The ball has dropped, the fireworks have exploded in the foggy distance, and your hangover is almost definitely gone. You walked into the office today and it’s a full house for the first time in weeks. And your co-workers are ready to… get to work? Wow, this feels weird. Yes folks, the holiday season is officially behind us, which means it’s time to buckle up and get ready for a wild and crazy 2019. With the new year now in full swing, please allow us to peer into our crystal ball and and predict what’ll happen in 2019. And you can mark these predictions in pen, since we’re never ever wrong.
January: Nothing ever happens in January, right?
February: The National wins a preservation award, from an organization that doesn’t realize that the building is a copy of its demolished predecessor. Also, Nick Foles wins a second Superbowl MVP as the Birds edge Andy Reid and the Chiefs in Superbowl LIII. After the game, Foles expresses disappointment that he didn’t catch a touchdown pass this time around.
March: One hundred people collect signatures to run for At-Large City Council seats, and eighty drop out when they don’t get their desired ballot position. Nick Foles, who retired from football to throw his hat in the ring, decides to stay on the ballot.
April: North Station District receives a few million bucks in state and federal grants, a sign that this significant project will finally get some traction. Construction won’t start in 2019 though, and maybe not even in 2020. A potato chip that looks like Nick Foles sells at auction for $27,450.
May: Frankford Avenue welcomes its first Starbucks location, on the 1400 block. Inspired, several other national retailers sign leases on the corridor, including CVS, Foot Locker, and Chipotle. By the end of the year, Frankford Avenue is taken over by national chains, and locals complain that Frankford Ave. isn’t cool anymore. Aramingo Ave., on the other hand, heats up, as small local businesses take over several shopping center spaces vacated by national chains. The Sixers make it to the Eastern Conference Finals but lose in 6 games to the Toronto Raptors, with their run fueled by a resurgent Markelle Fultz.
June: The Harper opens its doors, finally reactivating a long vacant stretch of the 1900 block of Chestnut Street with new residents and a couple of exciting restaurants. New Phillie Bryce Harper makes an appearance at the opening celebration, just taking the elevator down from his penthouse apartment. By the end of his first year with the team, he’ll garner MVP buzz as the Phils sneak back into the playoffs as a wild card team.
July: Construction begins at the SLS building at Broad & Spruce, finally. The revised plan 86’s the hotel concept and reduces the height by a few stories, but nobody complains because people are just happy to see something happen here after a few years of delays.
August: Speaking of Broad Street, there’s also movement at the northeast corner of Broad & Washington. Tower Investments sells the property to Alterra, and Lincoln Square II comes into focus. Hawthorne neighbors are pleased with the shorter project, and urbanists grouse that the project should be taller.
September: Still on the subject of Broad Street, local officials, Septa, PennDot, and the Navy Yard collectively announce a plan to extend the Broad Street line to the south. With Navy Yard tenants footing some of the staggering construction bill, Philadelphia public transportation will see the first upgrade to its public transportation upgrade in years. A hurricane threatens Philadelphia, but Nick Foles deters the weather system, standing on the Ben Franklin Bridge and holding a wooden staff, shouting “You shall not pass!”
October: Fashion District Philadelphia opens to wide acclaim, as Philadelphia’s biggest indoor mall finally interacts with Market Street. Tourists walking from Independence Hall to their hotels near City Hall still prefer walking west on Chestnut, but they have to think about it for at least a little bit before making the choice. The Phillies flame out in the NLDS, but things feel promising for 2020.
November: 8th & Market remains a parking lot. Street cleaning hasn’t made a comeback. But on the plus side, three different projects are under construction on the west side of Washington Avenue. And there are whispers about a big project on the south side of the street.
December: The first residents move into the renovated and restored Poth Brewery building, and Brewerytown takes another step forward. In a must-win game against the Cowboys, the entire Eagles team is caught in traffic and unable to reach the stadium in time for kickoff. Councilman Nick Foles comes out of retirement to beat the Cowboys singlehandedly, ninety-two to negative seven, and the Eagles win the NFC East. How about a three-peat in 2020?