Hot Yoga Coming to Whole Foods Squared

Priya Hot Yoga, currently undergoing construction.

I’ve decided to call the area around Callowhill between 18th and 22nd Whole Foods Squared, since there will be two Whole Foods within mere blocks of each other, one of which will be on Rodin Square. It’s one of those invented sub-neighborhood names that will surely take off. At least on this blog.

At any rate, the newest addition to the WFS ’hood will be a hot yoga studio at 1828 Callowhill, around the corner from WF#1, where yoga mats and refillable bottles are on sale.

And with 293 luxury apartments opening just blocks away, I’d say Priya Hot Yoga‘s owners have the right idea.

“There’s a lot of great energy in that neighborhood,” co-owner Katie Sandy told Be Well Philly. “I think it’s just a very positive neighborhood, and we thought it could use something like this.”

Sandy and has two business partners in the venture, whose 2,200-square-foot space will also include a sit-down cafe. Smart, smart, smart.

For more, check out our sister site’s coverage over here.

Rodin Square Development Breaks Ground

Rodin Square Whole Foods Rendering

Rodin Square broke ground this morning. The massive development includes a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market at 501 N. 22nd Street (directly in view of the Ben Franklin Parkway) and a 10-story, 293-unit, luxury apartment complex called The Dalian on Fairmount.

Dalian Development and International Financial Company, the developers behind the $160 million mixed-use project, say the Whole Foods, which will include a 5,000 square foot café and a two-story glass façade, won’t be the only retailer on the premises.

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Financing Secured for Rodin Square Apartments

A rendering of Rodin Square, courtesy of the project's developers

A rendering of Rodin Square, courtesy of the project’s developers

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the 293-unit apartment building to be part of the planned Rodin Square complex has received a $20 million loan to finance its groundbreaking. The complex, which was approved in the fall, will face the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and take up much of the block bounded by 21st, 22nd, Spring Garden, and Hamilton streets. In addition to the residences, it will include a 55,000-square-foot Whole Foods with underground parking, a “sky park” with an outdoor pool for residents, several commercial spaces, and a parking garage for residents.

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Whole Foods Lawsuit: Muslim Man Sues Over Prayers at Work

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Kensington’s Robert Greene started working in the prepared foods department of the Glen Mills Whole Foods in April 2012. A Muslim man, Greene prays five times each day, including at times that overlapped with his schedule at Whole Foods, something he says was never a problem while working in prepared foods.

But, claims Greene in a new federal lawsuit, that all changed when he was transferred to the meat department in October 2012.

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Last Call at Philadelphia’s Best Bad Bar

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All the B&W regulars came back for one last hurrah on Wednesday night. Joanne texted us this photo.

Last February, I wrote a story about the B&W bar, the one in the Best Western, right off the Parkway in Fairmount. Over the course of a week, I showed up pretty much every night, drank a lot of beer, took probably not enough notes, and never went back again.

It’s not that I didn’t like the place; just the opposite, I fell in love with it. In fact, I grew so attached to the cast of characters that populated the bar — real regulars, the kind you thought didn’t exist anymore — that I was worried they wouldn’t like what I wrote.

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Lower Merion Planning Commission: “The ’70s Called and They Want Their Strip Mall Back”

east wynnewood road

One of the odder buildings that WP Realty is planning to demolish in pursuit of its East Wynnewood Road development plan.

Let’s put it bluntly: The Lower Merion Planning Commission and many other like stakeholders pretty much hate WP Realty’s redevelopment plan for East Wynnewood Road — the plan that includes a new Whole Foods at the corner of Lancaster Avenue. The developer now owns everything from Lancaster Avenue to Penn Road except Citizen’s Bank, and presented more plans for the corridor on Monday to the commission. Though the Whole Foods has been approved, the demolition and development of existing commercial parcels also owned by WP haven’t yet gotten the official go-ahead.

From the Main Line Times:

…the developer has proposed two one-story, free-standing buildings, set back from the street with parking primarily in front in what planners called “a typical suburban design.”

A 7,200-square-foot retail building, to be occupied by one to four tenants, and a 3,652-square-foot bank building with two drive-thru lanes are proposed.

Looking at those plans Monday, planning commission Co-Chairman Charles Howland mused, “The ’70s have called, and they want their strip mall back.”

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Everything You Wanted to Know About the New Whole Foods and Rodin Square

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The big news today is that Rodin Square, the $140 million project on the 3 acre plot between 21st and 22nd; Hamilton and Pennsylvania and Spring Garden, has been approved by the Zoning Board, and — to paraphrase a famous example of The Sound of Philadelphia — ain’t no stopping it now. Construction will begin early next year.

Here’s what we’ll see when it’s finished (probably in 2016):

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New Organic Grocery Store — But Not Whole Foods — Will Take Borders’ Rosemont Square Space

moms

Last week, the Inquirer’s Michael Klein wrote, “MOM’s Organic Market, a greener-than-thou grocery chain whose locations ring D.C., has signed to open its first Philly-area location. Its Facebook locates it only in ‘Rosemont,’ but insiders pinpoint it further: It will take the former Borders in Rosemont Square.”

We called the ultimate insider, Steve Bajus, founder and president of S.W. Bajus, the real estate development and management company that owns Rosemont Square. He confirmed that Mom’s will be taking 16,000 square feet (just about the same size as the current location of Whole Foods in Wynnewood) in the former Borders store at Rosemont Square.

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Coming Not-As-Soon: New Spring Garden Whole Foods

PlanPhilly reports that Neil Rodin, the developer of Rodin Square–best known as the Whole Foods that’ll eat the Best Western–is still working to come to terms with the Logan Square Civic Association on certain issues, including the impact on traffic. Rodin had commissioned a traffic study, but now the LSNA wants to do one of its own.

It doesn’t sound like Rodin is too happy about that:

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