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  #17941  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 8:11 PM
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EVOLUTION ALONG THE EL

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As residential development pushes northeast along the Market-Frankford Line, hospitality businesses gravitate to an emerging ‘micro-city’

One of Steve Cook’s first recollections of spending time in Fishtown was when he and Michael Solomonov were on a very specific restaurateur mission.

The co-owners of CookNSolo hospitality group were gearing up to launch their acclaimed restaurant Zahav in 2008, and they wanted to convert a hand-crank meat grinder into a machine that could form the shells for kibbeh, a meat-filled, bulgur dumpling-like Middle Eastern dish. After a lengthy search, the restaurateurs found help in an old-school machinist in Fishtown.

“It felt like another country,” Cook said of their venture through the neighborhood in the late aughts. “... Fast forward 13 or 14 years later, and the neighborhood has changed over completely. Mostly for good, but there’s not a lot of machinists left in Fishtown.”

Nowadays the high-profile team behind concepts like Abe Fisher and Dizengoff have an established presence in Fishtown and its adjacent neighborhoods. That started with their Olde Kensington spot Laser Wolf at 1301 N. Howard St., which opened just weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 and was recently named one of the world’s best new restaurants by Condé Nast Traveler. CookNSolo has since added a Fishtown outpost of its vegan restaurant Goldie at 1601 N. Front St., which is also home to the group’s forthcoming events venue Lilah that is set to begin operations this spring.

Similar to CookNSolo, hospitality and entertainment groups — both local and otherwise — have flocked to Philadelphia’s burgeoning lower northeastern neighborhoods like Northern Liberties, Olde Kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond over the last couple years. The boom of food and entertainment businesses has breathed new energy into the area, building on the trickle of concepts that opened nearby in years prior.

The Piazza is a mixed-use community in Northern Liberties that has a mix of apartments and retail space around a central amenity area. Initially developed by Bart Blatstein, it is now owned by Post Brothers, which revamped it and is adding the final phase, which involves the $500 million development of 1,100 additional apartments.

Other forces at work include destination venues such as Rivers Casino and recently opened Brooklyn Bowl that added to the momentum and signaled others, even out-of-town brands, to enter the market. A shopping center on Aramingo Avenue that was rebranded to Fishtown Crossing from Port Richmond Village epitomizes the changes underway in the area. It now boasts a Honeygrow, Nifty Fifty’s and a Starbucks.

“It’s absolutely an evolution and an exciting one at that,” Cooper said. “Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Olde Kensington … we are optimistic with their growth and maturity as neighborhoods and as a retail submarket.”

Development heads north

More development is on the way. One estimate has 3,000 to 4,000 additional residential units coming online in the Northern Liberties area in the next 18 months, largely filled by families or young professionals ages 25 to 35.

Several projects clustering around Spring Garden Street are underway and come in the wake of Alliance HP’s mixed-use development, Sono, which has Yards Brewing Co., a Target and a 50-unit apartment building.

They include:

-Southern Land is proposing a $200 million, 329-unit apartment building with 14,520 square feet of retail space and 89 parking spaces at 418 Spring Garden St.

-A venture between National Real Estate Development and KRE Group has plans for an ambitious $500 million, 1-million-square-foot development along North 2nd Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

-PRDC Properties is moving ahead on 650 Fairmount, a $100 million mixed-use project on a nearly 5-acre parcel that will create a new community in a part of the city that straddles both the Northern Liberties and West Poplar neighborhoods. The project will have 297 apartments; 107 townhouses, duplexes and triplexes; 221 parking spaces; and 21,000 square feet of retail space.

-Rodin Development is developing a 13-story building with 382 apartments and underground parking with 206 spaces at 5th and Spring Garden streets. An Amazon grocery store is the anchor tenant for the retail space.

D3 Real Estate Development, one of the early pioneers to build in Kensington, is moving ahead with 2001 Richmond St., which will have 218 units along with 5,000 square feet of retail. It comes on the heels of its $300 million Northbank, a residential community at 2001 Beach St. that straddles Fishtown and South Kensington and has “exceeded our expectations,” said Greg Hill, founder of D3.

Mo Rushdy’s Riverwards Group, which completed several residential projects in Kensington, is moving forward with a $100 million project with 535 units at Tulip and Somerset streets in Port Richmond.

From Johnny Brenda’s to Hook& Master and boutique hotels

All the development — both completed and underway — has nudged restaurateurs and other hospitality ventures to seize on the population growth in Philadelphia’s lower northeastern neighborhoods.

Since 2020, about 30 restaurants or other retail businesses have opened or finalized leases in the business improvement district, said Marc Collazzo, executive director at Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District.

