Two Mega Lots Should Disappear in East Kensington

While East Kensington has become a booming neighborhood in terms of residential real estate development over the last handful of years, its history is distinctly industrial, like many other sections of Kensington. Most of the factories went belly up or moved away decades ago, and years of disinvestment in the neighborhood resulted in numerous old industrial buildings falling into disrepair and eventually getting demolished or burning down. Some of the former industrial sites have gotten redeveloped, with prominent examples including the [...]
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Wondering About Some Zoning Notices on Delaware Ave.

A couple of readers have reached out to us in the last few days, wondering about some zoning notices they, uh, noticed, on the 800 block of N. Delaware Ave., just south of Wells Meats. This discovery was incredibly exciting, as zoning notices near the river are often a sign of a significant new project on the horizon. As we thought about the address, we recalled a story we wrote last year about a development called [...]
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Society Hill Beverage Could Go Through Some Changes

It wasn't so long ago that owning a beer distributor was one of the most enviable professions in Philadelphia. Thanks to the restrictive liquor laws in Pennsylvania, distributors had a huge captive audience of customers that were looking to throw a kegger or buy beers without the massive upcharge that comes from buying six-packs. But liquor laws loosened in 2016, increasing competition for beer distributors and nibbling at the bottom line. We've seen some beer distributors close or look [...]
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Change Coming For 2nd Corner at 40th & Market

The corner of 40th & Walnut is officially the northwest edge of Penn's campus, but the reach of the university extends far beyond that intersection. Off-campus student housing has extended west of 40th Street for a long time, but it's only really been in the last decade or so that student housing has pushed north of Penn. The Hub buildings at 40th & Chestnut are rather obvious examples, but if you continue several blocks further [...]
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Movement at Last at Former Theater at 6th & Poplar?

The intersection of 6th & Poplar is a study in contrasts. The northwest corner is home to a row of homes that were built a few years ago, one of which recently traded for $760K. The southern section of the intersection is the northern edge of the Liberty Place Town Homes development, an affordable housing project that was constructed in the early 1960s and has architectural stylings that say as much. And then, on the [...]
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The New Rail Park is One of the Less Shady Places We’ve Visited

The Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road Company was one of the most significant companies in US history, emerging as the largest company in the world shortly after the Civil War. This company not only controlled rail road lines, as the name suggests, but also owned an enormous coal interest, primarily focusing on mines in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. You might have heard of the Reading Rail Road from Monopoly, or maybe you remember that Reading controlled [...]
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We Got a Sneak Peek of L’Anima, and It Was L’Awesome

Today is the first day for L'Anima, an Italian byob at the corner of 17th & Carpenter. Yesterday, the new restaurant offered a sneak preview of their space and their food, and we managed to snag an invite. To the extent that we're able to provide objective feedback after gorging on free pasta, we came away impressed. Retail space on the southeast corner View of the open kitchen Peek inside the restuarant The restaurant occupies an [...]
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Apartment Building Coming For a Long Vacant East Kensington Lot

We were scrolling through the ZBA calendar for today, and it came to our attention that development could finally be in store for a corner we've eyed for many years. 1836 E. York St. is an oddly shaped property at the intersection of Jasper St. and E. York St., in the northwestern corner of the East Kensington neighborhood. It's been vacant for decades as far as we can tell, and for the sake of clarity, [...]
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Deli Products Disappear on Hancock Street

We're pretty certain that the buildings at 1209-11 N. Hancock St. were originally built for residential purposes. The architectural details, like the locations of the windows and the intact cornices, strongly suggest an initial residential use. Somewhere along the line though, the buildings were combined into a single industrial use, most recently serving as a meat processing and distribution center. At least that's what an old listing and the sign advertising Joe Breslow Deli Products [...]
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New Apartment Buildings Appear Next to Progressive Worship Center

At the northwest corner of 26th & Federal stands the Progressive Worship Center, a Baptist church that's been operating since at least the 1990s. Also since the mid-1990s, an individual named Julius Cooper owned the sizable lots immediately to the west of the church. He didn't exactly keep them in pristine condition- more specifically, they were overgrown and trash strewn, and were blighting influences on the block. In the past More recently though, things changed [...]
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