Farmhouse Friday: A Former General Store Just Outside Downingtown

101 Little Washington Lyndell Rd., Downingtown, PA 19335

101 Little Washington Lyndell Rd., Downingtown, PA 19335

Last week we went on a bit of a historical kick with Farmhouse Friday, highlighting a farm from the early 20th century. We continue that this week with a quaint home that was built in 1905 and used to be the post office and general store for West Brandywine Township. Read more »

City Fitness Opening New Gym (and Juice Bar!) on Fishtown’s Frankford Avenue

City Fitness's new Fishtown location | Photo by Adjua Fisher

City Fitness’s new Fishtown location | Photo by Adjua Fisher

Get this, you guys: City Fitness is setting up shop on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown, and they’re building a brand new gym that will have — wait for it — a TREE growing in the middle of it. Like, planted in the freakin’ ground of the gym. I can’t be the only one whose jaw drops at the thought of that. Read more »

Ron Rubin Steps Down as PREIT Executive Chairman

Ron Rubin in 2013 (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA)

Ron Rubin in 2013 (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA)

Ron Rubin — whom we once dubbed as “the man responsible for building every mall ever” — is stepping down as the executive chairman at PREIT.

He’ll stay on as chairman of the board, however, the company announced.

Sure, it’s an exaggeration to say Rubin is responsible for “every mall ever,” but PREIT — where Rubin became CEO in 1997 — does operate 27 million square feet of retail space across the eastern half of the United States, most of it in shopping malls. And a 2009 Philly Mag profile credited Rubin with helping create modern Philadelphia: Read more »

Conshohocken Hotel Sells for $26.5 Million

The Residence Inn Tower Bridge in Conshohocken.

The Residence Inn Tower Bridge in Conshohocken.

Philadelphia-based HHM, formerly known as Hersha Hotel Management, is increasing its portfolio once again by agreeing to buy the Residence Inn Philadelphia Conshohocken for $26.5 million. That’s a cool $193,430 per room key.

The seller is Brandywine Realty Trust which owned 50 percent of the property as part of a joint venture which originally developed the hotel in 2001. The deal closed December 30, 2015. Brandywine netted $6.1 million from the sale.

The all-suite hotel was renovated in 2014 and with a new bar and lounge, as well as an indoor pool, fitness center and outdoor sports court. Read more »

Zillow: Philly Rent, Home Prices Growing Slower than National Average

Image via Google Streetview

S. Delhi Street. (Image via Google Streetview)

Good news for renters and potential home buyers — Philly is still way more affordable than other East Coast cities. Despite the current real estate boom and surging demand in neighborhoods like Fishtown and Point Breeze, rents in Philly increased just 1.8 percent in 2015 — less than the national average of 3.8 percent. That’s according to a new study from the popular real estate site Zillow.

The estimated monthly rental price in Philly was $1,558 in November 2015 (the most recent data available) which is chump change compared to New York ($2,371), Boston ($2,245) and Washington, D.C ($2,110.) The top city was San Jose at a whopping $3,416. The study found that 17 cities had higher average rents than Philly. Read more »

Philly’s Most Competitive Neighborhood For Home Buyers is…

(Photo by Liz Spikol)

(Photo by Liz Spikol)

Trivia question: What’s Philadelphia’s most competitive neighborhood for home buyers? Point Breeze? East Kensington? Northern Liberties?

Nope. It’s Fishtown — home of gastropubs, record shops, Johnny Brenda’s and lots of new construction. That’s according to real estate brokerage firm Redfin. It found that 31 percent of Redfin offers in Fishtown faced bidding competition, 38 percent were all cash deals and 16 percent of homes were sold for more than the asking price. Read more »

Why I Decided to Stop Renting in Philly and Take the Home-Ownership Plunge

Illustration by Tim Parker

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 »

Watch: Time-Lapse Video of King of Prussia Mall Expansion

King of Prussia rendering

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 »

Report: Philly Fifth-Best City for Transit in the U.S.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

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 »

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