Commission Approves Digital Signage on Market Street

A new rendering of 205 Race Street, courtesy of the developers.

The city’s Historical Commission has given the go-ahead to three landscape-changing projects in the area: signage for the Market Street side of the former Strawbridge & Clothier, the 205 Race Street development, and an addition to the former Warner Brothers Film Distribution Center.

In terms of 801 Market Street, PlanPhilly reports the Commission voted in favor of  “exterior marquee, awnings, banner signs, and lighting on the Market Street façade of the western half of the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store building.”

The lengthy going-back-to-the-drawing-board cycle for 205 Race has ended with the Commission’s approval of its most recent design. Construction on the mixed-use property, which will include 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and basement parking, is one step closer to reality.

The tower addition for the former Warner Bros. building on 13th and Florist also passed muster, following the Architectural Committee’s July recommendation for its approval — provided developers hew to five conditions. From PlanPhilly:

1. Details of the panel system, glazing, canopy, parapet wall, garage door, and fence are submitted;
2. Color samples of cladding materials for the addition in relation to the historic materials are submitted;
3. It is confirmed that the roof of the historic building will not be occupied;
4. Designs of any railings to installed on the roof of the historic building for occupancy are submitted; and,
5. The locations and configurations of all HVAC equipment are submitted.

• Historical Commission approves Warner Bros. building redo; 205 Race St. construction and 801 Market signage [PlanPhilly]

UPDATED: High Street on Market #2 on Bon Appetit List

kulp-high-street-market-940Last week, we told you High Street on Market made Bon Appetit’s short list of the 50 best new restaurants in the United States, along with South Street’s Serpico. Today the top ten list came out and High Street is number two. The magazine’s Andrew Knowlton calls out head baker Alex Bois in particular.

I dare anyone who has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon (without a doctor’s note) to eat at High Street on Market and still call himself gluten-intolerant. You don’t stand a chance. Know why? Because chef Eli Kulp basically built this restaurant around head baker Alex Bois’s superstar bread program. 

UPDATE: And hey, there’s a video, too! All about Kulp, High Street, Alex Bois and the bread program. Check it out after the jump.

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Cheese Curd Redemption at Independence Beer Garden

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Adam Erace reviews the pop-up Independence Beer Garden and offers tips for where and when to hang out but skewers the food, save what comes with cheese curds.

But don’t miss the cheese curds, light little poufs of tempura-fried Vermont goodness served with sweet, smoky tomato jam, the marinara to these new-school mozzarella sticks.

At Independence Beer Garden, a democratic menu of bar fare [City Paper]
Independence Beer Garden [Foobooz]

This Might Just Be the Most Expensive Rental In Philly

Most Expensive Rental 108 Arch St Philadelphia

Now that Zillow has gobbled up Trulia in a quest for online real estate domination, let’s once again dive into this question of accuracy. For the most expensive rental in Philadelphia, Zillow showed no other contenders touching the $9,499/month price point at 108 Arch.

Accessed via an elevator, these penthouses offer bamboo flooring, ten-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and, as this unit shows, a living room balcony overlooking the Ben Franklin Bridge. And views don’t stop there: there’s an 1,800-square-foot deck on the roof!

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New Renderings of 205 Race Street

A new rendering of 205 Race Street, courtesy of the developers

The 197-foot 205 Race Street apartment tower to be located near the Ben Franklin Bridge has a long and acrimonious history. The developers, Jeffrey Brown and Greg Hill, have owned the site (now a vacant lot) for a decade, and this is their third attempt to develop it. In 2012, a version of the tower was opposed by the (now defunct) Old City Civic Association, which argued that its scale didn’t fit the historic neighborhood.

Inga Saffron weighed in, in favor of the tower, and City Council ended up passing a bill designed to allow it to go through.

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Roof Deck-Ready Penthouse at Vine Street Condos

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

Penthouses in any Center City condo are bound to be pretty spectacular in their own way. This one caught our eye because of the handsome exposed brick, which gives the unit a homier feeling than many other similarly situated penthouse lofts. The Vine Street Condos are in a nine-unit building at 5th and Vine and being the penthouse, this unit also has solitary access to the roof.

The main living space in the 2,600-square-foot-plus penthouse is completely open plan. A gourmet kitchen – finished with granite countertops, a huge center island and very shiny backsplash – overlooks the bricked living and dining spaces. Bedrooms are separated by frosted glass sliding doors (a feature we like far better in photos than by description). The master suite includes a custom closet as well as an en-suite bath with soaking tub.
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Morning Headlines: Will Old City Finally Get Its Skyscraper?

Rendering of 205 Race Street Photo credit: 205Race.com

Rendering of 205 Race Street
Photo credit: 205Race.com

First, the Old City Civic Association was less than happy about its height. Then, complicated zoning matters stalled progress, topped off with Keystone Outdoor Advertising getting miffed because the building would block one of their billboards from view. So will this third attempt finally see a conclusion to the planned 205 Race development?

According to PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey, the Historical Commission’s architecture committee will review the latest plans for Brown Hill Development’s mixed-use project this Tuesday.

Plans include “148 rental units, 28 parking spaces, 51 bike parking spaces, and more than 14,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.” Additionally, architect Peter Gluck had addressed KOA’s cries by adjusting the building’s design to keep the billboard in view (it’s even featured in the newest renderings).

And that’s not all:

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Tonight: Ranch Road Tacos at Serrano

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Serrano in Old City may have served its last meal on June 28th, but starting tonight there will still be dishes coming out of the kitchen. Chef Meghan Carnevale will be running the show (and her first kitchen) this summer as Ranch Road Taco Shop, Carnevale’s beloved taco truck, hosts a midsummer pop up at the now-closed-for-renovations  Serrano.

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Smoke & Spiced Pop-Up Bar

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Forget sugar and spice because you’ve changed is hosting a Smoke & Spiced Pop-Up Bar tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Prime Stache in Old City. The event will feature a speciality cocktail menu of five smoky and five spiced creations for you to enjoy. And if you’re looking for that extra kick? Burned wood and peppers will be on site for you to add to your drink. Cocktails are $11, but for an extra $1 you can get a customized or spiced drink.

You’ve changed is an idea started by bartenders Brian Kruglak, Derek Moorer and Anna Henderer of the Ranstead Room to keep Philadelphians on their toes and give them new, exciting bar experiences. And they’re not new to the game: this is their second event following the Mad Libs themed bar last April.

A Third Residence Is for Sale on Historic Elfreth’s Alley

Elfreth's Alley

Last week’s real estate blue moon is turning out to have quite the pull! Two Elfreth’s Alley homes were serendipitously put on the market just in time for Independence Day, and now a third one has jumped on the bandwagon.

Unlike the first two, however, this piece of history is divided into two units, one of which occupies the first two floors and has access to the back garden. Both units have an open floor plan with two bedrooms, but the second unit has only one full bathroom.

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