First-Time Find: A Little Gem in Port Richmond for $146.5K

3212 Aramingo Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND images via The Somers Team

3212 Aramingo Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND images via The Somers Team

Usually, we go combing listings throughout the city and suburbs in search of dynamite homes for sale at modest prices to feature in this weekly space.

But every once in a while, the gods of email smile on us and deposit jewels in our lap.

That was the case with this newly listed two-story rowhome in Port Richmond.

On the outside, it looks every inch the typical smaller Philly row home, the kind that’s perfect for a young couple starting out on a homeownership adventure. These homes usually have fairly traditional layouts with separate living and dining rooms and a kitchen in the back.

Inside, however, this home is one of those 21st-century open-plan beauties that usually sell for much more than this. Read more »

Checkmate in East Kensington? Broker Rearranges the Chessboard

Bishop Square | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Somers Team; Photos via The Somers Team

Bishop Square | Renderings: KJO Architecture via The Somers Team; Photos via The Somers Team

I’ve gotten lots of pitches from real estate agents and others that lead me to ask, “What’s in a name?”

The answer, it appears, is, “Tens of thousands of dollars.”

Buyers are far more willing to pay top dollar for a property in a neighborhood they perceive to be desirable than in one that may also be on the rise but they know little about.

And so it is that The Somers Team touts its new, six-unit residential development, Bishop Square, as a hot property in Fishtown. Read more »

A Piece of Philly’s Polish History Is Up for Lease in Port Richmond

The bar inside the former Lucyan Chwalkowski Post No. 12 of the Polish Army Veterans Association. | Photos: Courtesy Bob Metry

The bar inside the former Lucyan Chwalkowski Post No. 12 of the Polish Army Veterans Association. | Photos: Courtesy Bob Metry

In case you haven’t noticed, Port Richmond stands on the verge of becoming the next Fishtown and East Kensington put together. Already, rejeuvenation has taken hold in the area where the three neighborhoods overlap — a territory some call “Port Fishington” —  but the pace of development and redevelopment is also picking up closer to the neighborhood’s heart.

In that heart lies the historic institutions of Philadelphia’s Polish-American community. Local developer Bob Metry, who has a fondness for taking pieces of history and turning them into interesting commercial spaces for lease, has done just that with a former veterans’ hall in Port Richmond.

The building in question, at 3178 Richmond St., was built in 1945 to house the Lucyan Chwalkowski Post No. 12 of the Polish Army Veterans Association in America (PAVA). Chwalkowski, the son of Polish emigres who arrived in New York in 1906, was a member of the first class of Polish officers trained in Canada to fight in Europe for Poland in World War I. Read more »

Grey Lodge’s “Scoats” Takes Over Bonk’s Bar

Bonk's Bar is back on Richmond Street

Bonk’s Bar is back on Richmond Street

Mike “Scoats” Scotese has made a name for himself by running the Grey Lodge in Northeast Philadelphia for more than 20 years. Making the bar one of Philadelphia’s first craft beer bars and converting many people into craft beer fanatics. Scotese has also opened two other bars in the Northeast, Hop Angel Brauhaus in Fox Chase and more recently, he opened Sawtown Tavern in Tacony. And now he’s taken over the old Bonk’s Bar in Port Richmond.

With nary a word to the media, Scotese announced on Facebook Monday that he had softly re-opened Bonk’s Bar at 3467 Richmond Street in Port Richmond. Bonk’s has had a cult following for years with its crab nights and no-frills look. But ownership changes saw the place become inconsistent, with crabs being offered just one day a week and online reviews referring to the place as becoming rundown.

Read more »

First-Time Find: Get In on the Ground Floor in Port Richmond

3011 Livingston St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND Images via The Somers Team

3011 Livingston St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19134 | TREND Images via The Somers Team

As Fishtown continues to rise in popularity, the first waves of change are lapping up against the next neighborhood upriver, Port Richmond.

Port Richmond has many of the things that make Fishtown great: residents who care about the community, interesting shopping and dining, easy access to the rest of the city and great housing stock.

