East Market Project Gets Infusion of Funds

east market rendering detail

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

Gov. Tom Corbett has just given the East Market project a $2.5 million shot in the arm, bringing the total state monies invested so far to $10 million. The city, according to a release that went out today, will spend $4 million to spruce up the area in question, once known as Market East (which previously had a train station known as Market East as well, but now known as Jefferson. Quiz later).

The project is that massive reinvention of, er, The Area Formerly Known As Market East. From the release, here are the latest details:

The funding will help support the first phase of development for East Market, estimated to cost $230 million. This initial phase encompasses 1100 Market Street, including new construction of a mixed‐use development consisting of 107,000 square feet of new retail with frontage on Market Street and a 322-unit apartment building above the retail space. There will also be a new parking garage for 201 cars and a centralized loading facility to service this and future phases of the East Market development, all below grade to minimize traffic impacts and support the pedestrian-centric plans. Also included in this first phase is 34 South 11th Street, former home of the Family Court. This building will be transformed into 150,000 square feet of new office space and an additional 44,000 square feet of ground floor and second floor retail space.

East Market is owned by National Real Estate Advisors, JOSS Realty Partners LLC, Young Capital LLC and SSH Real Estate and is supported on this project by IBEW, NECA and NEBF.

Read more »

Philly Becomes the Land of the Logos

This space for rent?

This space for rent? Or every space for rent?

When I first moved to Philadelphia six years ago, one of its chief faults (in my view) appeared to be this: It wasn’t New York.

After living and working and starting to raise a kid here, though, I’ve come to a different opinion. One of the best things about Philadelphia? It’s not New York.

There are a lot of things I mean by that, but for our purposes today I mean this: If you’re awake and outside in Manhattan, it’s quite likely that all of your senses are being assaulted by advertising and corporate branding: Neon this, billboard that, handbills over there, posters over here. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s never-ending and sometimes you just need a break.

Yes, there is plenty of advertising in Philadelphia, but — like the city itself — it’s not quite so crammed in on top of itself. There are empty spaces on the sides of buildings! There is, occasionally, room to breathe! This is, on the whole, a pretty good thing.

But maybe that’s starting to change a little bit.

Read more »

Proposal: Bring Amtrak Trains to Center City

Amtrak_Vermonter_at_Brattleboro_in_2004

It’s the easiest thing in the world to board an Amtrak train in Philly and be in New York barely an hour later. Would it be an even better process if Philadelphians could board that train in Center City?

Bob Previdi thinks so. A transit expert — and former spokesman for retired Council President Anna Verna — Previdi points out in an opinion piece for Philadelphia Business Journal there’s already a tunnel from 30th Street Station to Suburban and Market Street stations used by SEPTA. Just let a couple of Amtrak trains per hour use that tunnel, he says, and the results might be startling:

Read more »

Brickstone: Mercantile Library to Become Coworking Space

The Mercantile Library at 1021 Chestnut, as seen in 1964. Photo courtesy MSC.

The Mercantile Library at 1021 Chestnut, as seen in 1964. Brickstone aims to make it a coworking space. Photo courtesy MSC.

This morning’s membership meeting of the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC) at the Union League was standing room only, and it wasn’t for the coffee and danish. The numerous guests in attendance were there for “New Center City Demographics: The Upside for Retail Leasing & Development,” a panel moderated by Center City District’s Paul Levy that included Larry Steinberg, Senior VP of CBRE|FAMECO; John Connors, VP of Brickstone Realty; and Eddie Gindi, VP of Century 21 Department Stores.

Despite interesting overall updates on the Center City residential market (Levy) and its retail market (Steinberg), the crowd was perhaps most interested in the presentations by the two who got specific about the projects they’re bringing to Market East — projects that will radically alter the shape of the neighborhood, or at least that’s what everyone is hoping.

Read more »

Renderings for East Market Project Released

east market rendering detail

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

Here are the renderings, by BLT Architects, of the East Market development slated for the four-acre parcel between Market and Chestnut, 11th and 12th. Unlike other ill-fated projects in this location, it seems as though this one will actually happen — no small thanks to Union boss John Dougherty (of whom we’ll say more later).

A key feature of the project, as you can see from the renderings, is to incorporate about 9,600 square feet of digital (and static) signage. That’s a lotta bling.

Read more »

Philebrity’s Joey Sweeney Gets Real About the Gallery

Bye Bye, Big-K! Photo courtesy of Google Street View

The Gallery’s Big-K, now defunct.
Photo courtesy of Google Street View

I’m a little behind on my philebrity reading, so I’m only just now getting to the post titled “A Small Request: Will You Please Stop Talking About The Gallery In Wincing Tones Just Because Black People Shop There?” It’s a response, of sorts, to Inga Saffron’s latest Changing Skyline column about the Gallery, which was refreshing in its characterization of the urban mall as a thriving center of commerce but oddly devoid of any mention of race, which could be seen as progressive (it’s a post-racial America!) or simply evasive.

I’ve lived in the city since the Gallery was built, and the patrons and the attitude about those patrons have shifted considerably over the years, in the same way the conversation about South Street has changed. Which is to say: white people were perfectly happy to go to both locations and see them as reasonably successful until African-Americans started to go there as well. In 2006, Philly photographer Steve Ives, “an unashamed patron” of the Gallery, wrote about the mall for Philly Skyline:

If Chris Rock were a Philadelphian he’d call [the Gallery] “The Mall White People Used To Go To”. It seems that much of downtown, which heralded the promise of what The Gallery would bring to Center City, now see it as an embarrassment, as a liability, something to deter tourists from and deny the existence of to new Philadelphians.

Read more »

Newspapers to Lose Lobby as New Retail Headed to 801 Market Street

In a memo sent to all Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com employees yesterday, publisher Bob Hall announced some new retail for 801 Market Street! He didn’t disclose what, exactly, was coming to the old Strawbridge & Clothier building in Market East, but the Inquirer reports it’s Century 21 — no relation to the real estate company — a discount designer department store with seven locations in New York and New Jersey. Hall told employees at the newspapers and website that they will “be pleased with the flagship retailer that PREIT has secured and will soon announce as our new neighbor in the coming weeks” — oh, and also, they’ll now have to enter the building from Eighth Street.

The memo contains lots of classic corporate speak — the closing of the Market Street lobby, which people who work at 801 Market generally use, is presented as a great opportunity for the company — and also notes that “deconstruction of the space will at times be loud and somewhat messy.” Unfortunately, Hall uses two spaces after a period — argh!

More deatils on the Century 21 announcement at Shoppist.

 

The full memo follows:

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Lit Brothers Tower Gets Civic Design Approval

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

The new Comcast tower wasn’t the only project given the go-ahead by the Civic Design Review committee. It also approved revised plans from developer Brickstone Realty for the “Lit Brothers Tower,” a 30-story residential “growth” (as Curbed Philly put it) on top of the historic department store building.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Vaguely Plausible Plans to Demolish, Build at 11th and Market

11th and Market, facing west.  Photo credit: Google Street View.

11th and Market, facing west.
Photo credit: Google Street View.

Philadelphia’s stagnating retail corridor on the east side of Market Street might finally get a major wake-up call, and we’re not talking about the Gallery. Instead, the owners of the drab strip of stores on the block between 11th and 12th have secured new backing from IBEW and National Real Estate Advisors that makes their plans for the block seem like they might finally come to fruition. The stores currently on the 1100 block have been cleared out for demolition in July, to make way for a development named East Market.

Restaurants, entertainment, fashion stores, and even grocers will be included in the new project, but here’s a more elaborate description by the Inquirer’s Joe DiStefano:

Read more »

« Older Posts