February 5, 2014 |
OLD CITY Philadelphia building officials have ordered the developer renovating Old City's Shirt Corner buildings to demolish the early 19th-century row after engineers discovered wide cracks in the walls, indicating that the structures were on the verge of collapse. The order, issued Jan. 24 by the Department of Licenses and Inspections, means the city will lose an important group of buildings that once served as warehouses and offices for Philadelphia's port, and later became a quirky retail gateway to Old City.
February 4, 2014 |
THE SIGN on the door of Tropical Heat reads: "Do Not Enter with Mask or Hoodie. If So You Are Now Trespassing. " So the guys in hoodies waited outside at closing time. They pulled a gun on Melissa Thomas and demanded her purse when she left the West Philly bar after a night of karaoke, according to police. She only made it a few steps. Cops say Thomas, 29, was fatally shot and her 34-year-old friend shot in the arm about 2:35 a.m. yesterday in the city's latest violent gunpoint robbery.
February 1, 2014 |
Sitting in his office in Chicago, Neil Bluhm, SugarHouse Casino's chairman, was so disturbed by the financial predictions coming from this week's hearings on a second Philadelphia casino that he flew in Wednesday evening to speak to the state Gaming Control Board himself. "I felt I had to come down and tell them that if these numbers are right, they're going to have a mess on their hands," Bluhm said after Thursday's hearing. Bluhm, a Chicago real estate investor who entered the casino industry more than 15 years ago, was referring to the projections of how much gambling revenue SugarHouse would lose if a second casino opened in Center City or South Philadelphia.
January 16, 2014 |
MORE THAN 6,000 petition signatures are serving as the impetus for a new committee seeking a permanent memorial at the site of June's Market Street building collapse. The 22nd & Market Memorial Committee is made up of friends and family of those who died last year, including City Treasurer Nancy Winkler, whose 24-year-old daughter was among the six killed. Members also include local civic and business leaders and urban planning and design professionals who hope to erect a temporary memorial at the site by June 5, the first anniversary of the collapse.
January 16, 2014 |
The 1,400-room Marriott Downtown on Market Street, a key hotel for visitors to the expanded Convention Center, has been sold to investors for a price that values the property at $303.4 million. Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., of Bethesda, Md., said it sold its majority stake in the hotel to investors Oaktree Capital Management L.P., and Clearview Hotel Capital L.L.C., of Newport Beach, Calif. Host had hoped to sell the Marriott, in the 1200 block of Market Street, for as much as $325 million, or $231,000 a room.
December 20, 2013 |
DO ME A FAVOR: After you finish this column, spend the day keeping track of how many homeless people you see. Look at the man huddled in the corner in the concourse between Suburban Station and City Hall. Look at the frail young man rocking back and forth on the cold pavement outside the Dunkin' Donuts on Market Street. Look at the woman with a toddler holding out a paper cup for spare change on Walnut. And then ask yourself: How is it that we, a civilized society with great minds and deep pockets, still have people living and dying on the streets?
December 10, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA The developers who bought the Dow Chemical Co. Building on Independence Mall in October say they plan to spend $20 million on a renovation that will include a 110-space parking garage and a restaurant with outdoor seating. Three companies - Keystone Property Group of Bala Cynwyd, Mack-Cali Realty Corp., and parking lot developer Parkway Corp. - jointly bought the building at Sixth and Market Streets from Dow for $45 million. Dow will lease nearly 200,000 square feet there for its headquarters, Keystone president Bill Glazer said.
December 9, 2013 |
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.
December 6, 2013 |
Amid seasonally cold weather, about 70 people of different faiths gathered at a Center City church on the eve of the six-month anniversary of the June 5 Market Street building collapse to remember the six people who died and the 14 injured when a four-story wall fell onto a Salvation Army thrift shop. Sarah Clark Stuart, who lives near the site where a building was being demolished, came up with the idea for the interfaith service. She said it was necessary to "provide a moment for family and members of the public to remember victims of the tragedy.
December 2, 2013 |
How to jump-start East Market Street has long been a burning issue for planners in Philadelphia. Even as broader Center City has enjoyed a renaissance, the stretch of Market Street east of Broad has languished. The Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), a shopping mall company headquartered in Center City, hopes to help change that. PREIT, over the last decade, has taken control of a key, three-block piece of the East Market Street puzzle. It owns all of the real estate that makes up the Gallery at Market East, which stretches from a Burlington Coat Factory store at 11th and Market to the former Strawbridge & Clothier store on Eighth Street, where The Inquirer is now a tenant.