Last week, we talked about the opening of Dim Sum House in University City–the new restaurant from Jane Guo and Jackson Fu of Jane G’s in Center City. I, for one, was psyched about the place opening because of the battling dim sum menus (Shanghai-style and Cantonese), the late hours and, well, pretty much everything else coming from the kitchen.
But tomorrow, January 11, is the official grand opening of the place, and guess what they’re doing to celebrate?
They’re offering free soup dumplings.
More cool stuff, right this way
So we’ve already talked about the donuts that are coming your way. And yesterday, it was dim sum. And now? Well, how ’bout we add to the list Korean fried chicken, cheesesteaks, bubble tea, gyros, falafel and Thai-style ice cream?
I know, right? Sounds pretty good. Don’t you all wish you lived in UCity right about now?
So what’s coming exactly?
Back in August of last year, the folks from Beiler’s Bakery (which I just mentioned in my very hungry, early morning post on how I am resolved to eat more pies this year, and also where to find the best ones) opened their first outside-of-Reading-Terminal-Market location on Harrisburg Avenue in Lancaster.
This was a pretty big deal, but buried inside that pretty big deal was an even BIGGER deal, which was that the family was planning on expanding again soon — this time in Philly, likely in University City.
Well, guess what? That’s exactly what’s happening. They have a space. They have a rendering (you can see it below). And, most important, they were talking about it on Facebook during the holidays, promising that it was going to be opening soon (“coming this winter,” specifically).
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Coworking space provider Benjamin’s Desk is one of the major forces reviving the Center City office space market.
Two booms taken together turned Center City Philadelphia from a somewhat sleepy place at night with a buzz-cut of a skyline to a vibrant, round-the-clock environment with a true big-city downtown profile.
The first was the office construction boom that was touched off by Liberty Place, the building that broke the buzz cut. The second was a wave of new residents that first began to stream into the city center around that same time.
But as that wave turned into a flood, the two booms ended up canceling out the city’s office-sector growth. Older office buildings were turned into residences even as new office buildings went up, thus keeping the office market (and the rough number of office workers) flat. The culmination of this canceling-out was the conversion of Two Liberty Place’s upper floors into condominiums in the early 2000s. Read more »
Strong demand and rising rents should make it easy for projects in the University City development pipeline, like the Schuylkill Yards joint venture between Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust, to find tech-sector tenants to fill them, if the latest CBRE “Tech-Thirty” report is any guide. | Image: SHoP Architects and West8
Those shiny new buildings rising in University City are not only turning it into Philadelphia’s second downtown — they’re making it the nation’s hottest submarket for high-tech office space, according to CBRE’s annual “Tech-Thirty” survey.
The survey, which examines job growth and technology office space rent growth in the nation’s 30 largest technology employment centers, put the area surrounding Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania at the top of the list for office rent growth — the average rent of $41.40 per square foot is up 37.8 percent over the two-year period from the second quarter of 2014 to the second quarter of 2016 — and in growth of net absorption (the amount of space on the market that gets occupied), it ranked second only to Tempe, outside Phoenix, with a growth rate of 23.3 percent over that same period. Read more »
When David Fine founded Schmear It, a start-up company selling bagels from a food truck, he didn’t see other local Philadelphia bagel joints as his competition. In fact, he chose South Street Philly Bagels as his supplier. “There’s enough room for all of us as long as everyone is trying to do their unique thing,” he said.
Schmear It’s unique thing was its mission of combining the pursuit of social good with high-quality products and customer service.
Fine, who got to know food trucks at the University of Pennsylvania during his time as an undergraduate, noticed a gap in the market in University City–there was nowhere to get a good bagel. Having worked at another non–profit, Community Health Charities of Maryland before, he wondered if there was a way to fill this gap while maintaining a social mission.
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The Bottle Shop at Local 44 is now even more “bottle-y.”
The Bottle Shop at Local 44 has been known for its well-curated selection of beers since its opening. And starting today, it’s going to look be known for take-out wine as well. The bottle shop is now carrying an inventory of 22 wines by the bottle. Look for ten red, ten white and two sparkling wine.
Proprietor Leigh Maida tells us that the staff is particularly jazzed about:
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The restaurant space during a recent hard hat tour of the tower | Photo by Sandy Smith
The team behind New York’s Michelin-starred Rebelle is opening a restaurant in University City’s FMC Tower at Cira Centre South. The restaurant, which will be at the base of the mixed-use tower at 30th and Walnut is expected to open in early 2017. The tower is also home to AKA University City, a mix of luxury hotel rooms and apartment residences occupying the upper floors of the tower.
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A construction worker cuts a section of pipe on the amenity floor at the soon-to-open AKA University City. Photos: Sandy Smith unless otherwise noted; renderings: AKA
Those of you of a certain age may recall the TV ads for KormanSuites, “when just an apartment just isn’t enough.” The apartments the Korman family offered under that brand came with extra services and amenities — including furniture if you wanted it — and something other apartments at the time didn’t offer at all, which were leases of less than a year’s duration.
The KormanSuites brand was the brainchild of Larry Korman, the oldest of the fourth generation of Kormans to run the family real estate development and management company, and it revealed the existence of a hitherto undiscovered market: people who wanted a nice place to live that offered more than a short-term hotel room could but didn’t need to be tied down to that place for an entire year.
The “extended stay” residence industry that sprang from that discovery has also grown and matured since then, and Korman has continued to play a role in its evolution with its extended-stay residence brand, AKA. Read more »
Spread Bagelry is now open in University City | Photo by Larry Rosenblum
Spread Bagelry, the Rittenhouse neighborhood Montreal bagel spot has opened its second location, this one at 36th and Chestnut in University City. But this is no reproduction of the original. Instead, there will be a bar in the space as well (the liquor license transfer isn’t complete yet).
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