Gretz Brewery Poised to Make a Comeback After Years of Vacancy

When we first brought the former Gretz brewery at 1524 Germantown Ave. to your attention over seven years ago, we wondered whether the handsome but blighted property could get redeveloped or whether it would eventually fall down or get demolished after decades of vacancy. The latter scenario seemed quite likely less than a year after that story, when the City tore down a section of the property at the corner due to structural concerns. Somehow someway though, the [...]
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Roman Square Will Reign at 11th & McKean

Isn't it great that we live in a big city with hundreds of little convenience stores dotting the neighborhoods, allowing us to skip a grocery store trip if we only need a can of beans or a couple tomatoes? Sure, the grocery store has more options and better prices, but that little store at the corner sure is convenient, hence the name. If you've set foot in a convenience store in the last forty years, it's quite [...]
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Zoning Notice Prompts Exploration of 2200 Block of Frankford

If you've spent even five minutes in Fishtown over the last number of years, you've surely caught wind that Frankford Avenue is one of the most exciting commercial corridors in Philadelphia. Countless businesses have opened on the corridor, including independent stores, local chains, bars, restaurants- and national retailers are even starting to catch on. And yet, with all these new businesses, many of which are associated with new buildings, Frankford Avenue still has tremendous room to [...]
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Former Passyunk Pharmacy Getting a Bit Taller

Roughly 2 years ago, we wrote a story titled Not to Worry, Escape the 1980s Isn't Going Anywhere. This was written in response to a zoning notice posted outside Escape the 1980s escape room at 1804 E. Passyunk Ave., which several readers interpreted to mean an end of the line for the business. As the title of the story suggested though, the business was not closing, but instead the zoning notice indicated that the owner of the property was planning [...]
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Residential Conversion in the Cards for Historic Queen Village Church

When the Emanuel German Lutheran Church appeared on the corner of 4th & Carpenter in 1869, the neighborhood looked a little different than it does today. First and most obviously, Carpenter Street ran past the building, uninterrupted. Trains rumbled down Washington Avenue. A large coal yard operated around the corner. And the surrounding architecture consisted of mostly two and three story buildings that were typical of the time. All of those buildings, the coal yard, and the 300 [...]
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Look Out for a Couple Projects on the 600 Block of Girard

Tiffin is one of our favorite Indian restaurants in town, and we remember back when they only had one location, on the 700 block of Girard. That location opened over a decade ago, at a time that this stretch of Girard was in pretty rough shape. In the time since Tiffin opened its doors here, there's been considerable development to the north and south, but Girard itself is still pretty lousy. That could change soon, as [...]
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All Homes and No Axe Throwing Makes Grays Ferry a Dull Neighborhood

2501 Wharton St. is a bit of an odd property. From the outside, it looks like a large industrial building. But upon closer examination, it's actually a series of warehouses, surrounding a parking lot in the middle. These buildings house a collection of small businesses, including a doggie day care, an auto shop, a printer, and some construction companies. With the property's unassuming appearance, its collection of occupants that generally tend away from retail, and its location [...]
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Plans Scrapped on Susquehanna, as is Old Post Office

Last week, when we called your attention to the upcoming five-home project at the corner of Memphis & Susquehanna, we missed an opportunity to provide an update on another project just down the street. In the interest of correcting that oversight, let us now turn our attention to 2210 E. Susquehanna Ave., home to the Bethel Baptist Church for over thirty years. Unlike many churches we've covered over the years, Bethel Baptist wasn't a gorgeous stone edifice [...]
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Residential Conversion for Historic Church at 18th & Wharton

The Friendship Baptist Church at 1730 Wharton St. was constructed in 1888 as the 18th Street Methodist Episcopal Church, designed by J. Franklin Stuckert. In honor of its hundredth birthday, the gorgeous building was added to the Philadelphia Historic Register, protecting it from demolition and/or significant exterior alteration. This is great news from a preservation perspective, given the number of old churches that have disappeared over the years in gentrifying neighborhoods. Even if a building is designated historic, [...]
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Furniture Store Will Disappear at 2nd & Cecil B Moore

If you're looking to buy a desk, dresser, or couch, there's no shortage of places to make such a purchase in our fair city. Ikea is a tried and true choice, offering relatively inexpensive yet highly functional furniture that will surely survive one move but might not make it through a second or a third. Downtown, Chestnut Street has several spots within a few blocks of Broad Street. Ditto Main Street in Manayunk, where a few stores are located in close proximity, [...]
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