April 22, 2015 |
IT WAS EIGHT years ago this month that the Daily News branded 52nd and Market streets one of the city's most dangerous corners. "Death Row" screamed the front-page headline - one part tabloid hyperbole, one part depressing summation of the crime, blight and poverty that had choked the life out of the once-proud business and entertainment strip. Drug deals went down casually in broad daylight. Businesses collapsed, one after another, as a lengthy rebuild of SEPTA's Market-Frankford El turned the streets and sidewalks into a maze of construction equipment and debris.
April 20, 2015 |
Before he decided to reinvent the grim Gallery at Market East as a fashion outlet, Joseph Coradino considered converting it into a standard, suburban-style mall. The CEO of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust also thought about making it into a giant restaurant-and-entertainment venue, or even a full-price high-fashion mall. But none seemed right for a Market East corridor that had grown decrepit, but now bloomed with new money, construction, and hope. Coradino combined elements of all three to create a vision for the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia, a $575 million development whose unveiling last week ended years of speculation about the future of the property.
April 18, 2015 |
Turns out there's a truck tunnel beneath the Gallery at Market East. It's been there since the structure was built in the 1970s - a huge, hidden space defined by loading docks and trash bins, used as a means to deliver merchandise, food, and supplies when the mall was in its heyday. "It actually is pretty cool," said Brian Abernathy, executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. "Like a subterranean cavern. " The question of who controls it and who may use it in the future stood among a half-dozen complex matters considered and resolved Thursday, as the authority took the first official step toward placing control of the rundown mall into the hands of a developer who plans a complete remake.
April 16, 2015 |
Everything about the decrepit Gallery at Market East may be about to change. Under an intended top-to-bottom renovation, one of Center City's most notorious dead spots would be reborn as a gleaming glass-and-steel emporium - brimming with brand-name discount fashion shops, destination restaurants, and lively sidewalk cafés. Even the name would be new. Welcome, shoppers, to the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia. Details of the plan were provided exclusively to The Inquirer in advance of a series of meetings by government agencies whose support is vital to the project.
April 15, 2015 |
A $19.6 million project to transform a century-old building at the gritty 69th Street terminal complex into a sleek, modern structure that will be greener and more passenger-friendly was officially begun Monday. "This is going to be a model for how we will be able to make old buildings sustainable," said Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.), one of several politicians at Monday's groundbreaking ceremony. Actual construction work began last fall. Meehan predicted that the upgrades to West Terminal would draw more passengers and bolster the local economy.
April 13, 2015 |
It was a year ago last Thursday that Gary Ginsberg stood on Market Street and watched his life go up in flames. All those suits in Crayola colors, all that polyester, all those luminous shirts and wonderfully fat-knotted ties, all that imitation gator skin, just disappearing in the fire. All that family history. Gone. Suit Corner was burning. It had been a cruel stretch. A month earlier, Gary's mother, Linda, had passed. Weeks later, Gary was measuring a customer when across the street his Uncle Marvin's store, Shirt Corner, sold and under demolition, collapsed.
April 8, 2015 |
Parts of the Vine Street Expressway will be closed during pre-commuting hours starting next week as part of a $64.8 million project to replace seven aging bridges in Center City. The roadway will be shut down between Broad Street and the Schuylkill Expressway from 12:01 to 5 a.m. starting next Tuesday and will continue to be closed during those hours through April 17, according to the state Department of Transportation. Traffic will be detoured onto John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Market Street.
March 23, 2015 |
WHEN DARCY Walker Krause was 15, her mother died suddenly from a heart attack. Twenty years later, Krause is herself the mother of two, including a newborn, yet there are times when her own mother's death still affects her. "There are many moments in the last 20 years that I have missed my mom," she said. "What comes to mind the most are major life events like graduations, my wedding and certainly the birth of each child. "She's not there to visit me at the hospital," Krause said.
March 14, 2015 |
A Philadelphia taxi ride used to be one of those luxurious indulgences where you could escape, however briefly, from your over-scheduled life and spend a few precious minutes staring out the window, lost in thought. Now every trip begins with a backseat television screen laying claim to your eyeballs. At least you still have the option of hitting the off button. If a bill sponsored by Councilman Mark Squilla is put to a final vote later this month, the mere act of walking through the streets of Center City will become a lot like a cab ride, but without the off button.
March 14, 2015 |
Two hours behind schedule, Beth Heinly finally located a working electrical outlet in the echoing cavern of the Broad Street concourse and settled in, wearing a puffy chef's hat, to cook pasta. The mac-and-cheese giveaway was Heinly's take on site-specific performance art - meant to engage a space that mostly lies vacant, except for occasional skateboarders, scuttling rainy-day commuters, and covert smokers of marijuana. "I wanted to do a really loving thing in a scary place," she said.