Imagine tiered wooden platforms mixed with mingling flowers, reds, blues and yellows, among planters and vine canopies; bright, custom-made swings; and rotisserie cooked meals. All of these are among the first wave of permanent fixtures at The Porch, the excellent public space in front of 30th Street Station.
Created four years ago by reimagining how to better use some parking spaces and a slab of concrete, The Porch has become one of the city's most recognizable outdoor spaces. Last month, University City District revealed plans for the Porch 2.0. When we visited the other day, we discovered a much improved model.
Two summers ago, we first introduced talk about Greensgrow expanding from Kensington to a West Philly location at a long vacant lot at 51st & Baltimore. And it was exciting to see that this community urban farm that nineteen years ago started as a hydroponic lettuce farm on a reclaimed brownfield site was eyeing expansion into a new neighborhood.
It looks like there's development on the way for a long quiet parcel in Cedar Park. For years, a vacant building and a fair-sized surface parking lot have occupied a prime corner where Cedar Avenue intersects with Baltimore Avenue near 46th Street. Permits were issued this spring for the demolition of the building at 4610 Cedar Ave. which was most recently a Philadelphia Credit Union branch but has been vacant more often than not over the last decade.
In the past
We passed by recently and discovered the building is now gone.
Building is demolished
According to permits, the owners are planning a mixed-use building with eight apartments and a retail space on the first floor. The same family that owns Vietnam Cafe, Grill Fish Cafe, and the market on 47th Street have owned the property for years, and we'd have to imagine that a food-based use will be in the cards for the property. But we couldn't tell you what's coming, or even if it will definitely be a restaurant.
For years, an empty lot sat at 31st & Spring Garden, greeting or bidding farewell to those passing over the Spring Garden Bridge. For a number of those years a sign on the site broadcasted the possibility of a high-rise but that did not come to pass. Back in December, a three-story building, with plans for two floors of real estate office, and three apartments, started to rise. When we passed by recently, the exterior of the gray building was finished and the property fenced in, with signs advertising units for rent.
New building at 31st & Spring Garden
Meanwhile, just across the street at 3100 Spring Garden St., there are plans to turn the former Pedego electric bikes shop into a restaurant with four apartments above, according to a zoning app. The ZBA gave their approval earlier this month. West Side Properties LP acquired the property last March for $740K.