Very exciting project

In yet another example of why Twitter is super cool, today an interesting image came up on our feed from @EricClayWarner. Check it out:

Image we saw on Twitter

Jumping down the rabbit hole afforded by the response from our old friend @GroJLart, we were able to find out some more info about this project. Located at 24th & JFK, it comes from NP International, and it's called River Walk Philadelphia. The site covers 8.5 acres, and will include "residential, commercial, retail, hospitality and other community amenities." The developers presented to the community last month, and LSNA minutes indicate that the project will include 665 condo units and a grocery store, among other items. There will be about 650 parking spaces and they're working with CSX to create river access from the development site. Check out a couple more images:

Would mean big changes for the block

A number of new projects are buzzing in Center City right now, but before another one happens in Logan Square, duty may call.

The owner of 1531-33 Cherry St. has entered into a neighborhood development agreement with members of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association to raze the current structures to make way for a five-story residential building in which the owner and his family would occupy the top floor and rent out the units on the floors below. But this project might be stalled for a few years, as the owner was recently called to action overseas as part of his work for the National Guard. YCH Architects designed the project and we hope it happens sooner rather than later. When completed, it will bring some new residents to a relatively sleepy Center City block.

Neighbors in Spruce Hill in West Philadelphia are attempting to build up their organization by offering free membership for new members that join the Spruce Hill Community Association (SHCA) between now and next winter.

Some civic groups charge fees and some don’t. SHCA fees are $20 a year. The group’s more than 300 members provide an annual budget of $6,000 that contributes to the organization's efforts in the community. Current members decided to offer free membership in order to boost the group’s numbers, ostensibly increasing the budget in years to come. Ten new members had joined by early May, according to Rich Guffanti, SCHA’s database coordinator.

Lot at 43rd and Baltimore

“There’s about a dozen things we do with it,” said Guffanti. That includes handling publicity and making the community aware of local development like plans for a 92-unit building at 43rd & Baltimore. When neighbors voiced their concern about a Subway proposal at 45th and Baltimore, the group's budget contributed to community outreach efforts, though the store did eventually open. While the money is not much, for SCHA it serves its purpose.

While ground-breaking may be a year away, plans for Edgewater II, a 20-plus-story 300-foot tower at 23rd & Summer are moving along. Some changes have been made to the plan since Realen first presented to Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) last year, and these must now be officially incorporated into a Neighborhood Development Agreement (NDA).

The site, now a parking lot

The most important part of that NDA states that no construction vehicles can enter the site from 23rd Street, according to Ed Panek, LSNA zoning chair. That means vehicles will have to travel under I676, passing around the Park Towne Place Apartments to enter. No construction will occur west of 23rd Street. Otherwise, construction vehicles and equipment would impede 23rd Street residents from utilizing their street, Panek said.

It's sat vacant for two decades and though Brandywine Realty Trust purchased 1919 Market St. for $9.3M early in 2011, two years later its vision and any action pertaining to active development of the lot have apparently stalled.

Overhead of the lot

The site has been featured in various plans since it was first razed to make room for a twin to the Blue Cross Blue Shield building. Most recent plans depicted a mixed-use 25-story 293 residential unit tower, with additional related uses, and a parking garage with 286 spaces and a driveway on Market Street. Developers plan to eventually meet with appropriate members of the relevant civic organizations, including Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Center City Residents Association to discuss the matter. But the ZBA has postponed the matter indefinitely.

Dear God: we’re unsure if you’ve heard our prayers lately. We need some money. So we’re selling some of (Y)our things.

Like the Holy Family Center and the northern portion of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center’s parking lot, located at 17th and Vine Streets. Hope you don’t mind, Big Fella. (Signed, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.) The 20K sqft former convent now functions as office space for various Catholic Social Services, which will be relocated.

The building

We didn’t know God had money troubles. What gives? The archdioceses faced a $6M operating deficit for the 2012 fiscal year, according to Catholic News Agency (CNA).

With these properties for sale, an interesting development opportunity presents itself in Logan Square. There, preconstruction recently started at the other corner of 17th and Vine on another one of God’s assets, the Temple for the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS). Guess as one leaves another comes, like cars to parking spots in Philly. This makes for an interesting development opportunity along the south side of the 1700 block.

Members of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) have reached a compromise with owners that will mean improvements to an empty but extremely nice looking home on the 2000 block of Race Street.

A small three- to four-employee family operated business will occupy the first-floor of a three-story row home located at 2030 Race. Street. According to public record, the Garvey Institute, a Montreal-based (yes, Canada) charity, purchased the home this August for $900K.

The building

“You don’t wanna go beyond there,” said Ed Panek about the agreement reached between LSNA and owners. The agreement states current owners can use the first-floor as office-space until they either sell the building, or cease to use the first-floor for purposes of their business. At that time, the agreement ends. Panek said LSNA was willing to compromise in the name of the improvements owners will make to the house.

Last winter, we told you about plans for six townhomes on 22nd St., north of Race Street. Now, the parcel that stretches from 206-12 N. 22nd St., home of Patriot Parking, is under agreement of sale to a different owner. A new developer presented new plans for five instead of six town homes to members of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) this month.

Patriot Parking

The former developer’s plans raised concerns with neighbors about height, party walls and the fact the homes would face north instead of fronting 22nd Street. While the most recent plans are in preliminary stages, the now-shorter four-story homes will also face north. Owners will pull off 22nd Street into a courtyard with parking for each home.

Construction was recently halted temporarily when developers came upon bed rock while excavating the southwest corner of 19th and Arch Streets where initial work on a 14-story mixed-use apartment building is underway.

The corner

Instead of blasting the rock, developers decided to compress the underground garage. In addition, because developers had to slightly adjust their previously agreed to plans to raise the roof five feet in one section above the elevator shaft to comply with code, they had to have the revised plans looked over by representatives from the Kennedy House and Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) who drafted the original project agreement.

Developers from Liberty Property Trust met with representatives of the Planning Commission, Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and the Kennedy House last month, about a proposal for a 22-story, 370 foot office tower to be constructed at the northwest corner of 19th and Arch Streets.

LSNA zoning chair Ed Panek said it’s too early to make comments regarding the project, which is still without renderings. He said it could become an issue with neighbors if plans don’t fit into the parameters the LSNA neighborhood plan.

Building coming soon

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports Liberty quietly purchased the property, now a parking lot next to the Russell Byers School, from the Philadelphia Management Company (PMC) this summer. Liberty owns the roughly 1.5 acre catty corner to this location, where plans for the American Commerce Center failed to manifest. And PMC is currently developing the southwest corner at 19th & Arch.