Thursday, April 26, 2012

Updated plans for East Falls' Rivage site

Onion Flats has released an updated version of its proposed 123 unit, mixed-use apartment complex along Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River in East Falls; now known as Ridge Flats.

The Rivage site is bounded by both Ridge Ave and Kelly Drive, and it has sat vacant for years with many different projects coming and going. Most of the time funding was the major issue, but it looks like Onion Flats has almost everything together to move ahead with their forward thinking project.

Ridge Flats will capitalize on the ever growing Philadelphia rental market by providing future tenants with a sleek/modern design, net-zero energy accommodations, and commercial spaces at street level.

For someone who lives close to this site, I'm of the opinion that this is a great project for Ridge Ave in EF; and it's long overdue for this prime location.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another one of Philadelphia's ex-factories will become a modern, sustainable apartment building

Formerly known as the Goldtex building, you've probably seen this place before while riding in your car through Center City. If you were riding East on 676 and looked to your left (north) about halfway between 76 and 95, this building towered as a blown out, graffiti ridden billboard (much like the Divine Lorraine still does today; but hopefully, not for much longer).

The good news is that this eyesore is no more.

Construction has already begun to convert this vacant building into something great; 163 sustainable, luxury apartments in Philadelphia's ever-growing North Center City market.

Read on to learn more about the current multifamily market in Philadelphia.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally, a vacant land process for Philadelphia ... or maybe not.

40,000 parcels.

That's how many pieces of vacant/absent real estate Philadelphia currently has. 25% of them are owned by the city, with the remaining 75% owned privately. That's a mind-blowing number, but once you stop and think about all of the vacant residential, commercial, and industrial pieces combined, I can believe it. Philly's a big city.

The Nutter Administration's current land bank proposal is only supposed to deal with the land the City of Philadelphia currently owns (which is 25%), but it's still a huge step in the right direction. That's 10,000 parcels that could be sold and either redeveloped or repurposed sooner rather than later.

Since it is costing upwards of $20M per year for the city to maintain these parcels, it only makes sense to start unloading them, making money on the sale, and saving money on maintenance.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Philadelphia named one of "The World's 10 Best Cities for Parks"

Not the US, the World. That's a pretty bold statement from Frommer's, and a great one nonetheless.

If you're from the Philadelphia area, it's easy to take our park system for granted. Pennsylvania is a heavily wooded area with lots of rivers and streams, and we basically have green, scenic parks everywhere. I find it pretty amazing that hundreds of years ago William Penn had the foresight to protect areas of Philadelphia from development (and they're still protected to this day).

If you're not from the Philadelphia area (or the East Coast), Philadelphia looks like an urban jungle. Lots of mature trees, pocket parks, and the massive Fairmount Park system cutting through the city. At 9,200 total acres, it comprises 10% of the city's land mass and houses golf courses, biking/hiking trails, and over 200 historic structures. If you go to sections of the park like the Wissahickon Valley, it almost feels like you're not in a city at all. It provides great relief from the daily hustle and bustle in Philadelphia.

I'm not surprised that Philadelphia has received such a prestigious honor, and I'm glad that more people are starting to notice our natural assets.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Philadelphia's police department may be moving west

Not the West Coast, I'm talking about West Philly.

In my own personal opinion, this totally makes sense. You get to save a historic building, sell extremely valuable Center City real estate (where "The Roundhouse" currently sits), and you combine 3 city organizations into one central location: 1) PPD, 2) Philadelphia Health Department, and 3) The city morgue. Not to mention the fact that The Roundhouse was built in the '50s, so my guess would be that it's due for some updating.

No one knows for sure what will become of the extremely valuable land that the PPD's headquarters currently sits on, but I do know that developers will be salivating over attempts to reuse it. It's a well thought out business plan to discuss this move, so my hope is that everyone (who needs to) gets on board.

Let's see if this move pans out first before we jump the gun. As you can see from Inga's linked blog post above, this idea has been tossed around for years. It's now up to Mayor Nutter and Commissioner Ramsey to make this thing happen.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Improvement plan for Eastern North Philadelphia

This isn't your everyday neighborhood improvement project where the streets get cleaned and block captains are assigned.

This plan is different.

Here's what the Asociacion de Puertorriquenos en Marcha wants to accomplish:
  • Drastically reduce crime
  • Boost residents' income and wealth
  • Improve neighborhood businesses
  • Increase the number of local, community leaders
  • Foster environmental health
  • Support art and cultural events
That's a pretty heavy laundry list, but there 200 residents and 50 organizations backing their plan up. If you would like more details, they can be found here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

First design renderings of Philadelphia's Reading Viaduct Project

The CCD said they would commission for a design study of the Reading Viaduct Project in what is to be called "Phase 1." They delivered.

Now, all they have to do is find the funding to make this project a reality.

I have written about this project before, and you can see both of those posts below: