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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Sushi School is Back in Session At Pod

No, your sushi won't look this good.

No, your sushi won’t look this good.

By Isabelle Gallicchio and Ella Torres

Last year Stephen Starr’s West Philly pan asian restaurant, Pod, launched an in-house Sushi School, taught by head sushi chef, Tomoyuki Takasu. After a successful first summer session, Pod decided to bring back the popular class this year. Sushi school provides hungry students the opportunity to learn how to prepare and roll their own sushi under the watchful and helpful eye of chef Taka. It’s also very popular with the first date crowd, in case you need some inspiration.

And because we kept hearing unceasing praise for Pod’s class, we decided to check it out ourselves. So last week, Foobooz went back to school…

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Breaking University City Retail News

The image used to market the space. Via LoopNet.

The image used to market the space. Via LoopNet.

The bad news: Rittenhouse’s Hello World and Wash West’s Hello Home are closing. The good news: They’re combining to open a “lifestyle” store (also called Hello World) at 3610 Sansom Street—which is right near another so-called “lifestyle” store, Urban Outfitters. Only Urban isn’t accessible via the Penn Bookstore. Do we hear the sound of tooth-gnashing at the Navy Yard?

Shoppist’s Emily Goulet spoke with the owner of both stores, who worked with Michael Salove Company on the UCity real estate deal. He gave her more great news, like the opening of another store dedicated to midcentury furniture. But I won’t say any more! Go here for all the details:

BREAKING: Hello World and Hello Home are Combining Into One Huge University City Lifestyle Store [Shoppist]

“There Are Going to Be Some Legal Issues”

hoops deli

Google Street View image of HOOPS at 42nd and Chester circa 2012.

The former HOOPS Deli & Market at 42nd and Chester had a side wall collapse yesterday morning, and is now being torn down entirely. The wall caved in due to adjacent construction activity by Shafer Properties LLC, City Paper’s Ryan Briggs reports.

Thankfully, HOOPS has been closed for a long time, so no one was eating a cheesesteak when the wall fell in. But the Shafer construction site did have an outstanding L&I violation going back at least a month.

HOOPS was owned by the University of the Sciences — presumably post-sandwich making. Briggs:

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It’s Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for 30th Street Station

30th street station revision

Rendering of the new vision for the area around 30th Street Station via Amtrak.

As first reported by PhillyDeals, Amtrak has announced the members of the team that will, in the next two years, develop the joint master plan for the Drexel-funded development project around 30th Street Station.

The group will be led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), one of the most influential architecture, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. They’ll work in partnership with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A Advisors, but be guided by a “coordinating committee” consisting of representatives from (deep breath, now) Amtrak, Drexel, Brandywine Realty Trust, SEPTA, PennDOT, City of Philadelphia, New Jersey Transit, CSX Corporation, Penn, PIDC, Schuylkill River Development Corporation and University City District.

Will there be many meetings? There will be many meetings. (Feel free to send the leftover bowls of candy this way, guys.)

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