The blocks surrounding the go-to Fishtown concert venue Fillmore Philadelphia were completely overhauled during the pandemic, for example, with new businesses like Brooklyn, New York-based Other Half Brewing; Louliga Cigar Lounge; Brooklyn Bowl; and The Fin by Crab Du Jour taking over the Allen Street corridor. New York-based Five Iron Golf is similarly building out a new Fishtown location at 27 E. Allen St., while New Jersey-based Source Farmhouse Brewery opened in the former Fishtown Brewpub space at 1101 Frankford Ave. nearby and fourth-generation, family-owned concept Vince’s Pizzeria opened at 965 Frankford Ave.

Other noteworthy spots that recently launched in the Fishtown-Olde Kensington area include James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Garces’ pizza and seafood restaurant Hook & Master at 1361 N. 2nd St. and Starr’s Mexican baja concept LMNO at 1749 N. Front St.

In Olde Kensington, Four Humours Distilling debuted in early 2020, and Dallas-based leisure and entertainment business operator Drive Shack Inc. is planning another indoor golf concept called Puttery Philadelphia in a 20,000-square-foot expanse at 1400 N. Howard St.

Glu Hospitality, the restaurant group behind concepts like Leda and the Swan and Vesper Center City, is another Philadelphia company that has established its hub in the Northern Liberties and Fishtown stretch throughout the pandemic.

“There’s no office density there yet, but it’s a pretty self-sustaining little micro-city,” Cook said.

The next phase in the evolution of the Fishtown and Olde Kensington area is to become a “traveling destination” for out-of-towners, Collazzo added. While declining to disclose details about their status, he said that boutique hotels are headed to the area in 2022 and beyond, marking the next development wave in the neighborhoods.

Those hotels mean that visitors to Philadelphia can start to look at the Fishtown area as their hub during vacations rather than Center City.

“In a few years, we’re going to be spoken of in that way,” Collazzo said. “You’re going to look in the in-flight magazine while you’re traveling and you’re going to see ‘Come stay at the Fishtown district.’”
Article behind paywall here:
https://www.bizjournals.com/philadel...ford-line.html
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  #17942  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 8:13 PM
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108-Unit Building Planned in East Kensington Near York-Dauphin Station

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Developers are planning a 6-story, 93,832 square foot building with 108 residential units, 13 artist studios, 19 underground automobile parking spots, 37 bicycle stalls, a green roof, and a roof deck at 2000 East Hagert Street. The 20,239 square foot industrial residential mixed-use (IRMX) zoned property was most recently used as an auto body repair shop.
Read/view more here:
http://www.rising.realestate/108-uni...uphin-station/
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  #17943  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 8:16 PM
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Freshness Coming to Front Street, Near Norris Square Park

Current site at 2213-33 N. Front Street:


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2213-33 N. Front St. is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of projects along this corridor. Developers have purchased a series of properties on this block and have demolished a number of old buildings, with an eye toward consolidation. Cadre Design is leading the charge as the first portion of this two-phase project gets underway, with plans calling for a seven story building with ground floor commercial to rise on an awkwardly shaped lot. 60 units are slated for the initial phase and the development team is utilizing both the fresh food market and moderate income zoning bonuses, pushing the allowable height from 55’ to 77’ while also increasing the density. These bonuses will allow the project to proceed entirely by right, but the size of the development will warrant a Civic Design Review presentation. By the way, the second phase won’t need CDR, as it will add 17 more units across two five-story wings that will flank the proposed structure.
Read/view more here:
https://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-phil...is-square-park
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  #17944  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
Im not trying to overhype the situation, but I think you are really under selling whats going on.
Cardeza, I know you have received a lot of grief with some of your positions on this forum but in regards to crime, I think you are really hitting the mark. My family and I have been in Rittenhouse since 2005 and these days, we are more alert than we have ever been.....making sure doors are always locked, making sure that we are wary going into the house and who might be around, getting in and out of the car or dropping off groceries, etc. This current wave of crime seems to be hitting every neighborhood in ways it hadn't in years prior.
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  #17945  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 8:43 PM
skyhigh07 skyhigh07 is offline
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
This is interesting. Very modest amounts of housing being built in PA outside of Philadelphia. So in spite of the various barriers people talk about much more is happening within the City limits than outside of them which is sort of counterintuitive.

https://thephiladelphiacitizen.org/h...onanza-philly/
This is what I’ve been saying. Even with crime and Covid baked into the market, demand and development keep chugging along in the city. If anyone has any other explanations for it, I’m interested to hear.
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  #17946  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 9:01 PM
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My viewpoint-

1)The rush for the construction permits to get the abatement may or may not materialize into projects actually being shovel ready.

