Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is City Ave Philly's next boom spot?

It may very well be ... but it will take a few years.

You may remember one of my posts from last year titled "The Vision for City Ave." As you can see, that post highlighted some of the yet-to-be-seen potential for this heavily traveled area. The good news is that Lower Merion has come through on some zoning changes which will now allow this area to flourish with new and practical development for the foreseeable future.

These changes went into effect on April 30th.

This article states that City Ave should be compared to the DC area's Tyson's Corner, VA; which is a good thing. The Philadelphia area, in general, needs to start better leveraging its existing assets (extensive public transportation, population density, Center City core, etc.) to further its reputation as a global city that is forward thinking.

What you will most likely see in the years to come will be larger projects with mixed-use aspects that are driven by TOD (Transit-Oriented Development).

And since this area is only about 10 minutes from my front door, I'm looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for City Ave.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is Philadelphia "America's Next Big Tech City?"

Philly Tech Week - 2012

In my opinion, yes. Fast Company believes so as well.

Philadelphia is ripe for the tech industry, as mentioned in this article. We have a growing population of young professionals and entrepreneurs, we have some of the best colleges/universities in the world, and living here is a lot more affordable than New York, DC, and Boston. In other words, we're a perfect city for start-ups.

DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg states, “I think we're riding the global trend here, but also we've had great community leaders as well. Our community is very tight-knit, which means it is very easy to connect with the top people in the scene.” 

Philly has always been a city that feels a lot smaller than it really is. Maybe it's our dense neighborhoods, or the fact that most natives choose to stay here rather than move. It's hard to pinpoint the exact reasons, but as any local knows it's very easy to get to know people in Philadelphia; and the booming tech scene has made that even easier.

I personally believe that people who move to Philadelphia from other places are our biggest assets. It's easier for them to see all that our city has to offer than it is for those who have lived here their entire lives. I'm not saying that locals take our great city for granted (I sure don't), but we tend to get complacent and set in our ways; just like any other big city native would. Although local tech expert Sean Blanda (co-founder and writer at the news blog Technically Philly) is from the general area, it's still someone from the outside looking in.

Blanda states, "Philly is the greatest city in the country. This city is real life. It has real problems and real people, which give us all a tremendous opportunity to make a dent.”

Friday, May 25, 2012

Here comes the renaissance...

To put it lightly, North Broad Street is blowing up. Not literally, but with development activity.
  • Temple 20/20
  • Uptown Theater
  • Divine Lorraine
  • Route 6
  • Alla Spina
  • Vie
... And there's more on the way. Enjoy the holiday weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reading Viaduct aspires to be a "Neighborhood Park"

For all of you regular readers, you have already seen some past posts from me regarding the Reading Viaduct Project; which is just north of Center City Philadelphia.

This article has great information from the source of the project's momentum, Paul Levy - President & CEO of the Center City District (CCD). Paul teamed up with Hidden City Philadelphia (who is actually one of our office neighbors in Rittenhouse Square) to write a piece about the potential for such a high-line'esque park in our great city.

For those who don't already know, it would actually cost the city less to rehab this structure than to demolish it; which leaves the door open for all options to be considered. The possibilities and potential are endless; now, all of those involved have to just fill in the blanks.

... but the blanks are large.

Where will the funding come from?

Who will maintain the park?

Will Reading International be willing to negotiate terms with the city on the largest portion of the viaduct?

These and many more questions will be answered in the near future. But the real question is, what would you like this park to be? Please feel free to comment below.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Be back soon...

I'll be out of town at a wedding for a few days, but more posts will be coming next week.

Take care, loyal readers!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

US Spaces' Broker, Fred Glick, on CNBC

Fred is already a local expert and celebrity when it comes to real estate, mortgages, and the politics behind them, so check him out here for another one of his national spotlight interviews on CNBC.

Kicking @ss and taking names. This guy knows his stuff!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Drexel continues its expansion

Right in the heart of their campus.

This project has been in the works for some time now, and has actually already broken ground). It will fill a big void on an active block (right across the street from the Drexel Book Store and Mandell Theater).

Once labeled as one of "America's Ugliest Campuses," the school has literally transformed an outdated, park-less, concrete area into a modern, green, world-class student town. Not only have these large investments brought in more students, but they have also encouraged lots of off-campus development by private investors to keep those students in the neighborhood.

Jim Fry has truly picked up right where the late Constantine Papadakis left off.

Friday, May 4, 2012

More evidence that the housing market is slowly coming back...

New townhomes anyone?

This is a prime Center City location that has sat vacant and weed infested for way too long. Remember the Philadelphia World Trade Center? Yup, same spot.

Let's see if David Perlman, and the local OC community groups, can make it happen. Personally, I think this is a great project for this spot, especially since only the parking garage will back up to the I-95 ramp.

These homes should also fulfill the demand for active Old City buyers by the time they are ready.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

South Street West

If any of you readers out there are around the same age as me, you know that the western portion of South Street (that is, West of Broad St) was kind of a wasteland growing up. All of the excitement on South Street was always on the East side of Broad St.

Man, how things change.

In my own personal opinion, I'm starting to believe that the West side will eclipse the East side very soon (if it hasn't done so already). Don't get me wrong, I like South Street East; and most people local to this area really only know the East side. But with the revitalization of Graduate Hospital, and the reopening of the newly constructed South Street bridge, the West side is going crazy right now.

New restaurants, new shops, and new offices are all opening up next to two humongous Toll Brothers communities. 1) The nearly completed Naval Square, and 2) The soon to be constructed 2400 South.

Read on to learn more about the development along this stretch.