Could West Philly’s Brand-New $50K Bike Lane Disappear?

Photo via the City of Philadelphia

A lot of people are talking about West Philly’s new one-way protected bike lane – the city’s first.

The 1.1 mile lane on Chestnut Street between 45th and 34th Streets, equipped with striping, signage and flexible delineator posts (think: quasi-plungers that separate bikers from cars) opened on Tuesday – to mostly cheers (and some inevitable groans).  Read more »

Kudos for a One-Man Community Development Corporation

Chestnut Villa at 40th and Chestnut streets, the building that launched Brooks on his real estate career. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Chestnut Villa at 40th and Chestnut streets, the building that launched Brooks on his real estate career. | Photos: Sandy Smith

For many years, the nicest building at the intersection of 40th and Chestnut streets in University City was the one with the sign reading “Chestnut Villa” on top of it. Neat and tidy, with crimson awnings over its storefront windows, it was a signal that at least one person cared about this sometimes-bedraggled crossroads on the fringe of the University of Pennsylvania campus.

The crimson awnings are still there, and it’s still neat as a pin. But redevelopment has caught up with it: across Chestnut from the Villa now rises a slick postmodern tower, the Brawer & Hauptman-designed Hub on Chestnut.

So Chestnut Villa’s owner, Ronald Brooks, has decided to renovate the building he has owned for the past 40 years to reflect the changed face of its surroundings. To mark the occasion, many of the other people whose lives and businesses he has helped fix up turned out to pay homage to him on Tuesday (April 11th) in a currently vacant storefront in his building. Read more »

Residential Tower Proposed for U-City Site

The proposed apartment tower at 4125 Chestnut St. | Rendering: KCA Design Associates

The proposed apartment tower at 4125 Chestnut St. | Rendering: KCA Design Associates

Philly.com reports that a developer is proposing to build a 17-story residential tower with retail space on the site of the Wash ‘n’ Lube car wash at 4125 Chestnut St. in West Philadelphia.

KCA Design Associates has submitted plans to Civic Design Review for the tower, which will contain 240 apartments, 4,158 square feet of retail space on the ground and second floors, and an 82-space underground parking garage.

According to the report, the developer of the project is CRP Builders. 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 »

Hillary Clinton Will Speak at West Philadelphia High School Today

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will headline a voter registration event at West Philadelphia High School today.

The former Secretary of State is expected to speak sometime after the Pennsylvania Democratic Party event kicks off at 1:15 p.m. at the school, located at 4901 Chestnut Street. 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 »

Plans Announced for Redesigned “Gateway to West Philly”

Designs for the new 40th Street Trolley Portal were released Tuesday.

Designs for the new 40th Street Trolley Portal were released Tuesday.

The University City District revealed plans for renovations to the 40th Street Trolley Portal on Tuesday at a meeting of the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee. The plans include a redesigned public space with seating, bike racks, extensive landscaping and a 125-seat, two-story restaurant.

According to UCD director of planning and design, Nate Hommel, and vice president of planning and economic development, Andrew Stober, the goal of the portal renovation is to make what they believe has never been a particularly inviting area into a more “pedestrian-oriented” public space. Read more »

« Older Posts