Where We’re Going…5 Futuristic Philly Developments for Back to the Future Day

Photo credit: Sean Marshall via Flickr

Sadly, we still need roads in 2015. Photo credit: Sean Marshall via Flickr

We’ve reached one of those where-were-you-when-type moments in human history that you’ll almost definitely tell your grandkids about one day: Back to the Future Day. That’s right, in case you’ve been living under a rock (or have somehow never seen the classic movie), it’s October 21, 2015, otherwise known as the exact date when Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown traveled into the future in Back to the Future II.

The historic event got us thinking: Philly is undergoing some major changes (not unlike McFly’s hometown of Hill Valley did in the movie), but are we seeing some of the same futuristic stuff happening in the City of Brotherly Love?

Actually, yeah, we kind of are. So grab Einie and take a trip with us to Philadelphia 2015 and beyond. You better buckle up, because where we’re going…we probably won’t have open streets and we’ll still very much need roads.

Floating Cars at 500 Walnut?

Alright, so we haven’t quite mastered the whole floating, time-traveling cars thing yet, but we have found a way to get a robot to park our cars for us! 1706 Rittenhouse was the first automated car park in the city (here’s a fun video), and now developer Tom Scannapieco is at it again at his latest high-end high-rise, 500 Walnut. Don’t believe us? Here’s proof:

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Diner en Blanc Organizer Explains Why She Chose the Navy Yard

Photo by HughE Dillon

Photo by HughE Dillon

Besides the rain, which no one but God could have helped, the main complaint I’ve been hearing about this year’s Diner en Blanc is the location—at the Marine Parade Grounds of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Most of the grumbling is coming from attendees who had to hop on trains and shuttles to lug their Diner gear so far south. Then there was the fact that it was raining, which didn’t mix well with the Navy Yard’s grassy fields. One participant on philly.com shared that, “Last year was great because it was dry and on pavement and now we are on the rain and on grass. … Everyone [was] sinking and heels [were] sinking into the grass and mud.”

It’s funny if you think about it, because the tables have kind of turned. In previous years, location squabbles came from non-attendees who were pissed about road closures, like in 2014 when it was smack dab in the middle of the Avenue of the Arts. You just can’t satisfy everyone. But organizers are trying.

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Despite Rain, Diner en Blanc Drew a Festive Crowd to the Navy Yard

Despite the poorly timed rain, 4,500 game Philadelphians dressed in white scurried to the Navy Yard for the fourth annual Diner en Blanc. If one thing can be said about the drizzle, it at least gave participants an excuse to add a whimsical touch to their monochromatic ensembles: the white umbrella.

Society snapper HughE Dillon was there to capture the experience, which, besides dinner, included live music, a performance by Martha Graham Cracker (who was decked out in a slinky white number à la Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch) and dancing. Check out his photos below:



Holy Bjarke Ingels! Starchitect-Designed Office Building Coming to The Navy Yard

1200 Intrepid | Rendering via Bjarke Ingels Group/PIDC

1200 Intrepid | Rendering via Bjarke Ingels Group/PIDC

Update: Here’s a look at the renderings of the “gravity defying” 1200 Intrepid. As you know, the building is designed by global architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group. The building, which is targeting LEED gold certification, officially broke ground on Tuesday, June 30 in a dual ceremony that also saw Liberty Property Trust cut the ribbon on Central Green, an impressive park space in the middle of the Navy Yard.

Bjarke Ingels dug a little deeper into the overall design in a press release:

“Our design for 1200 Intrepid has been shaped by the encounter between Robert Stern’s urban master plan of rectangular city blocks and James Corner’s iconic circular park. The ‘shock wave’ of the public space spreads like rings in the water invading the footprint of our building to create a generous urban canopy at the entrance. The resultant double curved façade echoes the complex yet rational geometries of maritime architecture. Inside, the elevator lobby forms an actual periscope allowing people to admire the mothballed ships at the adjacent docks.”

