South Philly ReStore to Get Two-Day Grand Opening with “Fun Day” Events

940 x 540 - restore-rendering copy

Image via Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia blog

Its celebratory, two-part introduction to Point Breeze isn’t the only reason for why you should be getting pumped about the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 2318 Washington Avenue. Real estate-wise, the 17,000-square-foot facility is anticipated to be a little gold nugget that will add to the neighborhood in more ways than one.

Indeed, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger, who is set to discuss economic development along Washington Avenue and the jobs this particular store will bring during tomorrow’s ribbon-cutting, believes the new South Philadelphia ReStore is “sure to be so much more than a great new place to shop in Point Breeze.”

In addition to occupying a previously vacant building and potentially stimulating more economic activity on the avenue, the ReStore will offer locals a place to donate gently-used home goods and acquire low-cost building materials, while also furthering Habitat’s mission of providing affordable housing to those who need it. All proceeds from the store will go “towards the building and repairing of homes,” said Greenberger, per a press release.

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“Neo Bistro” Set to Anger, Confuse Point Breeze

Rendering via Zillow

Rendering via Zillow

Mike Pasquarello has successfully opened four restaurants, cafes and bars in Philadelphia including Cafe Lift, Prohibition Taproom, Bufad and Kensington Quarters. And next on his list is Buckminster’s at 21st and Federal in Point Breeze. The spot is named for architect Buckminster Fuller, who popularized the geodesic dome, but Pasquarello isn’t saying much else about the concept.

We do know that he’s backed down from the “Frenchy-tapas fare” that was mentioned in a Philly Voice story. When pressed, a representative for the restaurant said it will be a “neo-bistro.”

What might that mean …

We imagine something like this »

Kermit’s Bake Shoppe Starts Serving Soft-Serve

kermits-soft-serve-graphic-940Kermit’s Bake Shoppe has a new summer options for you sweet tooths. The bakery at 22nd and Washington is now serving soft serve ice cream. The vanilla and chocolate ice cream is available by cone or cup and can be jazzed up in a number of ways. Add “cakey stuff” made right at Kermit’s, or go with sticky things like hot fudge or salted caramel “goo.” Other choices include crunchies like fruity pebbles and granola, plus fresh fruit or a berry blend “Cooli-o.”

Check out the full menu »

Point Breeze Gets in on the Pop-Up Garden Craze

point-breeze-pop-up-bus-400John Longacre, the man behind South Philadelphia Tap Room, American Sardine Bar and Brew is opening a beer garden at Point Breeze Avenue and Tasker Street. The Point Breeze Pop-Up is opening on Thursday, May 21st and running through Monday, September 7th. The pop-up will be open Thursday through Sunday. The garden, which will benefit Fair Food, will offer draft beer and cider, plus food from a rotating cast of food trucks.

The first events scheduled for the Point Breeze Pop-Up is SPTR’s Wheat Beer Fest. The event which is happening on Saturday, May 16th, will move to the pop-up location for this year’s tenth anniversary.

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Headlines: Planning Gives Controversial Ori Feibush Project the Go-Ahead

2010 Wharton Street | Google Street View

2010 Wharton Street | Google Street View

Controversy seems to follow developer Ori Feibush wherever he goes. The dude is like the Justin Beiber of the Philadelphia real estate development game. Yes, that is a thing.

Anyway, after many a fear-mongering flier and hotly contested neighborhood meeting regarding his project at 2010 Wharton Street, the Planning Commission gave their support this week to the development of 22 rowhomes on the site of what is currently a blighted warehouse. Feibush, who is running for City Council against incumbent Kenyatta Johnson, is in need of a variance to create the residential use on a parcel zoned for an outdated industrial use. With Planning’s approval, Read more »

Headlines: Near Tragic Accident Caused by Crumbling 25th Street Viaduct

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

Do you see that rendering?  That’s what the 25th Street Viaduct in South Philadelphia is supposed to look like once the planned renovation project by the city and owners CSX is complete in five years. It’s pristine, as far as utilitarian concrete structures go. Today, however, is a much different, and nearly tragic, story.

Officials deemed the bridge “structurally sound” just a few weeks ago during the announcement of the renovations. NBC10 reports that a large chunk of concrete fell from the bridge near the intersection of 25th and Dickinson on Friday night in Point Breeze. It landed on the passenger side window of a BMW sedan. The driver narrowly escaped a tragic scene and was “shaken” but not injured.

Phase one, which is supposed to start in June, includes wrapping the bridge in safety netting. After the incident on Friday, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wants to get it going ASAP:

“The incident today shows we should start immediately cause it’s important,” Johnson said. “We don’t want to risk somebody else riding under this bridge and a catastrophe happening.”

A clogged drainage system is being labeled as the cause of the incident. For video at the scene, hit up that link from NBC10 below.

Read more »

Renovations Planned for Crumbling 25th Street Viaduct in South Philly

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

The 25th Street Viaduct, as planned by 2020 | Rendering: CSX

You know that crumbling railroad  bridge that spans from roughly Washington Avenue to West Passyunk Avenue on 25th Street in South Philly? Well, as ominous as it looks, the structure itself is actually sound and the good news is that it won’t look like a withering eyesore for much longer.

CSX and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson announced a “multi-year, multi-phase” project to improve the structure back to its “original condition and appearance,” according to a press release.

Look for the project to occur in four phases starting in June through the year 2020, which really isn’t as far away as it sounds. Here’s the timeline from the press release: Read more »

Morning Headlines: Saving a Frank Furness-Related Church Is a Labor of Love

It's getting there. | Photo: Google Street View

It’s getting there. | Photo: Google Street View

Although it’s still in need of millions of dollars in repairs in order to be returned to its former glory, the 19th Street Baptist Church at 19th and Titan streets in Point Breeze is slowly, but surely, being saved. Given the amount of church demolitions this city sees each year, can we all give the congregation of the church and Aaron Wunsch, a professor of historic preservation at Penn, a collective hallelujah?

Newsworks reports the city has cleared away one historic church each month over the past few years and Wunsch, along with Deacon Lloyd Butler and other church members, has done yeoman’s work to make sure this church, officially designed by George W. Hewitt in 1874 during a partnership in a firm with Frank Furness, wasn’t added to that dubious list:  Read more »

Morning Headlines: Apartments on the Way at Former South Philly School

Childs Elementary | Google Street View

Childs Elementary | Google Street View

It looks as though a shuttered school will come back to life as an apartment building. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the former George W. Childs Elementary School at 17th and Tasker Street in Point Breeze will be redeveloped into 73 apartments. The building has been closed since 2010 and Brey says that 10 of the 73 apartments “will be affordable to individuals making up to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), pursuant to a Community Benefits Agreement signed by the developer, some community groups, and a nearby resident.”

As you can see in the comments of the article, there is some debate about whether that’s really affordable for lifelong residents of the neighborhood or not.

Metal Ventures Inc purchased the property for $1.2 million and plans to include a 48 parking spaces for cars, 11 spots for bikes, green roofs, roof decks and has even agreed to open the 7,000 square-foot auditorium to community two nights per week, free of charge.

Apartments coming to shuttered school building in Point Breeze [PlanPhilly] Read more »

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