Glam It Up: Makeover of 40th Street Trolley Portal to Start in 2016

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

Rendering by Andropogon Associates via University City District website

In case you missed it, the University City District has published its latest State of University City report, an annually-released compendium of the developments bubbling up in University City. The guide spotlights several sectors in U.C., among them academic, commercial, and residential, as well as the impact UCD itself has on this section of the city.

With relation to the latter, the release of the report came with the announcement that the 40th Street Trolley Portal transformation would be seeing its groundbreaking take place next year.

We previously reported the makeover project, spearheaded by UCD in partnership with SEPTA, the city, and neighborhood leaders, came with the aim of turning the bleak station into a lively social space with greenery and stormwater infrastructure, movable furniture, and arts and cultural programming.

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Spotted in West Philly: Chunk of Haverford Avenue Hits the Market


4041-4051 Haverford Avenue | TREND image via New Age Realty Group

There’s an interesting clutch of apartments up for grabs not too far from the planned “Platinum Corridor” at 41st and Market.

4041-4051 Haverford Avenue has just hit the market for the price of $1.275 million. Currently, it’s a 12-unit apartment complex consisting of three quadplexes (10 of which are leased), but the listing from New Age Realty Group thinks the world is your oyster in terms of development possibilities for the site that inhabits a half-block of real estate in West Philly: “New homes? New condos? New apartments? Your call!”

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50-Year-Old Father of Three Killed In West Philly Home Invasion

On Monday night at 11:12 p.m., the Philadelphia Police Department responded to a report of a shooting inside a house on the 1100 block of South Ruby Street in West Philadelphia. When they arrived at the home, police found 50-year-old Tony Harris shot in the head. He died at Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday morning, and now police are searching for his killers. Read more »

Lancaster Avenue Night Market Is Tonight


Tonight is Night Market, folks. Returning once more to West Philly, the party will be descending on Lancaster Avenue for several hours of food trucks, beer and live music shared with tens of thousands of your closest friends. And while we have previously offered general advice for making the most out of your Night Market experiences, here’s some very specific intel on what’s going to be happening tonight.

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Shakespeare in Clark Park Starts Tomorrow With Five Free Shows Through Sunday


Courtesy of Kyle Cassidy

To sit or to stand? That will be the question at the 10th anniversary of Shakespeare in Clark Park. Grab your checkered blankets and bottled (or boxed!) wine to attend a free showing of Shakespeare’s tragicomedy The Winter’s Tale. The story concerns Leontes and Polixenes, rulers of Sicilia and Bohemia, who are best friends until a love affair threatens their relationship and shatters the long-held bond between their families.

“It’s a play that lends itself to a feeling of fairytale and fables, which is particularly well-suited for the outdoor setting,” explains Director Kittson O’Neill. The malleable sets and talented actors will transport audiences through two different kingdoms and act out a tale of friendship ripped apart by jealousy. “Part of the fun of this show is having such a large space to play with,” O’Neill says. “We’ll have some performers walk around the entire Park and come back around to enter different scenes.”

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Headlines: Greensgrow Farms Expanding With West Philly Garden Center

The Bamboo Lot | Google Street View

The Bamboo Lot | Google Street View

Kensington-based Greensgrow Farms has visions of opening a new West Philly garden center at 5123-29 Baltimore Avenue. West Philly Local says that the group will present their plans to the community on June 4 at People’s Baptist Church at 5039 Baltimore Avenue. It starts at 6 p.m.

Here’s more from WPL:

The new garden center is planned for the overgrown vacant lot (aka “the bamboo lot”) at 5123-29 Baltimore Ave. Some likely features of the new location will be a small farm, nursery, an outdoor classroom space and possibly a farmers’ market. However, Greensgrow is willing to work with the community to figure out what the new space should include.

Greensgrow has set up a temporary location at 4912 Baltimore Avenue.


Major Expansion at the Science Center:

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At Last! 4224 Baltimore Avenue Project to Be Reviewed by the City

View from NW corner of 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue. | Rendering by U3 Ventues, Cecil Baker + Partners, Bryan Hanes. | Image via

View from NW corner of 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue. | Rendering by U3 Ventures, Cecil Baker + Partners, Studio Bryan Hanes. | Image via

An update for those who’ve been following the 4224 Baltimore Avenue saga: The mixed-use project has finally reached city review level! After being in limbo for what felt like ages, West Philly Local now reports three April hearings have been scheduled “at the City government offices at 1515 Arch Streets.” The public is encouraged to attend, the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting being perhaps the most crucial of the three. Dates and times below.

In addition to getting support from the Friends of Clark Park neighborhood group (they really liked the plan), WPL says the proposed 132-unit structure has been approved by the Spruce Hill Community Association and the University City Historical Society. We thought you might want to see the latest rendering and schemes of the project headed by developer U3 Ventures (and designed by architects Cecil Baker + Partners and Studio Bryan Hanes), so we went ahead and put them all in a gallery below– what do you think?

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WATCH: Video Shows Suspect in Laundromat Killing

A terrible thing to see:

Philadelphia Police say that at 11:12 a.m. Feb. 19, they were called to the 1300 block of South 53rd Street for a report of a shooting at 53rd Coin Laundromat. There they found Eric Norman, 25, shot in his head and back. He was pronounced dead at 11:20 a.m.

The suspect is a “black male, 25-35 years-of-age, 5’9″-5’11″, beard, husky build, wearing a blue Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) jacket with a reflective stripe around the arms and body, and gloves.” He is considered armed and dangerous. Read more »

University City District Report Says Parklets Enhance Neighborhoods

Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

The elimination of parking space–even if it’s the loss of one or two spots–in a low-density neighborhood is not something drivers are likely to enjoy hearing, especially if their removal is for the purposes of a temporary Parklet. Unfortunately for them, a recently published report by the University City District reveals Parklets, a form of tactical urbanism, to be quite the improvement to most neighborhoods and businesses.

UCD case for parklets report 2015

Click to enlarge. | Chart screenshot from UCD’s report.

Using data gathered from six West Philly Parklets during the 2013 season, the report, called The Case for Parklets: Measuring the Impact on Sidewalk Vitality and Neighborhood Businesses, found them to bring “life to public spaces and more feet to neighborhood businesses,” as seen in their tendency for bringing in a sizable amount of users (including both patrons of nearby businesses and non-patrons), creating a “spillover” effect to sidewalks and other spaces (i.e. people stopping by to chat with parklet users), and boosting business sales for neighboring establishments (an average 20% increase in sales was seen for places near parklets). Furthermore, the report argues that because “it has been widely observed” that women are more discriminating when it comes to public spaces, the even number of female and male persons putting them to use shows that a sense of safety grows in the presence of a Parklet.

And those aren’t the only advantages neighborhoods get with their seasonal arrival…

“Icehouse” is Philadelphia’s Winter Pop-Up Tourist Attraction


“You ain’t ever gonna see anything like this again!” The man’s walking down the street with a spring in his step. He’s almost skipping. He’s excited. Everyone at the corner of 52nd and Locust is kind of excited. Everyone’s pulling out their cell phones — iPhones, Android phones, even one dude with an old flip phone — to snap a picture. Others have serious cameras out. It’s a mix of classes and races and ages, and everyone’s chatting and pointing out features on the building that I’ll call the Icehouse. Read more »

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