Take a look at the aerial angle and how it interacts with the surrounding buildings and the new Central Green:

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The Navy Yard Set to Unveil Central Green

Central Green | Via The Navy Yard and James Corner Field Operations

Central Green | Rendering/Photo via The Navy Yard and James Corner Field Operations


The park is now open. Take a look:


The Navy Yard is set to officially unveil its new 4.5-acre green space dubbed Central Green next week. Jennifer Tran, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Navy Yard, told Property that the ribbon cutting will take place on Tuesday, June 30 at 11:45 a.m. at Rouse Boulevard and Intrepid Avenue (map). The event is open to the public and will feature live music, giveaways, a pay-as-you-go food truck lineup, outdoor games and even a free yoga session from Nava Yoga Center.

The circular park will be broken down into various outdoor rooms and feature multiple activity spaces, including a “sunlawn” for lounging, a serene hammock grove, a dedicated fitness station and even a large communal meeting table for people who want to conduct some business al fresco or just eat lunch. “We’re really excited about this park,” said Tran. “It’s for the employees [at the Navy Yard], but also for the public to enjoy as well.” Read more »

“All Clear” Given After Navy Yard Evacuation

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

An “all clear” has been given at the Navy Yard after it was evacuated this morning due to an unspecified “security threat.”

“The threat was reportedly made about 10:30 a.m., and the Navy Yard, in South Philadelphia, and the Naval Support Activity facility (part of the Defense Logistics Agency), in the city’s Lawncrest section, were both evacuated and employees sent home for the day,” KYW reported.

NBC News added: “The U.S. Navy Yard in Philadelphia was placed under heightened security measures Tuesday after the FBI informed the base of a potential threat of a terrorist attack, officials told NBC News.” Read more »

Headlines: Is a Boutique Hotel Coming to the Navy Yard?

navy yard

Will another hotel soon join the Courtyard Marriot inside the friendly confines of the Navy Yard? While nothing is certain as of yet, Jacob Adelman of the The Inquirer reports that Franklin Square Capital Partners, an investment firm based in the Navy Yard, has applied for a $7.5 million grant through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

The project description on the application shines from light on the plan: Read more »

BizFeed: Another Hospital Exploring Merger; Navy Yard’s Sustainable Power Plan

PinkBlue (Shutterstock)

PinkBlue (Shutterstock)

1. Just Days after Abington and Jefferson Merger, Aria Health Exploring a Deal

The News: Aria Health is the latest health system to explore a merger deal. Although the company says there is no deal or potential partner is in place, it would certainly be an attractive partner considering its three hospitals in Northeast Philadelphia. Aria hopes to make a decision by late summer.

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Morning Headlines: PIDC ‘Quarterbacking’ Cause for Navy Yard Subway Extension

Rendering of the Navy Yard Master Plan. By PIDC via Technically Philly.

Rendering of the Navy Yard Master Plan. By PIDC via Technically Philly.

Much like Center City and University City, The Navy Yard is experiencing its own boom, adding 1,000 jobs per year. Unlike the aforementioned core of the city, The Yard is waaaayyy down at the other end of Broad Street. It’s essentially only accessible by car or a long, criss-crossing walk from Pattison AT&T Station. Once you’re there though, it’s a magical place full of amazing old buildings, shiny new green buildings, decommissioned ships,  a Vetri joint and amazing views of the Delaware River. It’s getting there that’s the hardest part. Old slogan aside, that’s where SEPTA comes in, or the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), rather.

PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa reports today that PIDC is working on plans to extend SEPTA’s Broad Street Line deep into The Navy Yard, possibly with two stations.

Having the PIDC not simply cheerleading, but quarterbacking, the extension makes it a more viable contender for completion than many of the daydream proposals that periodically tease Philadelphia’s imagination.

For a look at the plans, check out PlanPhilly’s in-depth report.

PIDC charts a course for BSL extension to Navy Yard

 Progress at Rodin Square and more!

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Five Developments We’re Tracking in 2015

Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr.

Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr.

Here on Property we’ve been covering an assorted number of new projects poised to transform Philadelphia’s cityscape. As the new year approaches, that number will only continue to grow, and you can be sure we’ll be following all of them.

However, of those that have been announced for 2015, there have been some which have struck us as being potential game-changers. Below you will find five areas in Philadelphia development that we will keep a special eye on in the coming year.

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