Change in Plans for Massive Northern Liberties Office Space

An artist rendering for SoNo, a large, horizontal office space in Northern Liberties.

An artist rendering for SoNo, a large, horizontal office space in Northern Liberties.

It was supposed to be hip, modern office space on a grand scale. The massive Destination Maternity building that’s 220,000 square feet and spans an entire city block on Spring Garden Street in Northern Liberties was set to undergo a $60 million transformation, giving it the potential to lure in a regional office for Google, Twitter or another national tech company. The excitement from the Philly tech community was palpable.

In fact, building owners Alliance Partners HSP toured the West Coast offices for Airbnb, Pixar, Salesforce and Twitter to help them find inspiration. One large, national company even took a tour of the space, but eventually passed. Read more »

Defunct Phoenixville Water Park To Be Auctioned

Photo by Max Spann

Photo via Max Spann

In the heat of summer, most families grab tickets and line up at the gates of their local water park. In a few short weeks, individuals will sit in chairs and hold up placards for a chance to purchase an entire water park.

Max Spann, the same firm that is holding land auctions for several closed Philadelphia schools, is holding public bidding on the property formerly known as Water World Park— 655 Schuylkill Road (Rt. 724) — on July 29th at 11 am, the Reporter Online reported Friday. The firm held property previews on Monday, July 6th and Monday, July 13th for any prospective buyers interested in the land.

The lot covers around 22 acres with frontage on Schuylkill Road. Its location is not far from Valley Forge, US Route 422 and King of Prussia and the site has gas and electricity. It is also coded for mixed-use zoning, meaning that a potential developer could add offices, restaurants, banks and stores, among other possible spaces.

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BizFeed: Amtrak Lawsuits Face $200M Hurdle

A crime scene investigator looks inside a train car after a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

After Tuesday’s Amtrak crash, expect plenty of lawsuits, but law states that damages will be capped at $200 million. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

1. Lawsuits a Certainty After Amtrak Crash, But Damages Capped at $200M

The News: In the wake of the Amtrak train crash, expect a slew of personal injury lawsuits against the company — especially considering that the train reportedly went double the speed limit and that Amtrak’s CEO said the company takes “full responsibility.” The first lawsuit comes from Amtrak employee Bruce Phillips who says he suffered brain trauma, body injuries and emotional stress, according to NBC10.

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Here’s the Brochure for Up-for-Sale Suzanne Roberts Theatre

Suzanne Roberts Theater. Photo | G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Suzanne Roberts Theater. Photo | G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

In an email sent out this morning, CBRE advertised 480 South Broad Street—better known as the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The bank foreclosed on the home of the Philadelphia Theatre Company last April.

According to a tax return, the Philadelphia Theatre Company had a balance of $11 million on its mortgage when TD Bank foreclosed on the theatre. The theater company, which has been struggling financially due to operating and mortgage costs, received $5 million from the state and $3 million from the city to help construct its theater. The theater attached to Symphony House opened at Broad and Lombard in 2007.

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Time to Fix Eminent Domain

James Dupree's studio.

James Dupree’s studio.

Congratulations to James Dupree.

After a long fight with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), the artist last week learned that he can keep his studio in the Mantua section of the city. The fight began back in 2012 when the PRA, citing the city’s eminent domain authority, seized his property and offered him what they considered a fair market value to vacate. Dupree disagreed on that. The PRA claimed, and still claims, that the area is a “food desert” and needed his block so that a private developer could build a supermarket. Dupree also disagreed. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “A developer could easily build around my studio or on the vacant block next to me.”

The reasons can be debated. But there’s one thing that requires no debate: The eminent domain process has to change. Eminent domain is defined as: “The power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners.”

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PHOTOS: We Got a Sneak Peek at Icon 1616

Last night, the new Icon 1616 luxury apartment building invited G Philly to host an intimate sneak peek at some of its living spaces. I invited a few well-dressed friends, and we sipped wine and champagne, enjoyed some nibbles from Brûlée Catering, and browsed through some of the units, which were staged by local interior designers Floss Barber, Carrie Leskowitz, and Carole Roach. Below, some photos from the evening.

The space will open to the public on for an Interior Design Showcase and Sweeps Open House on Saturday, May 31st. For more information, visit

Score Discount Tickets to the 2014 Philadelphia Home Show

john desilva diy

DIY Network host John DeSilvia is scheduled to appear at the Philly Home Show all weekend.

The Philadelphia Home Show has been kind enough to give Ticket readers a discount code for this weekend’s show at the PA Convention Center. The deal is that you get $4 off each ticket when you enter the code “PMAG,” or you can just click this link and let it do it for you. The total cost will be $9 per ticket.

This is the last weekend of the show, which, this year, is themed “Renew, Refresh and Restore Your  Home.” If you’re in the process of revamping your digs, this may be a good opportunity. There you’ll find all kinds of vendors — from appliance folks and interior designers to people who will help you whip your garden or, if you’re like me, your postage-stamp patio into shape before spring.

Read more »

Contractors Face New Requirements in the New Year

Plan Philly reports that City Hall is raising standards for building and demolition contractors starting in the new year. “The Department announced the new rules in a press release Monday afternoon. L&I has been working on the new requirements since the summer, said spokeswoman Rebecca Swanson. Additional information was provided in a code bulletin on the Department’s website. … Additionally, the Department reminded contractors that, under legislation introduced by Councilman Bobby Henon, they will now be required to post license numbers at job sites and on correspondence. They must also post permits and issuance certificates at job sites.”



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