May 20, 2014 |
Have a complaint about L&I? A new website wants to hear from you. The Special Independent Advisory Commission, which is studying the way the city Department of Licenses and Inspections does business, seeks information from the public as it prepares a comprehensive report. Mayor Nutter appointed 17 people to the commission in October at the urging of city treasurer Nancy Winkler, whose daughter Anne Bryan was killed in the Salvation Army thrift shop at 22d and Market Streets on June 5, when the building next door collapsed on it during demolition.
May 17, 2014 |
Ending decades of divided control of the subterranean realm beneath Center City, SEPTA soon will be in charge of cleaning, maintaining, and repairing almost everything under the streets. That should mean improved cleanliness, lighting, and safety as SEPTA uses new state funding to upgrade the long-neglected passageways, agency officials said Thursday. A new 30-year lease with the city gives SEPTA responsibility for the 3.5 miles of city-owned concourses along Market Street from Eighth to 18th Streets and south to the Walnut-Locust subway station, as well as the elevators and escalators that serve the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines.
May 17, 2014 |
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.
May 13, 2014 |
OF COURSE Tom McCusker believes he has one of the best, if not the best, Mexican eateries this side of the Rio Grande. What he didn't know, however, was that a good number of his Spruce Hill neighbors also agreed. Honest Tom's Taco Shop was named "most favorite site" in that bucolic West Philadelphia neighborhood, according to a just-released retail survey conducted by the Spruce Hill Community Association Business Attraction Committee. "I couldn't be happier about it," McCusker said of the cozy house shop on 44th Street near Spruce.
May 5, 2014 |
Many young men came home from World War II and started their own businesses. Charles Goldberg did just that, and his was an instant hit. With just $600 in capital, he and his older brothers, Harry and Jack, formed Goldbergs' Marine, selling boating equipment from a store on Market Street. "They were a legend," said Bill Wermuth, a Wynnewood native who went there for 14 years starting in 1958 to outfit the boat his parents kept in Nova Scotia. Goldbergs' was synonymous with savvy salesmen and apt advice, Wermuth said.
April 25, 2014 |
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.
April 14, 2014 |
OLD CITY The Shirt Corner and the Suit Corner buildings had been through a lot during their nearly 200 years at Third and Market Streets, but somehow they always found a way to adapt. Only two months ago, the two were still inseparable companions, still standing eyeball-to-eyeball, still trying to outdo each other with their blazing, red-white-and-blue facade graphics. Today, the Suit Corner, on the southwest corner, is a smoldering ruin, its roof gone, its timbers charred black from Wednesday's fire.
April 12, 2014 |
Dean Adler of Lubert-Adler Partners says he and Ron Caplan of PMC Property Group have agreed to pay $42 million to New York-based Loeb Partners for the Marketplace Design Center at 2400 Market St., the building with the whales painted on the side visible from the Schuylkill Expressway. "It's right in the middle of the Market Street Corridor, Rittenhouse Square, and University City," Adler told me Thursday. He says the partners hope to keep the Design Center businesses in place, in a consolidated area, along with the telecom server farms that use part of the building; add "creative office space" for tech companies in some of the vacant areas; and top the building with a "mid-rise" apartment tower, as Caplan and Adler have done at the former AAA MidAtlantic building three blocks away at 2040 Market St. "It's a former car factory, and the roof is 80 feet up, where you get magnificent views of the river," Adler added.
April 11, 2014 |
The operators of the Loews Philadelphia went far beyond the mere idea of swapping out restaurants as part of a renovation of the hotel. Designers cut a front entrance to Market Street and created a new lobby lounge out of part of the former SoleFood restaurant. This space has a large-screen TV and a bar that backs into the new restaurant, Bank & Bourbon (1200 Market St., 215-231-7300), which opened officially this week. Bank & Bourbon - the "bank" refers to the building's past as PSFS and the "bourbon" refers to a neat spirits program - is a contemporary, tastefully done showplace for chef Tom Harkins, whose American menu is built on local sourcing.
April 11, 2014 |
Gary Ginsberg, owner of the Suit Corner, stood on the north side of Market Street on Wednesday morning, facing reporters. Behind him, his family business burned. "All these years at Third and Market, going down to an end," he said as firefighters fought the two-alarm blaze. "I just can't believe this is happening. . . . It just went up in smoke. " Within a month, two Old City haberdasheries connected by blood, architectural motif, and outlandish retail style had been destroyed in spectacular fashion.