We Didn’t Expect One, Let Alone Two Projects on the 2100 Block of Ridge

The past and present of Ridge Avenue in Francisville are pretty well worn territory on this blog, but in case today is your first day on the site, here's the (mostly) tldr version: This section of Ridge Avenue was once an active commercial corridor. Then the neighborhood endured decades of disinvestment, businesses left, and buildings crumbled. By the time developers starting operating in this neighborhood a few years back, there wasn't much left. But over [...]
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Additional Addition Planned on North Broad Street

It was just a few months ago that we directed your attention to a renovation project taking place at 925 N. Broad St., a property most commonly associated with the City Blue location on its first floor. The upper floors of this building have sat vacant for several years, an illustration of the underwhelming real estate performance on this stretch of North Broad over the last several decades. But it's already old news that this part [...]
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Bookend Mixed-Use Building Under Construction on Washington Avenue

At first glance, the property at 2501 Washington Ave. doesn't really present itself as a top notch development opportunity. Its shape is weird, with frontage on 25th Street, Washington Avenue, and Grays Ferry Avenue. It's directly adjacent to the elevated CSX train tracks which turn into the 25th Street viaduct on the other side of Washington Avenue. The Grays Ferry side isn't much better, with some infrastructure related to the Veolia plant, the nature of which we couldn't possibly fathom, [...]
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Five New Duplexes Are Under Construction at 24th & Master

As Brewerytown has boomed, development has continued to push northward toward Strawberry Mansion and eastward toward Sharswood. As you might be aware, there's only so much market rate development possible in Sharswood, since PHA is currently in the middle of a significant neighborhood transformation plan which will ultimately entail the construction of over 1,000 new units of affordable housing. As that plan also included PHA purchasing hundreds of properties via eminent domain, there's not nearly as much [...]
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Delorean Time Machine: Northside Lithuanian Republican Alliance of Philadelphia Clubhouse

At the corner of Camac & Wallace in the West Poplar (sometimes called Spring Arts) neighborhood stands a somewhat out-of-place building that doesn’t seem to fit in with its surroundings. Its glass block windows, strange cornice decoration, and unusual shape seem to want to tell a story. Would you like to hear it? View of the building Closer look From the east The origin of this building begins in the mid 30’s, when the Northside [...]
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Philadelphia’s Newest Slimmest Tower Will Rise at 11th & Walnut

Conventional wisdom says that small lots and tall buildings don't mix. But in the last decade or so, there's been a shift in thinking as land has become increasingly valuable while rents and sale prices have continued to climb. New York has seen a number of skinny buildings rise in recent years, with buildings sporting heretofore unprecedented slenderness ratios now dotting the skyline. Now, in true Philadelphia fashion, we are starting to catch onto this trend, albeit [...]
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No More New City on Frankford Avenue

You'd have to be in your 60s to remember when the Palm Theatre stood at the corner of Frankford & Norris, and you'd have to be even older to have seen a film there. According to Cinema Treasures, this building was constructed in the late 1800s as a vaudeville theatre, converting to movies in the early 20th century. Eventually it became a furniture store, and then, like so many great movie palaces, it met the wrecking [...]
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Baltimore Avenue Apartment Building Picks Up an Eastern Wing

As we push through the dog days of summer, we're starting to feel those September vibes. The Birds are playing their third pre-season game this week. Pumpkin spice is starting to be a thing again. And college students in the region are starting to move back to campus, setting their sights on a couple weeks of partying before settling in for another semester laden with academic rigor. With students coming back, it feels like an ideal time [...]
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Two Duplexes Appear Near 19th & Norris, Among a Sea of Vacancy

The 1900 block of N. 19th St. is one of the more desolate in North Philadelphia, with maybe half a dozen buildings and a staggering amount of vacant land. By our count, there are 34 vacant lots on this block, and that doesn't even count the empty lots at the southwest corner of 19th & Norris which have Norris Street addresses. So it was a little jarring the other day, when we noticed a pair [...]
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Changes Abound on the 1700 Block (And into the 1800 Block) of Ridge

Francisville, we hardly recognize you these days. So many blocks in this neighborhood have changed so much over the last decade or so, but we were dumbfounded recently by the complete transformation of Ridge Avenue between Vineyard and Ginnodo. Turn back the clock just half a dozen years, and it was home to some vacant lots, a handsome but empty former hotel, a theatre that had been converted into a church, and a couple other underused buildings. Check [...]
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