August 17, 2014 |
Teresa Shields Westkaemper lives in a sprawling four-bedroom house in Jenkintown with husband Paul Westkaemper and their three daughters. She is an accomplished watercolorist with a master's degree in fine art, and a very specific artistic sensibility: She loves circles and the colors red and blue. "I can't tell you why I like circles, but I always have, and I express them everywhere," she says. It makes sense, then, that after a renovation that included demolishing and rebuilding the rear of the structure, the Westkaemper home is blue in the front and has a red caboose, so to speak.
July 31, 2014 |
IF RONALD MANSON had not been drunk on May 19, he might not have been charged with killing the beer-distributor employee whom he struck with his van in front of the North Philly business. But prosecutors say Manson, 64, who pulled over and voluntarily gave police a full statement after the 1:30 p.m. accident, was very drunk that afternoon, when his van allegedly struck Stuart Moore, 54. His blood-alcohol level was .245, about three times the legal level to drive, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lipscomb said at Manson's preliminary hearing yesterday.
July 22, 2014 |
Alon Barzilay has done as much in 41 years as many people do in a lifetime. And that includes what the founder and CEO of Barzilay Development L.L.C. of Philadelphia calls "side businesses," the latest of which is a film project with Germantown Academy pals Bradley Cooper and Brian Klugman that sent him to Los Angeles this summer. "I'm not quitting my day job," Barzilay, the film's executive producer, said with a laugh. "I'm a real estate developer. " These days, his real estate efforts include the conversion to rental apartments of Greater St. Matthew's Baptist Church at 23d and Fitzwater Streets as Sanctuary Lofts.
June 9, 2014 |
When we last met up with Jeffrey Tubbs, he was two years into his first building project and doing well, though it was 2010 and we were still mired in the real estate downturn. Four years later, Tubbs is still small and successful but growing, combining youth - he's 37 - with enthusiasm. Part of his success stems from building for-sale housing the next address up from "the hot neighborhood" - in this case, Northern Liberties. We're seeing a lot of activity like that in Philadelphia these days, although much of it is rental as developers large and small retrench after squeezing through sales gates as they were closing shut.
June 9, 2014 |
Christian and Brittany Rubio just got married in November. But thanks to some savvy online research, they soon moved into their very own, brand-new, budget-friendly Philadelphia home, on the border of Northern Liberties and East Kensington. A couple like the Rubios - Christian, 32, is a government employee and Brittany, 27, is a critical-care technician - typically might have moved into an apartment until they amassed more cash and credit, but they kept their digital eyes open, planned well, and were able to buy a house within a year of their wedding.
June 3, 2014 |
Some will find the subject of this column uncomfortable. But business sometimes takes on that which makes us ill at ease: erectile dysfunction and incontinence, to name two. Granted, Molly Hayward, 26, an entrepreneur from Northern Liberties, is tackling an especially rough topic: menstruation. But take a deep breath and keep reading. As Elizabeth Killough, foundation manager at Untours Foundation in Media, a small-business funding source, said of Hayward in an e-mail, "She's part of a new inclusive economy that's pragmatic, fantastically sustainable, and growing.
June 2, 2014 |
Three men were killed early Saturday in Philadelphia in separate shootings, police said. The first occurred about 12:30 a.m. in a bar on the 2000 block of Dennie Street in Nicetown. Officers found a man inside, shot once in his back near his left shoulder. The victim was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m. Police did not release his name, or those of the other victims, pending notification of family. Another man was shot once in the chest just before 1 a.m. on the 600 block of Spring Garden Street, on the edge of Northern Liberties.
May 25, 2014 |
Research by a pair of professors at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business has found that "shabby urban neighborhoods are the wisest choice" for real estate investors. Savvy investors, study authors Veronica Guerrieri and Eric Hurst say, "are looking for a place to park their money in preparation for the next boom. " The most promising urban real estate can be found in rundown neighborhoods bordering upper-class areas, they say. From my observations in Philadelphia (and Chicago, New York and San Francisco)
May 25, 2014 |
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT of Philadelphia has called an audible on its plans to close a well-known charter school. The School Reform Commission voted last month to suspend the charter of Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School and begin the revocation process. The district announced yesterday it would drop the suspension, but move forward with the revocation process in an attempt to avoid potential legal delays. The change of strategy comes a week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on whether the SRC has the power to ignore state law to deal with its financial crisis.
May 20, 2014 |
ESTHER'S thick tail was already spinning, round and round like an airplane prop, and it got her whole body moving back and forth, her butt wiggling uncontrollably as two strangers approached her yesterday. The dog, a terrier mix who looks mostly pit bull, didn't make a sound but moved toward them, her head up high, anticipating a pair of hands squeezing her floppy ears for a few seconds. She wore a black vest with the words "Adopt Me. " "Go pet her. She's sweet," a mother commanded her young son as they headed toward Esther.