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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We Blinked and the Apple Storage Building is Now the Irvine

It was back in the winter of 2012 that we first brought the former Apple Storage building at 780 S. 52nd St. to your attention, as developers pursued a plan to convert the former industrial building into 112 apartments. The plan sparked controversy in this changing section of West Philadelphia, as several neighborhood groups came out in support but some residents pushed back due to concerns about density and gentrification. Ultimately though, the project fell [...]
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Condo Building Has Permits at 20th & Waverly, But Neighbors are Resisting

There's drama brewing in Rittenhouse, thanks to a developer's plans at the southwest corner of 20th & Waverly. Kim's Cleaners has been operating at this corner, out of 414 S. 20th St., for as long as we can remember, in a squat building that we believe to be a repurposed garage. Maybe the business owners are looking to retire or maybe they're just looking to take advantage of their valuable real estate asset, as they listed their [...]
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Blighted Building Disappears at 18th & Fitzwater

The Graduate Hospital neighborhood has experienced a near complete transformation over the last twenty years, with thousands of new construction and renovation projects taking place during that time. It's hard to conceive today, but there were hundreds of vacant lots and blighted buildings in this neighborhood at one point, and now blight and vacancy are very much the exception rather than the rule. It's reached the point where blighted or vacant properties stick out like a sore thumb, [...]
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Contemporary Architecture on Parade on S. 6th Street

We commonly hear the refrain that "they don't build 'em like they used to," and the people saying this certainly are not wrong. A few hundred years ago, they built 'em all out of wood and cities kept burning to the ground. A hundred years ago, they built 'em out of bricks and that has proven to be a successful construction method, resulting in homes that are able to survive for a very long time, even [...]
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You Can Rent a “Temple Loft” Apartment on Allegheny Avenue

As this is a blog that covers real estate development, we don't often find ourselves visiting the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood, due to the general lack of construction in the area. Like many neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, this section of the city fell on very hard times starting in the 1950s, and today there's vacancy and blight on virtually every block. Still, with Temple Hospital on the neighborhood's eastern edge, one would think that people whose main goal is to [...]
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Four Apartment Buildings Would Improve Lehigh Avenue, But Neighbors Want More

The 3/4 mile stretch of Lehigh Avenue between Aramingo and Kensington isn't Rittenhouse Square, or even Washington Avenue. On one side of the street is a mix of residences, businesses, and the occasional large format commercial or industrial building. On the other side of Lehigh's five lanes are a smattering of auto-related businesses and mostly large walls that separate the streetscape from the Conrail lines that run between Lehigh and Somerset Street. Oh, and a huge [...]
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