April 30, 2015 |
Winter appears to have put Philadelphia's real estate recovery on ice, as first-quarter sale prices in the city fell 0.3 percent from the fourth-quarter 2014 level. The decline came after two consecutive positive quarters, Kevin Gillen, chief economist at Meyers Research and senior research fellow at Drexel University's Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, said Tuesday. But Gillen, who analyzed data from the city Recorder of Deeds Office, called the decline "statistically negligible.
April 23, 2015 |
When Esta Schwartz moved into her sixth-floor condominium at the Philadelphian, the view was not its best selling point. The condos in the front of the building look out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Art Museum, but her balcony, at the back, offered views of a black roof studded with large air-conditioning units. Not anymore. Last week, workers began spreading dirt atop the roof, then planting it with sedum and other greenery that will be pink in June, ocher come November.
April 22, 2015 |
A discrete and low-cost pregnancy tester ("Lia"), spawned as the thesis project of two University of Pennsylvania students (liadiagnostics.com). A social media-tracking system ("Forecastr") for predicting the popularity of TV shows (getforecastr.com). A child-oriented robot, dubbed LocoRobo, that can teach kids programming skills. "When they click on the app, using simple directions to 'spin' or 'stop' the robot, they'll also see computer code they can vary to change the moves and learn by doing," said product developer Pramod Abichandani, a Drexel University professor and Penn lecturer (locorobo.co)
March 21, 2015 |
In the old days - like maybe 10 years ago - people who wanted to start a business would rent an office, hang out a shingle, hire a receptionist, and get down to work. Now, people of an entrepreneurial persuasion launch a start-up, join a co-working space, and find collaborators, often while making coffee in said space's communal kitchen. The way we work is changing, so it makes sense that the architecture of work would change, too. Instead of building downtown office towers the way we once did, Philadelphia has been exploding with co-working spaces, places where you can rent a desk, a conference table, and a Wi-Fi connection by the day, week, or month.
March 20, 2015 |
Buoyed by its successful first year and a half, High Street on Market - the casual sibling of Fork in Old City - plans to open a second location in late summer or early fall in Lower Manhattan. Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp have signed a deal at the corner of Hudson and Horatio Streets in the West Village. The concept - ingredient-driven American foods and baked goods served from breakfast through dinner in a cozy cafe setting - will remain. This location is a third larger than the original at 308 Market St. Que pasa The Garces Group is slinging Mexican food in a Baja beach scene at Buena Onda (1901 Callowhill St., 215-302-3530)
March 13, 2015 |
FALLING RATES of minor crimes and a shift to community-based punishments for petty offenders are slowly changing the demographics of Philly jails. City prison officials say a drop in minimum-security inmates is so significant that two overflow jails will close: the Cannery for female inmates in Holmesburg, and a facility for men in University City. Together, the two jails can house up to 292 inmates, prisons spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said. The University City jail will close March 31, saving "several thousand dollars a month" in rent, staffing, food services and other costs, Hawes said.
March 13, 2015 |
The information the public gets about mayoral candidates is usually limited to sound bites and quick debate answers. To give a more lengthy sampling of the candidates' platforms, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce released answers to five questions it had posed about small business and job growth. Answers came in from former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, former city spokesman Doug Oliver, former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson A. Diaz, former City Councilman James F. Kenney, and State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.
February 27, 2015
ISSUE | BUSINESS AID Zoned out As a former mayor, I know that political speeches don't help small businesses and municipalities, but that the Urban Enterprise Zone Program does. With a proven track record of bolstering the stability and growth of the main-street business districts in 37 communities across New Jersey, it is a program that is ready on day one. So it is my hope that, on his next visit to New Jersey, Gov. Christie will reconsider the UEZ Restart Initiative, which he recently vetoed.
February 8, 2015 |
When it comes to Philadanco, the award-winning dance company she created back in 1970, Joan Myers Brown is all focus. Fervor for the company, she acknowledges, has been second only to her delight in family. "My home, well, it's a good place to kick off my shoes and relax. But it's nothing fancy. " What her University City home is, however, is a warm and welcoming place that has brought Brown back from her years of rearing children in the suburbs to a more urban existence.
February 5, 2015
J OSEPH HWANG, 30, of University City, is a co-founder and chief designer of Barring Eyewear. The startup uses innovative materials and cutting-edge technology to manufacture and market sunglasses. The University City firm expects to launch a line of prescription eyewear in the spring. Other co-founders are Eric Fiore, Frank Tucci and Kim Chhour. Q: How'd you come up with the idea? A: I designed sunglasses as a hobby. I was working in New York and returned to Philly in 2013 to go to graduate school at Penn.