Like this two-story rowhome on a prime corner lot.

The years have been very kind to this home, whose owner has taken excellent care of its details, from its original wood-and-wrought-iron cornice to its hardwood flooring (most of it also original) throughout. Its corner location means it gets lots of natural light, and its open main floor gives it a feeling of spaciousness. Read more »

Philly’s First Grocery Store with Wine

port richmond bottle shop wine 400The Richmond Bottle Shop
within the IGA Super Market at 2497 Aramingo Avenue is now selling wine. Thanks to the law change that went into effect in early August, grocery stores can now get in the wine business in Pennsylvania. The governor’s office announced the first 84 stores that will carry wine outside Pennsylvania’s Fine Wine and Good Spirits stores less than a month ago and the Port Richmond supermarket was the only Philadelphia grocery store on the initial list.

Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia is curating the wine selection. There are currently 100 selections available and Wallace plans to expand his selections that range from pink moscato to his recommended syrahs.

Read more »

First Look: Bait & Switch


Let’s get one thing straight: there’s no truly regional seafood tradition in the Mid-Atlantic. Sure, Barnegat Bay has it’s scallops, the Chesapeake has its crabs, and Atlantic City has a completely different kind of crabs, but when it comes to seafood that you eat, Philadelphia sits squarely at a crossroads of traditions. South of here there are soft shells and Old Bay, fish fries with hush puppies. Up north? Clambakes, lobster rolls, and chowder. Even if Fishtown’s namesake comes from shad fishing, it’s a tradition as present in our city lives as Long John Silver, himself.

Read more »

For Rent: Port Richmond’s Pan-Dandy Ghost Sign Apartment

"Kolb's Pan-Dandy Bread" sign | Image: Conrad Benner, Streets Dept.

BEFORE: “Kolb’s Pan-Dandy Bread” sign| Image: Conrad Benner, Streets Dept.

Lookin’ for a unique pad to rent in Port Richmond? The apartment with the 100-year-old ghost sign is now for rent. The Somers Team pinged us on Twitter to let us know that the place is now completed, and the 2-bed, 2-bath apartment is going for $1,250 per month.

Conrad Benner of Streets Dept. snapped a bunch of great shots of the vintage Kolb’s Bakery sign during construction. Now, it’s the focal point of the bedroom. In short, it’s gorgeous.

The finished product looks super clean and sports and industrial look, especially because of the sign, the bottom portion of which looks to be incorporated into the shared landed and mail area.

Read more »

36 Affordable Townhomes to Replace Vacant Lot in Port Richmond

Grace Town Homes rendering | Kramer + Marks Architects | Image courtesy of Ceisler Media

Kramer + Marks Architects | Courtesy of Ceisler Media

About ten minutes from the blighted Orinoka textile factory building, another eyesore takes up promising real estate. Fortunately, like Orinoka, the vacant lot at 2201 E. Auburn Street in Port Richmond awaits a Friday groundbreaking on a project that will, upon completion, bring 36 affordable townhomes to the area. Completion is anticipated for fall 2016.

The residential development is to be called Grace Town Homes, according to a press release, and was conceived from a partnership between the Women’s Community Revitalization Project and the Firm Hope Baptist Church. It was designed by Kramer + Marks Architects.

Read more »

Sexual Assault at Port Richmond’s Graffiti Pier Yesterday

A corridor at Graffiti Pier. | Photo by Liz Spikol

A corridor at Graffiti Pier. | Photo by Liz Spikol

Since Conrail moved its coal-carrying operations to Baltimore in the early ’90s, Pier 124 has been a hulking, abandoned ruin at the edge of Port Richmond. Yet graffiti artists from all over the region have given the concrete walls and passageways a second life, making it a vertiable museum of street art, sort of an unsanctioned version of Miami’s Wynnewood Walls. The post-industrial site has become so popular, it attracts sightseers as well as artists.

Perhaps the three people who were at the Pier yesterday were looking at the art; perhaps they were making it. Their names have not been released. But here’s what we do know: Read more »

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