2)Developers are taking investment risk and current financing is still attractive enough to start projects that will take a couple years to complete. So by then, future conditions could improve or worsen.

Either case, where the vacancy rate lands on these new projects will be the litmus test.

As an aside, the philly suburbs are growing too in terms of large apartment projects and single family homes. This site give an idea of how many homes are available, can search by counties (e.g, Delaware County, PA)-https://www.newhomesource.com/

Last edited by iheartphilly; Jan 20, 2022 at 9:29 PM.
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  #17947  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 9:35 PM
PHLtoNYC PHLtoNYC is offline
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Originally Posted by skyhigh07 View Post
If you’re able to share the link to these comments, feel free to do so. Feeling pugnacious today lol
https://www.city-data.com/forum/city...2022-a-10.html

Some comments were taken down due to violations. I like City Data but it's become overrun with trolls, you should see the "world class city" thread. That got ugly fast, lol.

But for whatever reasons Philadelphia and Chicago are constant punching bags, especially from sunbelt city posters. Must be an inferiority complex, and they think Philadelphia and Chicago are the easiest targets. And ironic, most of these posters have either never been to Philadelphia, or visited once for a day trip 20 years ago.
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  #17948  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
Im not trying to overhype the situation, but I think you are really under selling whats going on.
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Originally Posted by cardeza View Post
Here is the reality- not only is actual crime up (not all, but violent gun related crime), the redevelopment of the city has higher income (usually white) people living in areas that they would not have lived in 10-15 years ago. So some of this is a matter of new people being exposed to old problems based on geography and the rest of it comes down to an increased volume of crime. I do think the "I don't see any crime in my nice area" mentality is one reason why there isn't a unified sense of outrage amongst citizens. There are many who continue to believe that just because they have yet to be directly affected that they are somewhat insulated from what happens to bad people in bad areas. Problem many "good" areas are very very close to what some consider the bad areas- that is more true now than ever before.

I definitely dont think the notion that this isnt that big of a deal simply because a lot of development continues unabated is the right position to take.
I hate to continue this conversation, but I wasn't trying to undersell the situation at hand. I likely didn't articulate my point in the most succinct manner, because what we're experiencing is grave; rather, I was trying to answer the original bolded prompt, which questioned whether some people have considered crime when determining whether or not to live in a city besieged by a surge in crime. What is happening across the city is both sad and horrifying, and I do feel a strong sense of outrage whenever I decide to read articles; however, I try not to let it affect how I live my day-to-day life. I'd be afraid to walk out of the door if I let a situation beyond my control affect me. Some people place neighborhood amenities and convenience over the arbitrary feeling of "safety" that others would feel outside of the city. It's fine if others don't feel that way, but I was trying to convey a mindset that is likely shared amongst those who acknowledge the surge in crime but keep pushing along.

Also, as I had previously stated, I'm a tad bit different than other young professionals: I've been experiencing the effects of violent crime since I was a kid growing up in Haddington, I have the street-smarts that transplants simply don't have, and I'm black (not that it matters, but I like to break the perception held by some that the "young professionals" moving into the city are solely white). My life experiences are much different than others who have recently moved to the city. As long as my block is safe, I feel safe. Some are more affected by what's going on in the city at large, and there's nothing wrong with that, but my life experiences have dulled the sting of crime stories.

At this point, I feel like the situation is not only out of my hands, but NOBODY in power is even attempting to make a concrete effort to resolve this horrifying nationwide trend. What we are witnessing stems from decades of intentional disinvestment through government policy at the federal level. This country allowed discriminatory housing practices to run rampant whilst destroying vibrant communities in building the Interstate Highway System, among several other wrongdoings, and now we're the recipients of the consequences. The solutions are simple, yet nobody wants to shell out money to correct historical wrongdoings.
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Last edited by PhilliesPhan; Jan 20, 2022 at 10:16 PM.
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  #17949  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 10:15 PM
skyhigh07 skyhigh07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
My viewpoint-

1)The rush for the construction permits to get the abatement may or may not materialize into projects actually being shovel ready.

2)Developers are taking investment risk and current financing is still attractive enough to start projects that will take a couple years to complete. So by then, future conditions could improve or worsen.

Either case, where the vacancy rate lands on these new projects will be the litmus test.

As an aside, the philly suburbs are growing too in terms of large apartment projects and single family homes. This site give an idea of how many homes are available, can search by counties (e.g, Delaware County, PA)-https://www.newhomesource.com/
I think your views are probably accurate. Sounds like the most realistic explanation.

