Take a Breath Bella Vista, Your Parking Lot is Back

We've been pretty direct in our complaints about surface parking lots over the years, lamenting that they never represent the highest and best use for a property. To be clear, this isn't just a matter of us spouting urbanist rhetoric, though most urbanists would surely agree that surface parking lots are bad; surface lots are also a loser from a public policy standpoint. Parking lot operators have to pay 22.5% gross tax on parking revenues to [...]
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Point Breeze Avenue is Picking Up a Sandwich Shop

A couple of readers have reached out to us over the last couple months, expressing hope for a new business on the horizon for Point Breeze Avenue. You may recall, about a year and a half ago, we shared the news that the triangular building at 2101 Reed St. was listed for rent. This was an encouraging development for this property, as it had been sitting blighted and vacant since a check cashing place closed [...]
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Noticing Some Zoning Notices on Montgomery Street

Due to some road closures, we found ourselves traveling on Montgomery Avenue in South Kensington the other day. And this worked out well for us, as this unexpected diversion put us directly in the path of a couple of projects in the pipeline for the area. The first notice we spied was posted to 1800 N. Hancock St., a triangular lot that looks like it would be a fine spot for a water ice place [...]
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Starbucks Disappears at 4th & South After More Than Two Decades

Remember 1995? Grunge music was coming down from its peak, but an upstart coffee chain that also originated in Seattle was still in the relatively early stages of its meteoric rise. The Starbucks store count of 677 was quite impressive twenty-three years ago, but the number seems almost cute when you consider that the company now has almost 30,000 locations around the world. It was back in 1995 that Starbucks opened one of its first Philadelphia locations [...]
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Quadplex Will Replace Extended Vacancy at 19th & Christian

Sometimes it takes an exceedingly long time for an opportunity to take shape in the real estate world, but when the stars finally align, boy does it ever feel good to see something happen. It was waaaay back in the summer of 2011 that we directed your attention to the vacant corner building at 1900 Christian St., noting that the building had previously been home to a business called Ruth’s Fresh Cooked Seafood. To be clear, [...]
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‘For Sale’ Sign on a Warehouse Near Frankford Avenue

When carpenter Daniel McClellan bought the old warehouse at 4 E. Palmer St. back in 2001, Fishtown was a very different place than it is today. The neighborhood was still working class, and most of the people that lived there had deep roots in the community. Frankford Avenue was a sleepy local corridor, with a mix of vacant lots, old industrial buildings, and established local businesses. Frankford Hall was still a number of years away, ditto just about [...]
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Handsome Building Getting Work Done Near 15th & Girard

Turn back the clock a hundred years, and North Broad Street was one of the ritziest areas in Philadelphia, home to some of the fanciest mansions you've never seen. We say that of course, because many of those amazing buildings were demolished over the subsequent decades, as the shine came off gilded North Broad Street. The architecture in the surrounding neighborhoods generally paled in comparison to the homes on Broad Street, but across many sections of North [...]
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The Cliffs – Coming Soon to 10th & Callowhill

We were traveling across town the other day and spied a sign posted to an old warehouse building at the southwest corner of 10th & Callowhill which indicated that change is coming soon. If you've noticed the two-tone building at this corner before, you probably haven't thought twice about it, due to its blah appearance. The location actually has a pretty interesting history according to Hidden City, having been the site of a circus around the time [...]
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2201 Washington Will Represent Another Step Forward For the Corridor

For as long as we've been writing about real estate on the internet, we've been ringing the bell for Washington Avenue, west of Broad Street. This corridor was traditionally industrial in nature, lined with factories and coal yards and with railroad tracks running down its middle. Times changed though, and people starting objecting to the idea of living next door iron foundries, and so the corridor evolved to its current light industrial state, where building supply companies [...]
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Five Duplexes Should Appear Near 9th & McKean

Compared to neighborhoods like East Kensington or Point Breeze, East Passyunk has seen hardly any new construction during the development boom of the last several years. Sure, there's the occasional project here and there, but outside of one-off renovations, projects in this part of South Philly are the exception rather than the rule. And this phenomenon is explained quite easily. East Passyunk wasn't considered a particularly cool place to live until Passyunk Avenue experienced a [...]
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