Tacony Named “Great Neighborhood” Winner by American Planning Association

Photo courtesy of Eric Horvath

Photo courtesy of Eric Horvath

“Will people finally notice Tacony?” was a question posed right here on Property many, many moons ago (about a month or so after the blog was started, actually). It wasn’t meant to snub, but was, rather, a sincere query in the wake of a surging neighborhood revitalization effort made by the Tacony Community Development Corporation with other local groups.

More recently, Tacony CDC Corridor Manager Alex Balloon took to the Historic Tacony Revitalization Project blog in January to make known the slew of projects slated to improve the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. And boy, are those efforts noticed now!

See, the American Planning Association, Pennsylvania Chapter has announced this year’s winners of its Great Places awards, honors bestowed on a select number of “unique, memorable places” in the categories of “Great Neighborhoods” and “Great Public Spaces.” Tacony is one of two “Great Neighborhoods” winners, meaning it has been shown to have “exemplary character, quality, planning, identity, cultural interest, and community involvement with a sustainable vision for tomorrow.” You can see the rest of the winners here.

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Neighbors Vote In Favor of Church at Devon Theater, But with Provisos

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

Monday has come and gone, and with it (at least for the time being) left any prospective alternative uses for the Devon Theater that could have potentially encouraged significant revitalization along the Frankford Avenue commercial corridor entrance to Mayfair.

Mayfair Civic Association Chairman Joe DeFelice tells us the Special Zoning Meeting that took place June 15th, an almost two-hour long assemblage held for the purpose of informing residents and MCA members of Kingdom Life Christian Center’s proposed uses for the property, ended with a vote in favor of not opposing Kingdom Life’s plans.

The meeting, which DeFelice says brought in around 250 residents, counted Councilman Bobby Henon and staff, MCA members, and Kingdom Life’s Pastor Danette Rey, along with her attorney and an associate, in attendance. The vote in favor of Kingdom Life’s proposed church, day care, and food bank came with the following provisos, according to DeFelice:

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Hey Mayfair, What Do You Want to Happen With the Former Devon Theater?

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

One of Philly’s most popular listings on LoopNet once upon a time, the former Devon Theater building in Mayfair is set to be the center of discussion at a neighborhood zoning meeting next week. The question at hand? Whether area residents are in favor of the plans its owner, the Kingdom Life Christian Center, has in store for it.

According to this post by Mayfair Civic Association President Donny Smith in the meeting’s Facebook event page, Kingdom Life has expressed a desire to use the site as a church, day care facility, and food bank center, the latter of which is currently in operation.

While the neighborhood’s stance is yet to be determined (a vote will be held at the Monday, June 15th meeting), Smith writes that MCA representatives requested the church withdraw their proposed uses during an earlier meeting between the two parties and Councilman Bobby Henon’s office, as similar operations already populate the neighborhood (the following emphasis is ours):

Since Mayfair currently has several Daycare facilities located along Frankford avenue, which Mayfair orgs. are working hard to revitalize, and a Food Bank already in operation at St. Johns church on Tyson avenue, Mayfair representatives asked the Kingdom Life Christian Center to withdraw from using the Devon as a Daycare Facility, or as a Food Bank Center. During the meeting, Mayfair representatives also asked Kingdom Life Christian Center to allow the Devon to become a polling location, to keep the Devon marquee in place, and to allow community usage of the Devon (school plays etc) up to 12 times a year.

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Headlines: Bill Clears Way for New Riverfront Prison in Northeast Philly

7777 State Road | Image: Google Maps

7777 State Road | Image: Google Maps

It looks at though a large parcel of land along the Delaware River waterfront in Northeast Philly will be redeveloped, only not in the way that you would necessarily expect. We’ll let Jared Brey of PlanPhilly explain (emphasis ours):

City Council’s Committee on Public Property voted on Monday to approve a bill that authorizes the city to purchase a 58-acre parcel of land on the Delaware River for the purposes of building a new prison facility to replace the 140-year-old House of Correction, in Northeast Philadelphia.