Interestingly enough, Alterra’s One City opened just over a year ago and they seem to be dong well. They really shouldn’t be frankly. I moved in right when they opened and the outside noise situation was beyond horrible - the windows are about 100 years old (they might as well not have them since they don’t do anything). A lot of people complained and subsequently moved out. Alterra didn’t really seem to care all that much. They must have calculated that the rental market is strong enough that they can funnel through enough tenants who’d somehow be able to tolerate the noise.

If the market was really that bad I’d suspect we’d be hearing from existing landlords dealing with expiring residential leases and emptying apartment buildings right now but instead rents still seem to be increasing, so who knows...

Last edited by skyhigh07; Jan 20, 2022 at 10:58 PM.
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  #17950  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 10:29 PM
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^
I don't know that it is really that "bad" either. But I think we crested over any major exodus of residents from the city. The worst point was the shutdown early in the pandemic. People were frustrated with all the amenities of city living like restaurants, bars, cultural institutions being closed and they had enough of that and moved to the burbs or elsewhere. But, I think that we are in a better place now then before and people are moving from other places and back from the burbs into the city and that trend should continue. As an aside, I have family in manhattan and they tell me that rent has gone back up to pre-pandemic levels and in most places, rent has exceeded pre-pandamic level this year. So in this instance, demand, in part, could be driving up rent. Not sure where Philly is at with rent on apartments as compared to last year or the year before.
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  #17951  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartphilly View Post
My viewpoint-

1)The rush for the construction permits to get the abatement may or may not materialize into projects actually being shovel ready.

2)Developers are taking investment risk and current financing is still attractive enough to start projects that will take a couple years to complete. So by then, future conditions could improve or worsen.

Either case, where the vacancy rate lands on these new projects will be the litmus test.

As an aside, the philly suburbs are growing too in terms of large apartment projects and single family homes. This site give an idea of how many homes are available, can search by counties (e.g, Delaware County, PA)-https://www.newhomesource.com/

I agree that those are factors but I think it has more to do with how scarce available inventory is in the city right now (down to a month's supply citywide in December according to this). We're in a pretty extreme sellers market and like you said, financing for projects on all scales seems to be pretty easy to find. Even the rental market seems to be really tight (occupancy rates in the metro area were at 97.69% in October). I'd love to see the internal data that the medium/large developers are working with. I have a feeling that data paints an even starker picture of the current market.

Speculating a little, I think the story being sold internally right now is that we're seeing a market correction to the ridiculous level of activity we've seen over the past few years. Most homeowners who were itching to move during the pandemic probably did so already, so we're seeing new listings of existing housing stock drop off significantly. With supply drying up, and demand still high due to how many people were priced out of the market during the past decades of housing crisis now being able to afford mortgages, developers are probably looking at almost any type of new construction as low risk-high reward. Even if demand drops off a cliff due to crime or rising interest rates, the lack of supply in the market should protect investments.
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  #17952  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2022, 11:13 PM
skyhigh07 skyhigh07 is offline
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^Sounds about right. And no offense to anyone on here who lives in Kensington but I think if anything that area would be the first to experience a pullback in the market. Investment risk is higher there given its still in the process of gentrifying and it’s proximity to the open air drug market, crime etc but it’s still moving forward it seems in spite of everything. Like you said CC got hit hard because of the shutdown of venues and business that drew people into the city. However, the residential population seems to have stabilized and is perhaps even growing. I read and heard a lot of people were moving into CC from NYC during first year of the pandemic.

And developers still seem bullish...

https://www.bizjournals.com/philadel...ford-line.html
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  #17953  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve_phl View Post
Walked by Free People today and a sign in the window confirms they are closing 1/15 and moving: “We’ll be opening our new space on Walnut Street summer 2022”.
Free People isn't moving far. Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that Free People will be the tenant at the recently sold 1617 Walnut St and that the move from 1625 Walnut will allow the store to double their square footage. 1617 Walnut was added to the Philadelphia Register in 2020.

Nomination: https://www.phila.gov/media/20200911...mination-1.pdf

PBJ article (behind paywall): https://www.bizjournals.com/philadel...-building.html
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  #17954  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 4:03 PM
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Good discussion about the crime and let's move it to this thread:

https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=249251

Have you heard of the "Roxborough Park" neighborhood? A new one for me. I saw it mentioned in this listing:

https://www.phillymag.com/property/2...ouse-for-sale/

And a fun game to test your knowledge about Philly hoods:

https://click-that-hood.com/philadelphia

144 neighborhoods?
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  #17955  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 4:04 PM
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We've passed the hump of anyone "moving" out of the city because of the pandemic, and people are now moving back into the city, even with the violent crime surge.

