I’ve learned that it’s unlikely Heavens wrote that headline himself, which makes sense for two reasons: 1. He wouldn’t want to piss off Toll Bros., who would absolutely chafe at an association with Southwest Philly, and 2. It’s a plumb stupid thing to say.

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Chris Christie, May We Suggest a New Governor’s Mansion?

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It’s been a tough week for New Jersey governor Chris Christie, whose name appeared last night under a “Redundant Names” category on Jeopardy. Despite the fact that Fort Lee’s mayor seems to have come around on the subject of Bridgegate, and says he believes that Christie wasn’t involved, we figure the guv might need a change of venue — and we’ve got just the thing.

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This Governor’s Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, is part of a secure, gated community in Philadelphia, Naval Square. The 3,200-square-foot mansion is available as either one condo or two separate residences — we’ll assume Christie will take it as one, thank you. (Right now it’s the division office for the developers of Naval Square, Toll Brothers City Living.)

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Morning Headlines: J. Crew Outlet Is Coming to the Philly Suburbs!

First Madewell–J. Crew’s sister store–chose Walnut Street for its newest location. And now J. Crew Factory–the store’s outlet–comes to the ’burbs.

The commercial real estate group PREIT has announced that the Factory will open at the Plaza Shops at Plymouth Meeting Mall in the fall. Imagine: 6,000 square feet of J. Crew–but less expensive.

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Most Affordable ’Hoods for Renters: Yup, They’re What You’d Think

Screen grab from Kwelia's interactive rental heat map.

Screen grab from Kwelia’s interactive rental heat map.

Here’s what we want to say to startup Kwelia: If loving you is wrong, we don’t wanna be right. The self-professed data geeks help real estate professionals by collecting and analyzing information about the rental market: what’s hot, what’s trending, what competitive pricing would look like.

That doesn’t necessarily sound like it would be to a consumer’s benefit. But Kwelia also provides info about Philadelphia rentals and free tools to regular folk. Take, for instance, the company’s interactive heat map of rental prices in Philadelphia for the month of May: It’s a really helpful look at what’s going on in the city in terms of affordability–as long as you understand the reasons behind the prices.

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It’s Been 40 Years Since Grays Ferry Has Had New Retail

Sure, there have been plenty of developments in this city, as in many others, that haven’t worked out, but Grays Ferry may be in a class by itself in terms of waiting for things to turn around. There’s just nothing there aside from the depressing strip mall at 29th and Grays Ferry with its anchor Pathmark and the Radio Shack you shouldn’t patronize unless you want to buy the wrong cable for your computer.

Last week Carlino Development and Lamm Realty groups announced their intention to build a retail mall at 3000 Grays Ferry Avenue. The mall will supposedly have Bottom Dollar Food and Rite Aid as anchors. However, the two groups have owned the land since 2007, so it’s hard to get excited by the latest plan.

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Where to Open Next? Strangelove’s Co-owner Leigh Maida Explains.

Leigh Maida and husband/business partner Brendan Hartranft–along with other parnters and investors–own and operate four neighborhood bistros that emphasize quality brews and delicious pub fare. Each outpost shapes the neighborhood it’s in and is shaped by the neighborhood as well. Their newest project? Strangelove’s in Center City, which is much anticipated.

We asked Maida how the couple decides where to open next. Her answer? “I can totally reveal our master real estate plan for you: there isn’t one. (Ta-da!)” Still, she gamely answered a few questions via email–better than phone when you have a baby on your arm.

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