Three Philly Neighborhoods to Watch in 2017

Spruce Hill's substantial rowhomes and twins are popular with the Penn crowd. | Photo: Plan Philly/Eyes on the Street, used under CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Spruce Hill’s substantial rowhomes and twins are popular with the Penn crowd. | Photo: Plan Philly/Eyes on the Street, used under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

The online brokerage Redfin has released its list of the “Hottest Neighborhoods for 2017,” and while none of the 10 hottest neighborhoods nationwide are in Philadelphia, it did offer up its choices for the three hottest neighborhoods in the city.

Topping the list is Spruce Hill in University City, where the median-priced home sells for $415,200, making it the most expensive of the three by almost double. Redfin agent Jimmy Caraway had this to say about the neighborhood: Read more »

Science Center Breaks Ground on 3675 Market Street

3675 Market Street ceremonial groundbreaking.

3675 Market Street ceremonial groundbreaking.

It’s undisputed that with the expansion of uCity Square, University City and frankly all of Philadelphia will enter a new era of innovation, access, inclusion, and discovery—four words Science Center president and CEO Steve Tang stressed at the ceremonial groundbreaking of 3675 Market Street on Tuesday.

“Imagine the discoveries that will be made here, the young minds inspired to pursue science, and the communities that will be introduced to the power and promise of technology,” Tang told the crowd that gathered at 3601 Market Street next door to the construction site. Read more »

Here’s What You’ll Be Eating At Dim Sum House (Notably: Free Soup Dumplings Tomorrow)


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

Beiler’s Bakery Opening Soon in University City


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).

Read more »

How the Sharing Economy Is Changing Office Space

Coworking space provider Benjamin's Desk is one of the major forces reviving the Center City office space market.

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 »

U-City Named Hottest Tech Submarket in Nation

One Drexel Plaza and Drexel Square

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 »

Schmear It Goes From Food Truck to Permanent Store

schmearit-400When 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.

Read more »

Bottle Shop at Local 44 Adds Wine to Go

The Bottle Shop at Local 44 is now even more "bottle-y."

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:

Read more »

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