Thursday, August 23, 2012

Energy efficiency will create jobs ... lots of them

EEB Hub is bringing jobs back to Philadelphia

I thought this article was interesting.

I wrote a post last year about the EEB Hub (which was first referred to as the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster, or GPIC) and its potential impact on the local economy. It looks like the government's investment in Philadelphia is already starting to pay off (with some basic numbers).

Energy efficiency in Philadelphia would mean:

  • $618M in Local Spending
  • 23,500 New, Local Jobs
  • Commercial (and Residential) Growth at the Navy Yard
  • Companies Manufacturing in Philadelphia ... Again

Read on to learn more about what the significance of the EEB Hub really is for our city.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Science Center to build a new 11-story tower

Starting next month, the Science Center will begin construction on a new building at the corner of 38th and Market.

Here's your breakdown:

  • Mixed-Use Building in University City
  • 11 Stories
  • 272,700 Sq Ft of Usable Space
  • Anchor Tenants:
    • Penn Presbyterian
    • Good Shepherd Penn Partners
  • 88,000 Sq Ft slotted for Start-Ups, Tech Innovation, and Regional Economic Development
  • Ground Floor Retail

University City has literally blown up with public and private investment over the last decade or so. I actually found an old blog post from 2010 that talks about UC's recent accomplishments.

If you want to learn more, here are some other interesting posts on University City:

An Oasis at Penn

Drexel Keeps Expanding

Degrees = Jobs

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Another Delaware River Waterfront development is proposed

Now that the Marina View development seems to be moving forward, more proposed projects are popping up left and right.

Such is the case with Ensemble Real Estate looking to build on Piers 34 & 35.

The as-of-yet to be named building will consist of the following:

  • 204 Residential Units
  • 12 Floors
  • Potential Lower Level Retail
  • Terrace with a Green Roof and Tree Planters

I think it all sounds great, but there's just one problem. ERE is looking for an exception to override the current 100 foot height limit set for this part of the Delaware River Waterfront. The same thing happened recently with Marina View, and they received their requested exception (although they probably shouldn't have).

But how many exceptions is the DRWC supposed to make? One for every new developer just because they are building in Philadelphia during a slow real estate market? Why is there even a Master Plan in place if every new builder gets a free pass?

Personally, I am pro-development (depending on the purpose of the project); especially in this current housing market. But I also believe that rules/guidelines are in place for a reason, to be followed. If the DWRC gives ERE a pass here, you can be rest assured that the Master Plan (which took years to put together) is slowly going to get put on the back burner as the next few projects come up for approval.

What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, August 10, 2012

The skinny on SEPTA in 2012

If you have not heard already, SEPTA was recently named the "Best Transit System in North America."


I mean, I'm not totally shocked ... but really?

Stop and think about how big and convenient SEPTA is as a whole. Some people only take the train, so that's all they know. Some take the bus, some take the subway, and so on and so forth.

To put it in perspective, this is how extensive SEPTA is:
  • 144 Total Routes
  • 117 Bus Routes
  • 13 Regional Rail Lines
  • 9 Light Rail Lines
  • 2 Subways
  • Much, much more.
That's a pretty extensive system when compared to other US cities; big or small. Sometimes it's good to know that what we have is considered to be the best.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Market West is changing for the better

Market West, which is basically the short business stretch between City Hall and the Schuylkill River, is really starting to change ... for the better.

This area has always been utilized as a 9-5, business by day / home by night type of scene. Now, savvy investors are starting to follow a trend that is prominent throughout Center City Philadelphia: "Live, Work, & Play."

Part of the reason why Center City has done so well over the last 20 years is because it is a functional, urban core. It has plenty of places to work, live, eat, and shop; more than most people even know what to do with. To top it off, Center City is very walkable, bikeable, and cabable ("cabable" is not actually a word, but it sounded appropriate).

Most of Philadelphia's more prominent jobs are located in Center City, it's where all of the public transportation meets, and it's the lifeblood of our city's social and creative scenes. In other words, Center City works very well for someone looking to enjoy an urban lifestyle.

When the last boom busted, a lot of projects died with it. But just because the bubble burst, does not mean that real estate stops moving; enter the rental market. Lots of building cranes are starting to appear across the city skyline again, but they're not constructing condos; they're building apartments. And the best part is, they are filling up fast.

Read on to see why this well known business stretch is now relying on full-time residents to make it go.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Will Manayunk/Roxborough get its own food co-op?

It's starting to look like the Manayunk/Roxborough food co-op will happen over the next few years.

When the idea was presented back in April at a community meeting, the attendance was beyond anyone's expectations. There are a lot of people in this part of Philadelphia that want to get involved in starting/running their own food co-op (similar to Weavers Way in Mt Airy & Chestnut Hill).

So what is a food co-op exactly?

"Food Co-Op" is short for "Food Cooperative," and is based on the concept of a community run grocery store owned by its members. To keep costs down, not only operational costs but also the cost of food for its members, co-ops are built on work from volunteers. They select the products, put in hours of volunteer work each month, and try to keep everything fresh, natural, and local.

Why would a neighborhood want to start one?

Not only for the positive reasons I already cited above, but it also helps improve overall food quality and strengthens the surrounding community. Food has always been something that brings people together, so it's only natural that a community based food store would accomplish the same thing. It's already been tested (right here in Philadelphia), and it works.

I will be sharing more news with all of you as it comes to me.