Little Lot Near Broad & Fitzwater Has Some Challenges

When we saw on the zoning calendar that 1343 Fitzwater St. was seeking a variance, we immediately suspected that the empty lot on the northwest corner of Watts & Fitzwater was getting redeveloped. But this wasn't an accurate suspicion. NW corner of Watts & Fitzwater 1343 Fitzwater St. is actually the northeast corner of this intersection, a vacant parcel that blends in a little more than the northwest corner, maybe because there's always cars parked on [...]
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Homes and Duplexes To Replace Another Industrial Building in South Kensington?

We can only imagine what South Kensington looked like when Gratz Fire Protection Services started their business at 241 W. Oxford St. in the last 1970s or the early 1980s. It must have been pretty rough. We suspect the neighborhood was mired in a state of decline back in those days, as industry was continuing its retreat from the city and residents were fleeing in droves. Surely this resulted in numerous vacant and blighted buildings of various sizes and shapes. [...]
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Warehouse is Gone on Memphis Street, Mixed-Use Building Coming Instead

A reader reached out to us the other day and gave us the heads up that a one-story warehouse at 438 Memphis St. was no more. Given the terrific location, mere steps from Palmer Park and Frankford Ave., it actually came as a bit of a surprise that this property hadn't been redeveloped previously. So we dug in to do a bit of research. In the past Current view The building that previously stood here [...]
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Farm For the City Dresses Up Thomas Paine Plaza

The Municipal Services Building (MSB) covers roughly 2/3 of the square block that's just to the northwest of City Hall, offering locals a one stop shop of bureaucratic hoops through which to jump. For example, you can pay your water bill at MSB, or grab a building permit, or apply to close your street for a block party, and depending on what you need to do, you might find yourself spending quite some time in the building's [...]
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Mixed-Use Building Under Construction Near Divine Lorraine

The southern section of the West Poplar neighborhood has undergone major changes over the last several years, with a mix of larger projects, like the Spring Arts Point development, and plenty of smaller, one-off infill. New construction has generally dried up in this neighborhood beyond Fairmount Avenue, mostly because the Richard Allen PHA homes run from 9th to 13th Streets, beginning at Fairmount. Further, the fact that the Divine Lorraine was sitting vacant and blighted for [...]
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No More Pallets at 5th & Cecil B?

There's something about a steamy July morning that makes us think about pallets. For your enjoyment, here are some pallet facts, thanks to Business Dictionary: Standard American pallets measure 4' by 4', but European pallets are typically rectangular in shape, measuring 1m x 1.2m. Who knew? Pallets can generally handle about a metric ton of weight, which explains why they're generally moved around on forklifts. Interesting! The terms skid and pallet are used interchangeably, though [...]
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Two Mega Lots Should Disappear in East Kensington

While East Kensington has become a booming neighborhood in terms of residential real estate development over the last handful of years, its history is distinctly industrial, like many other sections of Kensington. Most of the factories went belly up or moved away decades ago, and years of disinvestment in the neighborhood resulted in numerous old industrial buildings falling into disrepair and eventually getting demolished or burning down. Some of the former industrial sites have gotten redeveloped, with prominent examples including the [...]
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Wondering About Some Zoning Notices on Delaware Ave.

A couple of readers have reached out to us in the last few days, wondering about some zoning notices they, uh, noticed, on the 800 block of N. Delaware Ave., just south of Wells Meats. This discovery was incredibly exciting, as zoning notices near the river are often a sign of a significant new project on the horizon. As we thought about the address, we recalled a story we wrote last year about a development called [...]
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Society Hill Beverage Could Go Through Some Changes

It wasn't so long ago that owning a beer distributor was one of the most enviable professions in Philadelphia. Thanks to the restrictive liquor laws in Pennsylvania, distributors had a huge captive audience of customers that were looking to throw a kegger or buy beers without the massive upcharge that comes from buying six-packs. But liquor laws loosened in 2016, increasing competition for beer distributors and nibbling at the bottom line. We've seen some beer distributors close or look [...]
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Change Coming For 2nd Corner at 40th & Market

The corner of 40th & Walnut is officially the northwest edge of Penn's campus, but the reach of the university extends far beyond that intersection. Off-campus student housing has extended west of 40th Street for a long time, but it's only really been in the last decade or so that student housing has pushed north of Penn. The Hub buildings at 40th & Chestnut are rather obvious examples, but if you continue several blocks further [...]
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