The new site is located at 7777 State Road in Holmesburg Read more »

Man Arrested for Stealing Northeast Woman’s Shrubbery


Police have arrested Joseph Medycki, 40, of St. Vincent Street for allegedly stealing a shrub from a woman’s front yard.

It all started last week, when a woman posted surveillance footage of a man yanking her pom pom bush out of the ground, loading it into his pick-up truck and driving away. The clip, embedded below, shows a brazen thief pulling up at 2 in the afternoon, and spending two and a half minutes ripping out the bush. There appears to be another bush already in his pick-up. Read more »

How a Northeast Native Turned 30 and Learned to Love … South Street?

Illustration by Tim Parker

Illustration by Tim Parker

In retrospect, I should have known I would turn 30 in Philadelphia.

As is customary with Northeast Philadelphia natives, I have never lived more than a half hour from the house I grew up in. I went to college here, then looked for jobs here, then puttered away my 20s right here.

All signs point to lifer.

And yet as I celebrate — or, more accurately, as I icily acknowledge as only a Northeast girl can — the dawn of my 30s, part of me is surprised to find myself doing so in Philly. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Far Northeast Loses Historic Centuries-Old Home (VIDEO)

A blow to historical preservationists in the Northeast: the Stokes House at 2976 Welsh Road was demolished on January 5th. A 12-home twin house development is set to replace it.

According to William Kenny at the Northeast Times, the Millbrook Society’s history of the property shows the Federal-style stone farmhouse dated back to the 1800s, while the property itself has deeds that go as far back as 1747. Prior to that, it had been a plantation estate belonging to Thomas Holme, William Penn’s surveyor, who bequeathed it to his freed slaves after his death in 1695.

Efforts to save the structure were hindered, Kenny writes, due to its long-time owners, the Stokes family, never trying to get it historically designated. Saving the home was made even more difficult for the fact that, as Northeast historian Fred Moore put it,  “no one famous lived there.” Kenney then reports that in 2010, after having given the home two significant renovations to speak of, Stokes Jr. “told the Holme Circle Civic Association that the home was again in disrepair and that restoration would not be cost-effective.”

Click here to see the video of the demoltion (and other headlines!)

Remodeled Home in Bustleton Has Plenty of Surprises

TREND photo via RE/MAXX Elite.

TREND photo via RE/MAXX Elite.

Do we spot the next step in starter home living? This unassuming Northeast Philly home is a twin on a quiet street and would probably have gone unnoticed were it not for its fresh updates: brand new eat-in kitchen, top of the line appliances, and upgraded master bathroom.

In addition to this, the home was custom painted and has hardwood floors underneath its carpeting. Down in the lower level is a large family room with a door out to the fenced yard with pool. 1-car garage also on the premises.

Click here to see the gallery.

The Icing on the Butter Cake

Butter cake (courtesy of Danish Bakers) and the author in her new prized possession.

Butter cake (courtesy of Danish Bakers) and the author in her new prized possession.

As a hopeless neurotic with a fetish for Post-it notes, I regularly edit my “What to Grab in a Fire” list.

The first spot never changes: In the event of an emergency, my shih tzu goes under one arm, despite the fact that he would abandon me, happily, for a piece of bacon. A lick of bacon. If I’m being honest in a way I can’t afford to be at this point in my life? A sniff of bacon.

The runner-up used to be a photo album, an irreplaceable keepsake that seems to be on the rescue list of most well-adjusted people.

But last week, things changed, for I acquired a butter cake T-shirt.

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Northeast Philly’s Center for Autism Awarded $1 Million Grant For Expansion

The Center for Autism in Philadelphia has two facilities, one of which has just received a $1 million grant courtesy of the state’s Economic Initiative Grant Program. John George at the Business Journal reports the money will go to expanding the center’s satellite facility in Northeast Philadelphia:

Awarded through the state’s Economic Initiative Grant Program, the money will be used to renovate space at center’s Grant Avenue location, which will allow the facility to provide 350 more evaluations each year and serve 270 more individuals and families through its various treatment programs.

But wait, there’s more…

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