Michelin-Starred Team Is Opening Restaurant in University City

The restaurant space during a recent hard hat tour of the tower | Photo by Sandy Smith

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.

Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: AKA University City

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: Piero Lissoni

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 Opens in University City

Photo by Larry Rosenblum

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).

Read more »

Milkhouse Adding New Location at 30th Street Station

Milkhouse comes to 30th Street Station

Milkhouse comes to 30th Street Station

Milkhouse, the grilled cheese, fries and more emporium is set to open its third location. This Milkhouse will be inside 30th Street Station at the former Ben & Jerry’s kiosk, behind Saxby’s. Like the Milkhouse locations inside Suburban Station and at 37 South 19th Street, the 30th Street Station location will offer the full Milkhouse menu of:

  • Grilled Cheeses
  • Fries
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Ice Cream
  • Milkshakes

Owner Tommy Guest tells us that he’s on schedule to open before the Democratic National Convention steams into town. The Milkhouse kiosk at 30th Street Station will be open seven days a week, the hours are still being worked out.

Milkhouse – 30th Street Station [Foobooz]

Drexel Student Earns a Spot on Shake Shack’s Menu

City of Butter-ly Love made with Vanilla frozen custard, Butter Cake, Caramel and Brown Butter Bits

City of Butter-ly Love made with Vanilla frozen custard, Butter Cake, Caramel and Brown Butter Bits

Shake Shack paired up with Drexel University’s Food Lab to bring a new limited-time item to the menu. Starting today, July 1st, the new City of Butter-ly Love concrete will be served at the University City location. The concrete is vanilla custard with butter cake, caramel and brown butter bits.

The partnership began as a competition for students in the culinary arts program to create new item menus. Eleven ideas were submitted, seven were chosen as semi-finalists, and now the winner is available.

Read more »

Our Odds on the 30th Street Station Area Development Plan

30th Street Station development plan, aerial view

The 30th Street Station area master plan laid out a fantastic vision of a second downtown for Philadelphia in University City. Only money stands in the way of realizing it, with the public sector as the weakest link. | Rendering by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, courtesy Amtrak

$6.5 billion.

The figure was tossed out rather casually in the course of yesterday’s formal unveiling of the two-years-in-the-making master development plan for the area surrounding 30th Street Station in University City, but it represents the largest single bet yet placed on the future of Philadelphia.

The parties involved — Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT, SEPTA, and a slew of elected officials and community groups — have put their chips down on a project that has many moving parts and will play out over the course of decades.

As we’ve seen plans almost as ambitious as this one go up in smoke (anyone here remember River City?), it’s only logical that we should ask what its chances for completion are. Herewith are my own odds for the plan’s key components and the overall chances that the plan will be fully realized sometime in our or our children’s lifetimes. Read more »

University City Preservation Tragedy: When Density Begets Dullness

Dull density vs. handsome history. If this is the price of progress, can we get a refund? | Photo courtesy Naked Philly

Dull density vs. handsome history: If this is the price of progress, can we get a refund? | Photo courtesy Naked Philly

One of the positive aspects of the current development boom in Philly is that long-underutilized land is being put to better use. Denser development makes the most of our great transportation infrastructure and adds more vitality to neighborhoods across the spectrum.

Of course, no good is unalloyed. Sometimes, to get the benefit, pieces of the city’s past must be sacrificed. It’s part of the natural process by which cities remain vital.

But not all new development is worth sacrificing the past for. Sometimes, the pursuit of density (and the increased revenue that comes with it) demands too high a price.

Especially when that price is the replacement of handsome ensembles of historic buildings with bland, uninspired boxes. Read more »

Jose Andres Comes To Philly

Beefsteak by Jose Andres is now open on Penn's campus | Photos by Chelsea Portner

Beefsteak by Jose Andres is now open on Penn’s campus.

Chef Jose Andres is kind of a big deal.

Actually, Jose Andres is kind of a huge deal. The Spanish-born chef behind such concepts as minibar and Jaleo in D.C., China Poblano in Vegas and Tres in L.A., he trained with Ferran Adria at El Bulli, has won just about every award there is to win, and is (more or less) the guy who formalized the small plates concept in the United States. He is one of the best-known chefs in the world, a serious rock star, and guess where he was yesterday?

In a basement at the University of Pennsylvania, talking about vegetables.

Read more »

The Gables Goes On the Market

4520 Chester Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19143 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

4520 Chester Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19143 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

University City in the Gilded Age was Philadelphia’s original streetcar suburb. And the people who could afford to build grand homes along the expanding trolley lines did so. One of the grandest of these homes, a landmark in the neighborhood, is now on the market, offering a rare opportunity for a would-be host, an investor or someone looking to live really large today.

The property in question is The Gables, a long-running Victorian bed and breakfast at 46th Street and Chester Avenue. Built in 1889, this home was enormous by the standards of the day and remains exceptionally large now. With 11 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, generous spaces for relaxation and entertaining and a sizable lot surrounding it, this home offers multiple possibilities for a potential buyer. Read more »

That House Out There: How’d This Place Wind Up on This Block?

4620 Kingsessing Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143| Images via Zillow

4620 Kingsessing Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143| Images via Zillow

The 4600 block of Kingsessing Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia—the listing refers to this area as “Cedarhill,” a name we’ve never encountered before—is a tidy block anchored by a church and lined on one side with mostly well-maintained Victorian twins. The partner of the row’s saddest-looking twin, however, went bye-bye some time back.

The good news is: Something’s filled that hole, and the price its builder wants for it suggests that either the neighborhood’s fortunes may be on the rise or the student-housing wave is spreading further southwest.

The not-so-good news is what’s filled the hole. Read more »

« Older Posts