January 30, 2016 |
Maybe the third time will be the charm for the place we've grown used to calling University City. Originally an African American neighborhood known as Black Bottom, the portion between Market Street and Lancaster Avenue was a tight mesh of rowhouses and small businesses until the early 1960s, when it was leveled to provide growing room for Penn and Drexel. As a token, the city set aside a full block on 36th Street to build a cutting-edge, science high school. It lasted all of 33 years.
January 25, 2016 |
The Left Bank - at $58 million, developer Carl Dranoff's most expensive project to date when it opened in late January 2001 - was considered a dangerous move at the time. "It was West Philadelphia ," Dranoff said of the experts' observations. "They thought I was nuts. " Of course, Dranoff's gamble - an "educated leap of faith," he called it at the time - paid off. The 282-unit luxury rental project - carved from a 700,000-square-foot, concrete-and-steel University of Pennsylvania-owned building at 32d and Walnut Streets that had last been home to General Electric's missile and spacecraft division - has been 100 percent rented almost since the day it opened.
December 19, 2015 |
City and federal officials said Thursday that Philadelphia had "effectively ended" homelessness among military veterans, meaning every veteran in the city who wants housing has it. Since August 2013, officials said, 1,390 Philadelphia veterans have been connected to permanent housing. Mayor Nutter said 15 remain on the streets because they don't want to be housed. "I have a message for each of you who are still out there," he said at a City Hall news conference, pausing for a moment to collect himself.
December 2, 2015
ISSUE | UNIVERSITY CITY Community partners In Friday's column , Inga Saffron reached an inescapable conclusion: Universities were complicit in postwar urban-renewal programs that failed to sustain strong, diverse neighborhoods. She suggested that requiring payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) by nonprofit institutions is the logical form of redress. But that narrative fails to account for 20 years of successful efforts in University City. And the conclusion is shortsighted - no program of PILOTs could match the impact that anchor institutions make today.
November 30, 2015 |
It was not, David Yeager readily acknowledged, your typical urban high-rise-apartment construction project. But Yeager, founder of Radnor Property Group in Wayne, had never partnered on a project with a church - in this case, the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. That partnership has produced a 26-story, 276-unit glass-and-steel structure at 37th and Chestnut Streets and a three-story office building, as well as a 19th-century Romanesque-style brownstone church now in much better shape than it has been in decades.
November 28, 2015 |
University City, that artificially created place on the west bank of the Schuylkill, has suddenly become Philadelphia's most vital neighborhood. You can see it in the luxury high-rises, office towers, and dorms now coalescing into a glittering second skyline. Just last week, Penn and Drexel held a party to celebrate their economic contribution to the city, which is indeed substantial. Today, Penn reigns supreme as Philadelphia's largest private employer, with nearly 16,000 full-timers on its payroll.
November 21, 2015 |
Two types of people will flood Philadelphia this weekend: elite runners and the people who support them. Both can have a great time at the 22d Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon - with the right planning. It's easier for the more than 25,000 runners. They'll enjoy a scenic course Sunday - either a full 26.2 miles or a slightly more reasonable (ha) 13.1 miles - that passes through such neighborhoods as Chinatown, Society Hill, University City, and Manayunk. They'll be welcomed at the start line, celebrated at the finish, and applauded and inspired by the crowds at "cheer zones" throughout the course.
November 21, 2015 |
Drexel University already ranks among the top 50 universities worldwide when it comes to patent awards developed by faculty members, said Keith Orris, university senior vice president of corporate relations and economic development. And with Thursday's announcement of Drexel's new funding partnership with Ben Franklin Technology Partners and a mentoring relationship with Wayne-based Safeguard Scientifics, university inventors and entrepreneurs will have 10 million new reasons to keep the research fires burning, the brainstorms exploding.
November 14, 2015 |
About 300 students from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Temple, and other colleges in the Philadelphia area joined in a mass protest Thursday, echoing movements around the nation against racial issues at the University of Missouri and Yale University. "This is what democracy looks like!" some chanted. "Who are we? We are Yale! Who are we? We are Mizzou!" The larger protest arose from two groups, starting with a much smaller Million Student March at Penn inspired by rallies around the country on economic issues, particularly huge student-loan debt.
November 9, 2015 |
MAYOR-ELECT Jim Kenney said it's "ridiculous" that the city doesn't hire ex-offenders, and that's one thing he hopes to change. "I learned through our research on re-entry in the city . . . [that] the city doesn't hire ex-offenders, which, to me, seems ridiculous," Kenney said yesterday. "If we are asking the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to take a chance on someone, there's no reason why someone coming back to us [from prison] couldn't work in some capacity for the city, so that's number one. " Kenney's comment was made during a news conference yesterday in University City to introduce members of his transition committee, co-chaired by state Rep. Dwight Evans and former city human services commissioner Alba Martinez.