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NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a sweeping $500 million-plus project aimed at finally upgrading Philadelphia's worn downtown retail district and spreading Center City's apartment revival east of Broad Street, a development group says it plans to demolish a modest block of stores on Market Street between 11th and 12th - and eventually level or renovate the rest of the block down to Chestnut Street - in favor of a new retail/residential complex. Developers of the complex, to be called East Market, are two Philadelphia concerns, backed by Washington and New York firms.
BUSINESS
January 25, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Passengers at five busy transit stations will face detours when the Gallery shopping center in Center City closes for renovations. But frustrated officials at SEPTA and PATCO can't alert riders to coming changes, because, they say, they've been unable to get information from Gallery manager Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT). "We really don't know anything," said PATCO spokeswoman Fran O'Brien, who said PREIT officials had said only that they were in the process of finalizing development plans.
NEWS
February 23, 2015 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Little more than a year after a botched demolition triggered a Center City building collapse that killed six, a demolition company took down nearly half a block of buildings in Philadelphia's Fairmount section without obtaining the required permits, an Inquirer investigation has found. While dismantling five buildings last spring, Ashaw Demolition of Oxford Circle also brought down a house that had been in a family for four generations without informing the owner, the owner contends in court documents.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The investors backing East Market, a proposed $500 million redevelopment of Market, Ludlow, and Chestnut Streets between 11th and 12th Streets in Center City, have sketched out the first stage of development: two floors of stores topped by 322 apartments rising to 17 stories. "We're going to create this great place that connects all these neighborhoods - the Convention Center and the hotels to Midtown Village, and City Hall and the office towers to the historic district," said Daniel Killinger, who heads the development arm of Washington-based National Real Estate Advisors, East Market's union-backed lead investor.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 30, 2013 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Like the prow of a ship, the main facade of Drexel University's new business school at 32d and Market Streets steers toward Center City, straining to narrow the two-block gap between the Schuylkill and its fast-growing campus. In a bit of overt symbolism, the university even relocated a statue of founder Anthony Drexel to the entrance plaza, so he now stands firmly at the helm of this eastward venture. Under its current president, John A. Fry, Drexel has made no secret of its desire to fill that bleak, underutilized space with the sleek towers of a new technology-dominated neighborhood.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the Gallery at Market East, announced Wednesday that Century 21 Department Stores will anchor the long-anticipated redevelopment of the sprawling Center City retail complex. In recent weeks, the New York-based discount-apparel retailer had been rumored to be a major player in the refurbishing of the struggling mall, but the news was made official in a curt mention during PREIT's quarterly earnings report Wednesday. Century 21 describes itself as offering designer clothing for men, women, and children, as well as cosmetics, handbags, shoes, lingerie, housewares, luggage, and gifts.
BUSINESS
December 18, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Local real estate firm Arden Group, founded by Craig Spencer, on Tuesday sold the 19-story Center City property 1635 Market Street to New York real estate investment firm Nightingale Properties, for an undisclosed price. Nightingale's CEO, Elie Schwartz, has committed $5 million to renovations, starting immediately. Real estate agents with CBRE in Philadelphia, Kevin Maloney, Mark Adzick, George Cauffman, and Joe Wolff, will market the property. "This is an exciting opportunity for this building.
REAL_ESTATE
December 9, 2013 | By Alison Burdo, Inquirer Staff Writer
A pair of developers are overhauling 48th and Brown Streets in the Mill Creek section of Philadelphia with two rental complexes that, when construction is completed, will total 120 units. When a venture of Abington-based B & T Home Builders Inc. acquired the 2-acre industrial plot at 800-820 N. 48th St. in 2007, the company heard from skeptics. "Everyone thought I was crazy," said Hillel Tsarfati, a B & T cofounder. Situated two blocks from the Lucien E. Blackwell Homes, alongside a mix of well-kept rowhouses and vacant properties, West Village at 800 N. 48th St. is the largest private residential development in Mill Creek in recent history.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
How do you hide a 35-story building? That was the task given Stantec Architecture Inc. when commissioned to design a new residential tower on the site of the historic Lit Brothers store. The hope was that the $102 million proposed tower would hardly be visible from Market Street and certainly would not detract from the Renaissance Revival facade that remains of the Lit Brothers store. The Philadelphia Historic Commission will assess Stantec's efforts Tuesday when the plan for the proposed Mellon Independence Center Tower is reviewed by the commission's architectural committee.
NEWS
December 8, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Center City's grimy alleys are the equivalent of Philadelphia's attic, stuffed with forgotten architectural treasures. And there may be no richer trove than the stretch that runs behind the former Lits Bros. department store. There's now a parking garage at one end and a prison at the other, but with your eyes half-closed, the alley almost suggests a canal in Venice, canopied by its own moody Bridge of Sighs. Designed in 1912 by Castor & Stearns, the Renaissance-style arch is tightly notched into the narrow opening between Lits' back wall and Arch Street's Cast Iron building, connecting their second and third floors.
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