Illustration by Tim Parker
I expected my apartment hunt to be over before the weekend.
After all, I’ve never been particularly picky. My must-haves were few, and after a decade of renting in Philly, my definition of “charming” had become pretty generous.
That drafty West Philly studio? I didn’t just like it — I loved it, squatter mouse and all. He kept to himself, rarely invited friends over, and spent most of his time in the oven, which was fine by me — the oven didn’t work, and even if it did, I didn’t cook. In retrospect, the little guy was probably one of my best roommates. Read more »
By fall 2016, the King of Prussia Mall expansion will be finally finished, but the folks at Simon Property Group offered a look at the project’s progress to date with a new time-lapse video (see below.) Once it’s all done, the mall will span 2.86 million square feet with 450 retailers and restaurants.
In June, 2015, The Plaza and Court were first connected by a 170,000 square foot structure that will house 50 new stores, along with cafes, fountains and a new parking complex. In March, brands will begin building out their new stores and they should finish by summer 2016. Read more »
Photo | Jeff Fusco
Eat bus exhaust, SEPTA-haters. It turns out our transit system is one of the best in the country — and makes many Philly neighborhoods great, more desirable places to live.
So say the folks at Walk Score, a subsidiary of the real estate site Redfin, which just ranked Philly’s transit system fifth-best in the country. Walk Score has become hugely popular because of its algorithms that rate city neighborhoods based on their walkability. Walk Score has a similar algorithm called Transit Score that rates city neighborhoods based on the availability of transit service.
Overall, Philadelphia received a Transit Score of 67, which Transit Score classifies as “Good Transit—Many nearby transit options.” That score was high enough to put the city in fifth place among all U.S. cities with 300,000 or more inhabitants. Read more »
By plenty of measures, Philadelphia’s technology and startup market is growing exponentially. While it still doesn’t rival the titans like San Francisco or New York, it’s coming into its own — seeing venture capital climb nearly $85 million in just the past year. Also, tech companies are taking up more and more office space.
An expansive new study by JLL breaks it all down. It found that Philly companies raised $118 million in venture capital between the third quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014. But that number climbed to $203 million between Q3 2014 to Q2 2015. Read more »
Jen Jordan is arguably Philadelphia’s busiest Airbnb host. She drives around the city — from Fishtown to Fairmount to South Philly — cleaning bathrooms, making beds and leaving tourism brochures on coffee tables. She carries a computer at all times so that she can respond to inquiries immediately. She also makes sure to get Airbnb notification alerts on her phone.
But there’s one thing that’s different about her — most of the properties she manages aren’t her own.
“I am definitely not the average Airbnb host. I’m doing it as a small business,” said Jordan. Two listings are under her Fishtown apartment — one for her couch ($25-$30 per night) and another for the entire house ($110-$150 per night). When she rents out her entire place, she stays with family or friends. Read more »
For all the talk about how Atlantic City’s casino closures are really just “right-sizing” the market and how the city has more to offer than just gambling — it still has the highest home foreclosure rate in the country. One in every 257 Atlantic City housing units had a foreclosure filing in October, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. That’s more than four times the national average and the fourth consecutive month where Atlantic City topped the dubious list.
And foreclosures are increasing. In October, foreclosures were up 14 percent from the previous month — driven by a 26 percent monthly spike in foreclosure starts — an increase of 134 percent from a year ago. Read more »
Noticed that home prices in Philly are sky-high? You’re not alone. In fact, Philly is the 7th most overvalued real estate market in the United States, according to a new study by MarketWatch and Corelogic.
Philly real estate prices now sit at 14.2 percent above sustainable levels (measured by home affordability based on the per capita income levels in the area). With the median home price in the Philadelphia metro region sitting at $219,600 (according to Bankrate.com), the MarketWatch study says home prices are up 16.7 percent since early 2014. That gives Philadelphia the dubious distinction of having the fastest home-price appreciation of any town on the top-10 list. Read more »
Virtua Health unveiled a $1 billion, 20-year plan to build a medical care campus in South Jersey. The health system has plans to construct a nine-story acute-care hospital, ambulatory surgical center, medical offices, parking garages, rehab facility, helipad, residential hospice, assisted-living centers, and even a helipad.
The plan won a unanimous 8-0 approval by the Land Development and Zoning Board in Westampton Township in Burlington County — but it’s still far from a done deal. Read more »
The outside of the Five Below flagship location on Chestnut Street between 15th and 16th Streets.
By the end of 2015, Five Below will have 436 locations all over the country — but perhaps none will showcase the brand like the one opening soon on Chestnut Street between 15th and 16th Streets in Center City. Not only is it the largest Five Below of all, but it’s also the Philadelphia-based company’s flagship location.
Built at the site of the old Arcadia Theater (constructed in 1915) the store has exposed brick, original crown moldings and high ceilings. Now it’s got an escalator, a lighted Five Below logo in the ceiling and plenty of colorful signage. By its grand opening date of Sept. 10, it’ll be filled with makeup, yoga mats, candy, cell phone cases and all the other wacky stuff it sells for $5-or-under. Read more »
James Gadsden standing in front of 2400 Bryn Mawr Avenue. Photo | Facebook.
Wynnefield resident Mannwell Glenn was walking his dog down a leafy, generally quiet neighborhood street earlier this week when he noticed something odd: Two men milling about 2400 Bryn Mawr Avenue, the property of the late Kernie Anderson, a veritable giant in the urban radio market who died in December.
Their presence stood out to Glenn, because this section of Wynnefield is a very tight-knit, secure community (Mayor Nutter lives literally around the corner) and as far as the neighbors were aware, no one had access to the house other than Anderson’s daughter and sole heir, Shama Anderson, who still kept tabs on the home and made occasional visits from Harrisburg, where she had relocated. Generally speaking, the house had been vacant since shortly after Anderson’s death, and so the new activity did not go unnoticed.
So, as any good neighbor would do, Glenn started asking questions. Read more »