Philadelphia's apartment occupancy rate was 96% at the end of 2021. That's truly remarkable. Typical occupancy rates in the media darling "sunbelt" cities are 93-94%

Philadelphia's housing inventory is at ONE MONTH... which means if no more new construction was built, all of the homes on the market would be gone in a month's time.

I wouldn't worry about the occupancy rates of apartments or if new construction homes will sell.

Philadelphia grew by 77,791 people between 2010 and 2020. There were roughly 13,000 residential units permitted in Philadelphia last year. Keep in mind, that not all of these will make it to construction, as that's typical in the development industry. Also, not all of these will be ready for occupancy in 2022.

So, let's say for arguments sake that 13,000 units are ready by 2024. Well, Philadelphia is growing by roughly 7,779 people PER YEAR, which means we will have gained 31,116 people in that four year span, so assuming there's two people per unit on average, we would still be 2,558 units short of population growth during that four year span.

EVEN IF Philadelphia's growth this decade slowed to HALF of what it was last decade (which there's no sign of.... and aside from the increase in homicides and crimes in parts of the city that could deter people from moving in, every other factor going on in the city right now is showing us that the population growth will only ACCELERATE over this next decade)...half would be 38,895 people added to the city this decade. That's 3,889 people per year. That's a total of 15,556 people over that 4 year span. Assuming two people per unit on average again.... we would have an oversupply of 5,222 units by 2024 that would take just under 3 years to fully absorb - so, fully absorbed by 2027 and would need more units again after that.

All in all.... I wouldn't worry. Philadelphia will easily absorb this supply. Developers wouldn't be building them and/or going through the permitting and approval process if they didn't beieve they would be. Even the most conservative developers are looking at it like Philadelphia's growth may only slow a little bit. The most bullish developers are looking at it like Philadelphia's growth is going to accelerate.... I'm pretty bullish on Philadelphia. I think it's growth is going to accelerate this decade.
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  #17956  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 5:23 PM
PHLtoNYC PHLtoNYC is offline
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That is a wonderful article about the residential and culinary boom of Fishtown and Northern Liberties. They are becoming micro-cities within Philadelphia.

I would love to see a boutique hotel concept come to life (as mentioned in the article).
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  #17957  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 5:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHLtoNYC View Post
That is a wonderful article about the residential and culinary boom of Fishtown and Northern Liberties. They are becoming micro-cities within Philadelphia.
I can’t believe they published that whole piece without mentioning my favorite new neighbor - Middle Child Clubhouse - which just opened on Front St not too long ago.
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  #17958  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 8:30 PM
ScreamShatter ScreamShatter is online now
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I may be biased, but the real microcity that is forming is East Kensington. The density in those projects is creating a pocket of the city that will be able to support a hefty amount of street level commercial, especially on that end of Front St.
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  #17959  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2022, 10:40 PM
PHLtoNYC PHLtoNYC is offline
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Another nice project coming to Pine Street. Great to see a replacement building that looks better than demolished building (IMO).

New Mixed-Use Building Coming Soon at 11th & Pine

https://www.ocfrealty.com/naked-phil...n-at-11th-pine
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  #17960  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2022, 5:47 AM
PurpleWhiteOut PurpleWhiteOut is offline
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
Glad those towers are coming down, but yes, affordable housing needs to be incorporated into the project with market rate housing. I think it's been proven that stuffing a bunch of low income units on top of each other doesn't work. I like the plan from Post Brothers. Looking like a nice site plan:

https://www.inquirer.com/real-estate...-20220121.html

So it looks like they're going with L+M Development Partners and MSquared instead of Post Bros. The details aren't exactly clear of what their plan is yet, unless someone else here knows. Relocating the current tenants will be done over the next 90 days, so work could begin pretty soon.

"The development team’s initial proposal calls for up to 1,000 units of income-limited and market-rate homes in low-rise buildings, multifamily homes in renovated towers, and new senior housing, according to a project spokesperson. About 70% of the homes would be reserved for households who meet income limits.

The developers’ plan also calls for reconnecting the campus to the surrounding community with new streets and sidewalks, improved public spaces, and possibly a bridge over SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line. The campus is blocks from an El station."

The mention of towerS in particular intrigues me and makes me wonder if they will rehab all 3 towers when most of these redevelopments have led to implosions (or rehabbing one for senior housing)

There is also a mention of new commercial mixed use elements.
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