Apartment Project Growing Taller at Freeman’s Auction Site

It was one year and three days ago that we shared the news that Freeman’s Auction House would be moving out of its home at 1810 Chestnut St. after nearly a century, in favor of a new space at 24th & Market. We told you that Astoban Investments would be redeveloping the property, maintaining the architectural integrity of the Freeman's building while constructing a 14-story addition to create 26 condo units. We were generally cheered by this plan, appreciating the [...]
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Five Unit Building Getting Framed on N. 2nd Street, Just Past Girard

As we've detailed many times before, overflow from Fishtown and Northern Liberties have almost completely transformed South Kensington over the last dozen years or so, reversing decades of disinvestment. South Kensington has an unusual number of huge properties thanks of its industrial past, many of which were either criminally underused or sitting vacant- and that has resulted in several rather large projects in the neighborhood. Still under construction, Dwell 2nd Street is one example of such a [...]
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Oh My Love is Like a Red Red Rock Gym That’s Newly Sprung in 2021

Almost exactly four years ago, we brought the Saint James Pentecostal Church at 4101 Ludlow St. to your attention, speculating that it was perhaps the reddest church ever. We described the history of the edifice, noting that it was originally built in 1846 as the home to the Monumental Baptist Church, which was one of the first African American churches in Philadelphia and the first African American congregation with a church bell, starting in 1853. The building was changed considerably in the 1870s- [...]
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Seville Street Swaps Garages For Four New Homes

The 400 block of Seville Street is a residential block in Roxborough which contains a mix of three-story twins dating back to the early 20th century on one side of the street and two story homes on the other side of the street which were built after World War II. For whatever reason, 420 Seville St. is neither of those things. Even going back to when the twins were built, there have been garages at this [...]
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Former Academy of Social Dance on Sansom is Mostly Demoed

The Academy of Social Dance, AKA the Danza Academy of Social Dance, held down a location on the 2000 block of Sansom Street for decades, teaching generations to Salsa, Mambo, Tango, Cha Cha, and so forth. Not only was this business notable for surviving for such a long time, but it also always stuck out at us for its memorable signage. That vertical sign always gave the place a certain glamorous and authentic look, not only [...]
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Hey, Wanna Buy a Funky Lot on Reed Street?

Even though most residential properties in greater Center City don't meet the size requirements prescribed by the Zoning Code, most of them at least have a few characteristics that you can reliably predict. They are generally somewhere between 14 and 20 feet wide. Shapewise, you can usually anticipate a rectangle. Mileage may vary on expected depth, but somewhere between 50 feet and 100 feet is probably a safe bet. Looking at 331 Reed St. just passing by, you'd [...]
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Delayed For Years, Apartment Building Finally Moving on Dauphin Street

We've written about thousands of projects over the years, so you can forgive us if every now and then we forget about having covered something previously. And frankly, in the case of 1412 W. Dauphin St., we think we deserve a bit of leeway. We were in the area the other day and happened upon some foundation work at this address, and we were pleased because we thought we had discovered a new and exciting project. Alas, in [...]
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Another Apartment Building Coming on Front Street, This Time With a Grocery Store

Stop us if you've heard this one, but Front Street is getting another apartment building. This corridor has seen explosive growth over the last few years, with a staggering number of new apartments running from Girard all the way up past Kensington Avenue. Though the construction on Front Street north of Kensington Avenue is pretty far north, it almost makes more sense than some of the projects to the south, since those blocks don't sit in [...]
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The Columbia Bringing Some Height to E. Columbia

After grabbing a curbside coffee at Steap and Grind the other day, we were heading up the 1400 block of E. Columbia for like two seconds before we noticed a new building had appeared on the block at some point over the last few months. We needed to go back a few years in the Google Maps Street View time machine to remember that a shoddy looking industrial building stood here previously. We can't swear [...]
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After a Pause, Mixed-Use Building Progressing at 9th & Wharton

We've been pondering the vacant lot at the northeast corner of 9th & Wharton for years. We lived around the corner for awhile in the mid-aughts, and wondered about it almost every time we walked past. We wrote about it back in 2012, explaining that the Slovak St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church once stood there, but the congregation merged with another church in the 1970s and the building was demoed in the early 1990s. Then there was a [...]
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