Rents Leveling Out in Philly, But University City is One of the Highest Priced ‘Hoods

Image via Zumper

Image via Zumper

The Philadelphia rental market ranks 16th in the nation in terms of average rents per one-bedroom apartment. As more units come on board in Center City and beyond, new data from Zumper shows that the rise in rents in the city as a whole has stalled, with prices for a one-bedroom dropping 10.5% over the past year (2.9% for two-bedrooms pads).

Unsurprisingly, Center City remains the strongest and most expensive market in Philly, with the highest priced neighborhood, Logan Square (hello, Granary!), averaging $1,870 per month. According to industry experts, renters can now expect to pay over $3 per square foot for rentals in those Class A buildings in Center City, such as Icon 1616, 2116 Chestnut, and even soon-to-debut buildings like 1919 Market and the Dalian at Rodin Square behind the Barnes Foundation (hello, Whole Foods!).

University City comes in a close second at $1,850 per month. According to a recent University City District report, the median rent in the booming Eds, Meds and Tech district sits at $1,450 per month, so expect something in that ballpark, considering the influx of new units planned in the coming years.

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A Peek at Marigold Kitchen’s January Menu

Photo by Michael Persico

Photo by Michael Persico

Marigold Kitchen still doesn’t have a menu but they do offer a peek at some of the 13-15 courses that co-owners and chefs Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza are preparing alongside chef Keith Krajewski.

This month, the $90 per person feast will include:

  • Leek Ash Raviolo: butter-basted hen of the woods mushroom and black ravioli, filled with liquified parmesan, ramp pesto
  • Australian Beef: seared tenderloin with foie gras butter and chocolate-braised crimini mushroom, puree of smoked potato and leek and Malbec jus;
  • Cheese & Pears: Korean pears macerated in bleu cheese, dipped in salted almond crumbs and paired with an apple cider churro.

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Herban Debuting Dinner Service with Pay-What-You-Wish Night

herban2On Tuesday, January 12th Herban Quality Eats is debuting its dinner service with a pay-what-you-wish night. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m, the University City fast-casual concept will donate all proceeds from its first dinner service directly to the nearby Morton McMichael School.

Herban has been open and offering lunch service since mid-December. As of Wednesday, January 13th, Herban will be open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Herban Quality Eats [Foobooz]

Herban Quality Eats To Open with Free Lunch

herban quality meatsHerban Quality Eats, Philadelphia’s newest fast casual concept is going to be opening its doors at 3601 Market Street on Tuesday, December 15th. The restaurant is aiming to produce nutritious and freshly made dishes that go beyond the standard salad. And on its opening day, the first 101 guests will be treated to a free lunch when the doors open at 11:30 a.m.

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The Fat Ham Turns Two with Revamped Menu and Wingaversary

Happy wingaversary.

Happy wingaversary. The Fat Ham turns two with wings and an expanded menu.

The Fat Ham, Kevin Sbraga’s University City Southern comfort food restaurant is turning two on Wednesday, December 9th and he’s celebrating with a night of wings. Sbraga will be offering offering a variety of wings including:

  • Country Captain Wings with curry and Chow Chow aioli
  • Lavender Honey Wings with pink peppercorn
  • Salsa Verde Wings with smoked green tomato and pork rinds
  • Mustard BBQ Wings with mustard, hickory, and brown sugar

The six wings go for $7.50 during the celebration, they’ll normally be $10.

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Glam It Up: Makeover of 40th Street Trolley Portal to Start in 2016

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

In case you missed it, the University City District has published its latest State of University City report, an annually-released compendium of the developments bubbling up in University City. The guide spotlights several sectors in U.C., among them academic, commercial, and residential, as well as the impact UCD itself has on this section of the city.

With relation to the latter, the release of the report came with the announcement that the 40th Street Trolley Portal transformation would be seeing its groundbreaking take place next year.

We previously reported the makeover project, spearheaded by UCD in partnership with SEPTA, the city, and neighborhood leaders, came with the aim of turning the bleak station into a lively social space with greenery and stormwater infrastructure, movable furniture, and arts and cultural programming.

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West Philly Rising

A rendering of the under construction FMC tower and the growing West Philly skyline. | Pelli Clarke Pelli/Brandywine Realty Trust.

A rendering of the under construction FMC tower and the growing West Philly skyline. | Pelli Clarke Pelli/Brandywine Realty Trust.

Each year, the University City District compiles, in a glossy report, the vital signs for the eastern half of West Philly. For a while now, the trend lines have been strong. But this year, the numbers are truly staggering. Read more »

Introducing Our Fast Casual Tracker


Honeygrow opened in University City today.

We were anticipating rolling out our Fast Casual Tracker today, before the bombshell news hit that Urban Outfitters had bought the Vetri Family of restaurants including Pizzeria Vetri. We imagined the big news for everyone’s first look at the Tracker would be that Honeygrow opened its seventh location today in University City at 3731 Walnut Street.

Well Honeygrow did open but the Vetri news got us shuffling our buzzy list before we even posted it.

So check it out, the Foobooz Fast Casual Tracker, your one-stop spot for the latest in Philadelphia’s increasingly crowded fast-casual dining scene.

Fast Casual Tracker [Foobooz]

Post Brothers Betting Big on University City; Plans Garden Court Revamp

Garden Court Plaza

Garden Court Plaza

Post Brothers is starting to execute their plans to get in on some of the action around University City. The company announced they’ve acquired the Garden Court Plaza, a gorgeous 1920s-era apartment building at 47th and Pine Street (map), with plans to undertake a massive renovation project that largely caters to the area’s built-in population of post-graduates.

According to a press release about the acquisition, Post Brothers has “earmarked” $250 million to invest in projects that look to keep recent grads and a growing workforce in and around University City (47th and Pine is really Walnut Hill). “Our principal goal is to harness the energy of this exciting neighborhood to create re-imagined, high-quality apartments that are reflective of the neighborhood’s vibrant, upwardly-mobile population,” said Post’s CEO Michael Pestronk.

The plan at Garden Court Plaza calls for 146 apartment units, and will look to take the historic structure to the next level by bringing a new management team on site. Oh, and they will also be adding an amenity package on par with the flashy new high-rises popping up on Market and Chestnut streets.

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University City Continues to Grow with Planned 3.0 University Place Complex

The Pep Boys Site at 41st and Market, 2.0 University Place in background | Google Street View

The Pep Boys Site at 41st and Market, 2.0 University Place in background | Google Street View

Philadelphia’s new boom – in population, jobs, housing, restaurants, retailers, and office space – is well documented. But if you thought Center City was the only one of Philly’s hot areas leading the way, here’s a reminder: University City is putting in its fair share of work too.

It’s next development gearing up for a launch? 3.0 University Place, a proposed LEED Platinum-certified office complex planned for the corner of 41st and Market, formerly the site of a Pep Boys. According to PlanPhilly, a bill proposing to rezone the property for high-density commercial mixed-use designation was introduced to City Council last week. It’d also touch on surrounding sites:

The bill also rezones a number of blocks surrounding the 3.0 University Place site, affecting the area bounded by 40th, 44th, Ludlow, and Powelton Ave.

In fact, 3.0 University Place is part of a larger plan by University Place Associates (UPA) to build a “Platinum Corridor” in West Philadelphia. Read more »

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