New Building on Point Breeze Avenue is an Improvement and Also a Disappointment

Point Breeze has seen more residential development over the last half dozen years than perhaps any other neighborhood in Philadelphia. Even today, you'd be hard pressed to find a block north of Dickinson Street that hasn't seen some (or a ton of) construction activity over the last year. One might think that all of this construction would translate into dramatically increased commercial activity in the neighborhood- after all, more people generally want more goods and services, and [...]
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Wizards of the 2400 Block of Waverly Street

The Fitler Square neighborhood often gets lumped in with the Rittenhouse neighborhood, perhaps due to the fact that Center City Residents Association has represented the interests of the entire area for decades. Further cementing the connection, Rittenhouse and Fitler Square have been part of the same local historic district since the mid-1990s. Still, Fitler Square has its own distinct character and personality, with a mix of handsome brownstones, smaller but adorable homes on narrow streets, [...]
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Several Project Updates Just Off Delaware Avenue

We were making our way to Northern Liberties the other day, and as we were passing Dave & Buster's on Delaware Ave., we spotted a couple of projects under construction just to the west. One of them, at 10 Callowhill St., we've covered previously, a little over two years ago. When you consider that we alerted you to this project more than 24 months ago, perhaps you'd think that construction would be a little further along. Looking up [...]
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What’s With the Little Building Next to Union Transfer?

The boundaries of the West Poplar neighborhood are from 9th Street to Broad Street, Spring Garden to Girard, but the northern and southern sides are quite different. Above Fairmount Avenue, PHA owns the vast majority of the land and the Richard Allen Homes cover most of the area. South of Fairmount, we've seen considerable market-rate development activity over the last several years, with a mix of one-off homes and block-sized projects filling in numerous vacant lots. Some [...]
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Apartment Building Under Construction Across From Kendrick Rec Center

We found ourselves in Roxborough over the weekend, and some new construction on Roxborough Avenue, across the street from the Kendrick Rec Center, caught our eye. The project in question, at 492 Roxborough Ave., definitely demands attention, as it doesn't exactly blend in with the surrounding buildings. Looking up Roxborough Ave. Building under construction Then again, the buildings that stood here previously didn't really match their surroundings either. Sure, they were twins, but they only rose two [...]
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Plans Coming Into Better Focus at 16th & Carpenter, Not So Much at 16th & Washington

Just last week, we told you that developers had the Hoa Bin shopping center at 1600 Carpenter St. under agreement, surely meaning the end of the line for the vast majority of the businesses located therein. We saw the zoning application and indicated that the developers were planning to subdivide the property into two pieces, with a plan to develop a residential project on the northern side and to leave the southern side idle in [...]
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Theater Gone, Apartment Building Underway at 6th & Poplar

If you visit the intersection of 6th & Poplar, a few things should immediately attract your attention. The first is the dramatic contrast between the northern and southern side of the block. On the south side are a collection of homes that are part of the Liberty Place Town Homes development, built as affordable units in the 1960s with the architectural stylings of the Northeast. On the northwest corner is a row of homes built within the last [...]
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Former Church Going Residential Near the Divine Lorraine

A few readers have reached out to us in recent weeks, wondering about what looks like some early stage construction activity near Broad & Fairmount. We wrote a story about the former Apostolic church at 1406 Fairmount Ave. waaaay back in 2011, pondering its future after its owners unsuccessfully listed it for sale for $1.4M. Even with the property going back on the market in 2012 with the price dipping to $1.15M, nobody stepped forward to purchase the [...]
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Addition Shaping Up Nicely on West Girard, With Some Brunch Across the Street

For decades, Fairmount has been one of the more stable neighborhoods outside of downtown Philadelphia. But this town has always been a city of neighborhoods, often changing block by block. So it's a little odd in the abstract that neighboring Brewerytown languished for many years as Fairmount hummed along, but that was not terribly uncommon in other parts of town (looking at you Rittenhouse and Graduate Hospital). And as has been the case in several [...]
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Hoa Bin Plaza at 16th & Washington Likely Closing as Developers Propose Homes and Duplexes

Between its building and its parking lot, the Hoa Binh shopping center takes up most of the square block enclosed by Washington Avenue, Carpenter Street, 16th Street, and Chadwick Street. We've personally visited a few of the businesses located in this shopping center over the years, including the Big 8 Supermarket, Nam Son (delicious Vietnamese hoagies), and Huong Tram restaurant. We've learned that the property is under agreement with developers though, and those businesses and several others could [...]
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