Developer Presents Plans for 24-Unit Apartment in West Philly

The propposed apartment is set to take the place of the former building at 4536 Spruce, which burned down in February 2011. Photo via Google Street View

The former building at 4536 Spruce, which burned down in February 2011.
Photo via Google Street View

During a meeting with the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee yesterday, developers behind a proposed 24-unit apartment building presented their plan, which is set to accommodate low-income residents, “particularly veterans” and replace the burned down building at 4536 Spruce, according to Mike Lyons at West Philly Local:

The Mission First Housing Group‘s building would include 24 one- and two-bedroom rental apartments aimed at people with a household income of $36,000 a year or less and is contingent on state funding. Mission First hopes to improve its chances for funding by going through the zoning process, which will require variances for building height, erecting a multi-family structure and not providing parking.

Lyons adds that the project would also offer both an indoor compactor and bike storage. Parking was not proposed.

Affordable housing plan at 46th and Spruce back in front of Spruce Hill zoning committee [West Philly Local]

Brand New Queen Lane Apartments Will Have Wednesday Groundbreaking

The demolished Queen Lane Apartments building via Google Street View.

The demolished Queen Lane Apartments building via Google Street View.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has announced that it will break ground on the new Queen Lane Apartments development in Germantown on December 17th.

Expected to reach completion before this time next year, the project will consist of 55 apartment units with “a mix of low-rise flats, walkups, and townhouses.”

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Morning Headlines: 4601 Market Closer to Being New Police Headquarters

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

The Planning Commission approved a zoning change for 4601 Market earlier this week, which means the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building is closer to becoming the Philadelphia Public Safety Services campus.

PlanPhilly’s Matt Golas reports that breathing new life into the structure, which will eventually be the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department, medical examiner’s office and city morgue, has “long been supported by the local preservation community” and that adaptively reusing the project is part of the city’s larger plan to revitalize neighborhoods:

Fulfilling the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s 2035 Plan goals, the campus will also employ stormwater management practices, enhance public space, and have easy access to SEPTA’s Market-Frankford EL 46th Street Station.

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The Onion Covers West Philadelphia Gentrification

From The Onion:

Despite modest increases in the west Philadelphia neighborhood’s property values over the past several years, residents of Walnut Hill told reporters Monday that the proprietors of Fireside Connections have definitely jumped the gentrification gun with their recently opened custom fireplace shop. …

“I guess these guys just looked around, saw a home brewery supply store and one boutique baby clothing shop, and thought this was the next step. But if you ask me, they really put the cart before the horse on this one. For crying out loud, we don’t even have a fresh pasta store yet.”

For the full article (the last line is the best):

Custom Fireplace Store Totally Jumps Gentrification Gun [The Onion]

Morning Headlines: Renovation Project at 4601 Market Breaks Ground

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

Photo credit: Laura Kicey

The Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. building at 46th and Market has seen a small number of tenants come and go, but for the most part it’s remained relatively vacant. Now, since making official requests earlier this year, the property is under city ownership and plans for its renovation have started.

West Philly Local reports the 87-year-old structure, which will be rehabbed so that it can house new occupants, had its groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. During this, Mayor Nutter announced the building would be referred to as “the Philadelphia Public Safety Services campus.” The site will house the new headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Department of Health public laboratories.

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Morning Headlines: 40th Street Trolley Station Redesign Plan Gets More Funding

Photo credit: University City District website.

Rendering of the planned renovation.
Photo credit: University City District website.

According to the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Sophia White, the University City District, which has been fundraising for the 40th Street trolley station redesign project since 2012, has “raised $1.4 million of its $2 million goal.” Added to this sum is a recent $6,500 award to the project, courtesy of PECO and Natural Lands Trust.

White reports that Lori Brennan, UCD’s spokesperson, sees the renovation as ideal given its location as a “crossroads of economy-shaping institutions and job-creating commercial corridors” and “key access point that allows residents of the region to efficiently commute to Philadelphia’s central business district.” UCD hopes to see the station’s potential through. From DP:

UCD wants the space to better reflect the dynamic neighborhood that the station introduces. Traveling from Center City into West Philadelphia, SEPTA trolley riders currently emerge from a dark tunnel to face a bleak acre of underused space. But after the renovations, this unattractive first impression will become a “vibrant and social space, featuring trees, movable tables and chairs, native horticulture, artful lighting and boulders for creative play,” Brennan said.

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Back to School: Gorgeous Penn Alexander-Area Victorian

4623 Cedar Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19143

4623 Cedar Ave, Philadelphia, PA, 19143

Pocket doors with leaded glass, decorative fireplaces, hardwood floors with inlay… With three stories and a partially finished attic, this Victorian property has beautiful historic details in abundance.

Features of note: turned staircase, curved plasterwork, leaded bay windows (comes with benched seating) in the living room, den with back staircase, and a second-floor bedroom with original armoire. The bedrooms total to six and the third floor hosts the in-law suite.

For parents, the location will be a draw, as the home is in the Penn Alexander catchment.

Gallery below.

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Shakespeare In Clark Park’s Henry IV Comes Complete With a 100-Person Battle Scene and Pub Prelude

Photo by Jen Cleary

Cast of “Henry IV” revved up for a good battle scene. Photo by Jen Cleary

Shakespeare’s Henry IV is coming to Clark Park!

Shakespeare in Clark Park and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (TSPC) are joining together to present a unique rendition of the classic play, combining aspects of both Parts I and II of Shakespeare’s Henry IV.

Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine, the tale of two young rebels and a king, features a 100-person battle scene made possible by a “community army” of Philadelphians. A diverse array of over 100 Philly residents—reigning from 36 neighborhoods, ages 13-59—will take the battlefield in an epic Act V fight scene that is not to be missed. Directed by TSPC’s Co-founder and Resident Director, Alex Torra, the production features local actors Brian Anthony Wilson, Charlie DelMarcelle, and Brian Ratcliffe.

henry iv fight scene

Community actors rehearsing for Henry IV’s epic 100-person battle scene.

In addition to five performances in Clark Park, there will be several community activities to take part in before the shows. A Pub Prelude will be held at Gojjo Bar at 5:30 p.m. on the night of each performance, inspired by the alcohol-fueled pub scenes of Henry IV. The pre-show fun offers an intimate look at the play hosted by four of the show’s performers (think mock battles between pint glasses and salt shakers, bawdy jokes, and pub ballads.) You can also head to the park during rehearsals for a free conversation station, where an on-going discussion about the play and the process of creating the production will take place prior to each show.

Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine will run from Wednesday, July 30th until Sunday, August 8th. All performances are free and open to the public, and begin at 7 p.m. More information about Shakespeare in Clark Park is available here.

Pop-Up Restaurant Incubator Coming To West Philly

swedishchef1

One of the biggest barriers to entry in the restaurant world has always been knowledge.

Well, money, too. And business savvy, management experience, real estate acumen and then lots more money. But knowledge is a big one. I’ve known serious, talented, well-known chefs who, in moments of honesty (or frustration) have told me that the biggest reason why they’re not opening their own restaurant is because they don’t know how to open their own restaurant.

But now there might be some help coming. Because the Enterprise Center in West Philly is launching Common Table–a restaurant incubator and “technical assistance program” which will help everyone from working chefs to young entrepreneurs get their food concepts out of their heads and into the real world.

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